“Easy as Pie—” Is It Really, Though?


My endeavors in pie making are rarely successful. Dry doughs, overtly abundant filling, wrong pan sizes—nothing seems to ever go right. And that’s coming from someone who makes croissants from scratch for fun. I mean, what kind of horror must pie-making entail for a masochist such as myself to hate it?

As a baking video connoisseur, I have watched numerous videos on how to make pie. I have read countless overly-flowery blog posts. I have scoured the Internet for many pie recipes. And yet, despite the countless reassurances, dozens of secret tips, and infinite detailed instructions, the “foolproof recipes” always come up flat. Don’t get me wrong, the recipes themselves are likely fine—I just happen to be a walking disaster when it comes to pies.

Crust? I’ve tried the fraisage method, I’ve used a cheese grater, I’ve pinched cold squares of butter into the flour with my fingertips. I’ve even frozen butter, chilled the countertop, and frantically tossed bowls into the refrigerator in hopes of preventing any melting fat. The result? Overworked doughs that are always either too dry or too wet, baking into pathetically limp, floppy, barely-flaky crusts. And, not to mention, the ridiculous mess it creates! Bits of flour scattered all around the countertop and floor, little scraggly pieces of spare dough littered in every crevice of the kitchen (and irretrievable from under my fingernails), and random tools—bench scraper, rolling pin, measuring cup—can be found creating complete chaos in the kitchen. And, I also have bloody fingers from the stupid cheese grater.

Beryl Striewski

Filling may be easier, but this, too, can bring about downfall. My first apple pie recipe made three times the filling needed. The freezer was filled with soupy, overly saccharine apples for months. And pumpkin pie filling may look deceptively easy, but don’t pretend you actually have half a dozen warm spices ready in your cabinet. I mean, why keep allspice around? Not worth it. Just last month, I somehow burned the filling of my lemon tart. It simply wouldn’t set in the oven!

Hot take incoming: pie doesn’t even taste that good. Not enough to justify the work! I mean, apple pie? Stop trying to make dessert

healthy. Furthermore, unless you have some professional food stylist doing the work for you, pie is UGLY. First slice is a mess of slipping pastry and falling filling, and the next ones aren’t much better. Well, may as well cover it up with scoops of ice cream and mounds of whipped cream.

As someone who has attempted to make this elusive creation called “pie,” I become quite aggravated when I hear someone use the phrase “easy as pie” because pie is, in fact, NOT EASY. Pie destroyed my oven, my kitchen, and my self confidence. Pie can go die in a hole.