The Great Pie Bake

About a month ago I was contacted by the local historical society that they needed help with their big fundraiser of the year.  Each year they host a harvest diner.  It’s always on the opening day of pheasant hunting season.  The letter explained that they were needing more members and volunteers as many of the members are getting older or have passed away.

This is a problem for many groups.  I had a want to help but am past the point where I will hold an office anymore.  My health is topsy-turvey now and I am simply too busy with grandchildren, the blog, and childcare.  So…I looked at the list to see if there was something I could do to help.

One of the things they needed was pie makers.  Well, that I could do.  So I messaged the coordinator and said I would make 8 pies.  She was so surprised.  She had been worried about getting pies…the 8 pies I offered to make seemed like a lot to her but she was very happy.  They have a list of the type of pies they are looking for and she said she would call me back in a couple of weeks and let me know what she needed.

So about 10 days before the event I got a call.  After thinking about it she thought 8 was too many for me to make so I said, “How about seven then?”  She agreed and we figured out I would make:

2 peach
2 pumpkin
2 pecan
1 blueberry

In reality, this was a lot of pie but I’ve made many more in one setting before.  I think Kelli and I made 12 once.  Even if all the kids come home I regularly make four pies at once so I wasn’t worried about making this many.

So on the Friday after I got back from my appointments at Mayo Clinic, I started making pie.  I turned on an audiobook for company and had a grand time…so good that I forgot to take pictures.

One of the reasons I had volunteered for making pecan pie was that Kayla had given me two big bags of pecans a bit ago.  She had bought them last year with the intention of making Christmas cookies but never got around to doing it.  The pecans were still within the use-by date so I thought that would be a great way to use them up.

Sadly, here is where the pecans ended up…in the garbage.  While I was baking Buck, Kayla, and Karl all called me about my doctor appointments earlier in the day.  If you read my post about the appointment, you will remember that it is long…there was no way to text that all to the kids so Kalissa and I text a short version, and now was the time to tell the long version.  If you missed that post, please read it HERE.  So I put my phone on speaker, talked to them, and kept baking pies.

When I was talking to Buck, I burned the pecans.  AHH!!  Note to self:  Never toast pecans without a timer.  UGH.


I live a half-hour away from any grocery store and it’s now 7:30 pm.  I decided they weren’t going to get pecan pie.  I rummaged around and figured out I had almost enough cream cheese for two cheesecakes.  Yes, I knew they wanted pie but this was close…and honestly, everyone doesn’t love pie.

I ended up calling Kalissa and yes, she had another brick of cream cheese.  I made plans to run over and get it.

My pumpkin pies were in the oven and pumpkin pies need a higher temp for the first 15 minutes and then a lower temp.  My pies were 10 minutes into the higher temp so I waited for the timer, turned the oven down, and then ran over to Kalissa’s.

Here are the pumpkin pies after they came out of the oven…The other is the blueberry waiting to go in.


Notice there were three pumpkin pies and I only needed to make two.  The disposable pie tins I made were an off size.  I ended up with extra filling so I rolled the crusts all a bit thinner and used the scraps to make an extra pie.  It was only enough for a small pie that that’s okay.

One of the biggest tricks I ever learned when making pie is to ice water.

Now I ran into another problem.  I had already started making the crust for the pecan pies when I burnt the pecans.  Now I had crust that needed to be used and I had made the five pies that I needed to make already and was not switching to cheesecake with graham cracker crumbs.  Find my Cheesecake recipe HERE.  I wrote the blog post with the recipe back in June of 2009.  Kalissa was 14 years old and I was lamenting parenting a teen.

So…now what was I going to do with the pie crust?  I know many of you would have tossed it but I’m pretty frugal and decided I’d make yet another pie.


I had a few more peaches…I had a few more blueberries.  I ended up putting them together and making a peach/blueberry pie.  I know that’s not a typical combo but I was okay with it and I’m sure it will get eaten up by the people around here.


I didn’t get a picture of all of the pies and cheesecakes together but trust me…I made 5 pies and 2 cheesecakes for the benefit and 2 pies for our family.

By the way, you can find my filling recipe for fruit pies HERE.

That will likely be all the pie I make until Thanksgiving rolls around.  I love making pie and hope I can make some for the benefit next year too.

31 thoughts on “The Great Pie Bake

  1. Lisa B

    When my kids were still home I would spend part of the day making pie dough and freezing it for future use. My mother-in-law always made double or triple and froze it in 1-2 inch thick disks to use at a later date when she didn’t have time to make it and the filling. But I love the idea of using it for pie now! I don’t think I’ve made a pie in over 8 years.

    Reply
    1. Judith Fairchild

      OH! I’m so sorry about the pecan pies they are one of my favorites. For Thanksgiving one year I topped my pumpkin pies with pecans for a different taste. I had hoped to have some left to take home. Not even many crumbs were left.
      Do you freeze the extra pies till needed or do they disappear that fast. :)

      Reply
  2. Melissa

    Peach-blueberry pie is one of our family favorites!! It’s a great combo. How kind of you to make all those pies.

    Reply
  3. Karen in Florida

    Making crust is definitely not one of my talents. I admire anyone that can get it rolled out to the required size without a lot of piecing it together in the pan. Your pies are beautiful and I know they will be enjoyed. Sorry about all the burned peacans. Bummer!

    Reply
    1. Judith Fairchild

      You get 12 or so ice cubes depending on the amount of crust you’re making and add cold water before you start getting the rest of the ingredients out. Just add the water where you always do. You get crisp, tender, flacky crusts.
      I learned that trick from my older sister.

      Reply
  4. Hedy

    I learned a long time ago to freeze my pecans and walnuts straight from the store. I can keep them for a couple of years with no rancid taste. I also ate at a Mennonite restaurant and they told me to put one tablespoon of vinegar in my pie crust to make them flaky and it does. I put it in the measuring cup first, then add my ice water. It’s delicious. You have a good heart to help this group.

    Reply
  5. NJ

    I love to listen to audio books while I’m doing something. In no time at all I’m done with my task. Good looking pies !

    Reply
  6. Ann

    my mother in law made peach and blueberry all the time….partly because she lived on a blueberry bog! It’s my favorite

    Reply
  7. Kate

    Wow! You are so energetic and generous!! Sorry about the pecans, but easy for it to happen. My mother often mixed peaches and blueberries and I have made pies with the combo, so pretty sure your family will enjoy the pie. All pies look yummy!!

    Reply
  8. Pamela Dempsey

    With all you have going on and still volunteer to make so many pies! Wonder woman!!! They look so yum! Pie has to be my favorite dessert :)

    Reply
  9. sewhappy

    I have only made pecan pie once and over baked it. I don’t remember roasting the pecans first. I will have to look up the recipe now. Maybe a second mistake I did. Enjoy. I am surprised how you would have any energy left after the MD appointment.

    Reply
  10. Pamela Dempsey

    Forgot to mention – for those who can’t have pecans or if you don’t have any – sprinkle dry oatmeal in bottom of crust, enough to cover bottom, add pecan pie filling. They will float to the top like the pecans do and bake as usual. They are glazed by the filling and are a little crunchy and it makes a great pie :) Now I am really hungry….

    Reply
    1. Cindy E

      That’s the only way my grandmother made her ‘pecan’ pie. I’m sure it was because of the cost. For years, I didn’t know most people used pecans. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  11. Gail L Piper

    The pecan incident sounds like something I would do – my timer has become one of my best cooking utensils – when I remember to set it! My pecan recipe doesn’t call for the nuts to be roasted – I’ll have to check that out. I just made a lemon meringue pie for a meeting and will undoubtedly be making more for the holidays. I’m sure that group will feel blessed by your contribution!!!

    Reply
  12. Elle

    It’s good to know when enough is enough. Cheers to baking those pies as your donation of time!

    Happy Tuesday Jo :-)

    Reply
  13. Kris in WI

    Oh, pie! My Dad used to make all-day service calls when I was little. The big topic at dinner that night was always to guess what kind of pie he had at lunch. Then there were (are) the pie failures like forgetting to put in the cornstarch in the blueberry pie I made for my favorite aunt’s visit when I was in high school-the crust was great and she was gracious. Thanks for the memories, Jo and I’m sure your generosity as well as your pies were appreciated. So like you!

    Reply
  14. Donna M

    Sorry that all those pecans were burned. Here in the South we make lots of pecan pies. I have never heard of toasting the pecans first. Since we don’t toast them, pecan pies are one of the quickest and easiest to make. One year I made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and took to my sister’s. I forgot to put in the sugar. So, I feel your pain of messing up.

    Reply
  15. Deborah Stokes

    Am I the only person out there that has never toasted pecans when making a pecan pie??? My mother and grandmothers didnt either. I’ve never seen toasting mentioned in recipes either?? I can see where that might taste better – wonder why no one ever mentioned doing that. Texas thing???

    Reply
  16. Rosalie

    Jo, my go to pies in the last 10 years are chess pies. Lemon chess from Southern Living and a coconut chess that I sometimes add chocolate chips to. Both super easy to stir up and they only need a single pie crust.

    Reply
  17. Lisa

    That blueberry peach pie sounds wonderful! Also, freeze your pecans. That way you don’t have to worry about an expiration date. I have several pounds in my freezer right now. I only picked up 50 pounds in my yard a couple of years ago and I don’t even have a pecan tree. The neighbor’s tree drops them in my yard and they don’t pick them up. Thankfully we have a hardware store in our small town that cracks the pecans for us and charges a small amount per pound but you have to have at least 10 pounds for them to do it. I gave many away to others too and yet I still have a ton.

    Reply

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