Rachel again, in the second installment of who-knows-how-many-posts-I-will-do on pie making classes. Really, I could kind of go on forever – these classes are friggin’ fun. Last time we went over some tips on crust. This time, let’s get into the filling, shall we?
After you roll out your pie crust and put it into the fridge to chill, you can go ahead and prep your fruit. Anna and Lenore use a “peeler/corer/slicer” that does all of the things you think it would (except they leave the skins on for flavor/color/nutritional purposes. Yet another reason to use organic produce!)
In a fun fact, the apples they use are actually from The Babes’ hometown, at Smit Ranch in Clements (right down the way from Babe Anna’s family’s ranch). Adorable, right? Well wait, it get’s better, because these very apples can be purchased right here in San Francisco at the Ferry Building and Noe Valley Farmers markets at the Hidden Star Orchards stall. Sweetness, am I right?
Some more tips on making a delicious fruit pie:
-Use seasonal fruit. It tastes better, it’s better for the environment, and it’s easier on your wallet.
-Get to know your farmers. Ask them what’s best this week. If you call in advance and as for “seconds” (often, fruit that is slightly blemished but otherwise perfectly acceptable) you can get a deal!
-Buy organic or spray-free fruit. Ask questions about how your produce is being grown. Babes Anna and Lenore are strong advocates for community involvement. It’s up to each of us to “vote with our dollars” and contribute to a more sustainable economy.
-Pie making is both an art and a science. Depending on the sweetness and juiciness of your fruit, you’ll want to modify the amount of lemon juice, sugar and thickener you use.
-For apple pie: pre-cook your filling to prevent a shrinky, underdone filling and a brittle, overdone crust.
We got even more tips than that, but I can’t remember everything. It may have been the wine! Anywho, I DO remember that at the end, The Babes sent us home with a circle of dough, a one of a kind recipe, a belly full of charcuterie and cheeses, and a few new friends. Check out the class album on Facebook!
Sadly, their currently scheduled workshops at Salumeria are full, but the Babes offer in-home classes, host volunteer days in their kitchen, and have more classes in the works, like a cookie-baking class at 18 Reasons on December 16th.