3 Tips for Pie Baking with Kids


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I’ve had a love affair with pie as of late. It’s the one dessert I want to bake again and again. The varieties are endless: savory (shepherd’s pie or quiche) or sweet (peanut butter pie or egg pie). Lately, I’ve been baking almost one pie every two weeks. I reserve the pie baking for Sundays when we are more relaxed. Making a pie is an easy dessert to do with my daughter, Ilse, as a pie requires few tools and bowls. The best part is that a 9-inch pie is the perfect dessert size for my family of three. If you have ever feared baking a pie, don’t dismay. It’s easier than you think, and even better if/when you can include your little ones. Here are my top three tips for pie-making with little ones.

Choose your pie recipe wisely

Depending on the age and skill set of your child, choose your pie recipe wisely. A pie with multiple steps and a long list of ingredients may not be the wisest choice for your foray into pie-making with your little ones (Save those for solo experiments, preferably with a glass of wine nearby). I scour my stack of cookbooks for recipes that require a max of ten ingredients with very few steps. I listed a few of my favorite cookbooks in a January post.

Read your recipe ahead of time

One of the best cooking or baking advice I’ve ever come across has been to “read a recipe ahead of time.” Better yet, read it multiple times. Doing so ensures that I have all the ingredients I need and that I understand how to execute the recipe properly. Seems like a “No duh” type of thing, but I can’t tell you how many times I think I have all the ingredients or know all the steps and miss something. This advice is particularly true when I am baking with my daughter, as I am doing each step with her and am constantly reminding her not to eat the raw eggs. If I know I understand the recipe sequence ahead of time, I can avoid mistakes (like not thawing frozen pie crust) and focus on having fun.

Be prepared to get a little messy.

When I cook or bake alone, I clean as I go along. I try to wear an apron, so my precious clothes aren’t stained with whatever ingredients I am cooking. In high school, I stained many school uniforms with my cooking/baking adventures. Since Ilse and I began cooking and baking together, we bought her an apron too so we can stay tidy together. It works 50% of the time. Now, I am happy when she washes her hands and has her hair pulled back. So, I give in to the little bit of mess that occurs when we cook or make a dessert together. As long as she is having fun and is following along, I can clean up after the pie is resting or baking. You should too because the mess can easily be cleaned up after.

Making pies with my Ilse has been a fantastic way for us to spend time together. I get to share my love for baking with her and teach her about the foods we use and the science that goes into turning a few ingredients into something scrumptious. Pie can be eaten year-round, and I look forward to making more with Ilse in the coming months.  After all, there is always room for pie!

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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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