WRV students enjoyed making and eating pie in Nutrition and Wellness
The holidays are a time for traditions and my favorite traditions center around food and family. I especially like baking, and nothing makes me feel more like a FACS teacher than teaching a group of Nutrition and Wellness students how to make pastry and pie during the holiday season.
Did you know there are four types of pie? There are fruit pies, custard pies, cream pies and chiffon pies. Each pie type has its own characteristics and students got to describe and watch cooking videos for each.
Groups of students got to pick the pie they would like to bake. This year pecan pie was the most popular to make. The pecan pie they made this year used honey instead of corn syrup and was finished off with a decorative topping of pecan halves.
Some students choose to make banana cream pie. This thickened pudding pie has sliced bananas and the students prepared it all from scratch.
The students that made pumpkin pie used Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe, of course. This is a go-to, no-fail recipe that is always delicious.
All pies were made with the pastry recipe my Grandma Jeanette taught me so many years ago. One student from each group made pastry with me at the back table so I could demonstrate all the pastry techniques while they worked.
Pastry has four ingredients - flour, salt, fat and water. Many families have their own tips, tricks and ingredients to make that perfect pastry. My Grandma Jeanette’s pie pastry recipe used butter flavored shortening to give it that tender texture and buttery flavor. To have the most tender flaky pastry, you must be gentle with these ingredients as you combine them.
Each pie was served with freshly whipped cream. Students practiced cutting and serving their pie. We even talked about pie etiquette. Students now know that if they take pie to a gathering they should cut and serve their pie.
This week we are preparing over 60 apple pies. It will take us four whole class periods for each student to make two pies. One to sell and one to take home and enjoy with their family. By the end of this week students will really know how to make pastry, peel and slice apples and combine them to make the best apple pie they have ever eaten.
Grandma Jeanette’s Pie Pastry
Yield: Enough for one 9” two-crust pie with bottom and top.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening (Crisco butter flavored)
½ cup ice water
In a large bowl place flour and salt, mix together.
Cut in shortening with pastry blender until particles are the size of coarse cornmeal.
Sprinkle mixture with ice water, one tablespoon at a time, while tossing it lightly with a fork. Push dough against the sides of bowl a few times so it holds together; shape into a ball.
Divide dough into two portions. On a lightly floured surface roll one portion of dough into a circle one inch larger than the pie plate and 1/8 inch thick.
Carefully fit dough into pie plate without stretching. Trim excess dough, leaving a ½ inch overhang.
One-crust pie = roll under excess and flute.
Two-crust pie =roll out top crust, dump in filling, place top crust on and seal with bottom crust. Do not forget to poke some holes in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
If baking the pie shell without filling, poke holes in pastry on bottom and sides with a fork.
To bake: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes then turn down to 395 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner