Should you take a cooking/baking short cut – or not?

28 Jul
pie recipe from aunt takes time if you do not take short cuts

Aunt Sylvia's recipe did not have short cuts - but maybe you can take a few

For those who don’t want to devote an entire evening – or weekend – to making dinner, consider whether there are shortcuts, and if so, whether they would be worth taking.

I’m not doctrinaire on this issue. I like some short cuts (and some recipes that use short cuts are among my favorites), while I find others to be not worthwhile.  Generally if I don’t like a short cut it is because the short cut is too expensive or I think it results in a dish that has “shortcut” written all over it.

Now mind you, if I’m eating alone and I’m desperately hungry, there are a few short cuts I’m willing to take that I’d like to keep strictly out of this discussion.  But we all have secrets, don’t we?

Imagine that you’ve invited your latest crush to dinner and plan to make Aunt Sylvia’s apple pie for dessert. You’ve never made a pie before, but you’re sure it can’t be that hard as Aunt Sylvia is sweet, but not too swift. You’re running late and realize the recipe requires refrigerating the crust multiple times. Should you skip the refrigerating steps or buy a store-bought crust?

  • You may have more college degrees than Aunt Sylvia, but she probably knew what she was doing when she told you to refrigerate the dough.
  • If you’ve never made the recipe before, you don’t know how the dough should work and won’t know if skipping those steps has made a difference until it’s too late.
  • There are several types of crusts you can buy. Some brands are refrigerated, and can be put in your own pie dish so you can make them look home-made.
  • If the pie filling is home made and fresh, there’s a great likelihood that the pie will be delicious even if you use a store-bought refrigerated crust.

Need I say more?


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