Tag Archives: baking tips

What’s the best way to reheat pie – microwave, toaster oven or regular oven?

10 Aug

Have a slice of leftover pie in the fridge, just begging to be warmed up and devoured?

strawberry rhubarb pie, waiting to be re-heated

strawberry rhubarb pie "fresh" out of the fridge

Summer is the best time for all kinds of luscious pies. Sure, it is difficult to leave a good slice of pie for tomorrow, but sometimes it does happen. Then, you have the quandary of how to recapture that “fresh out of the oven” warmth.

Learn from the sad lesson of my loyal taster and husband, Kevin, this past week. Last weekend, I experimented with rhubarb for the first time and ended up with a yummy strawberry rhubarb pie.  Kevin secreted one piece in the back of the fridge.  When he pulled the leftover pie out and popped it into the microwave two days later, guess what happened? He got rubber crust and mushy filling.  Tragedy!

Now you know – don’t microwave pie.

Sure you can find web sites that claim reheating pie in a microwave is fine – but if you don’t trust me, try it. Or check what the veritable microwave queen, Barbara Kafka said in her landmark book, Microwave Gourmet “…starches in wheat flour … absorb liquid in the microwave oven; they tend to turn gluey… The baking problem is compounded by the tendency of eggs to become rubbery quickly in the microwave oven.”

So be smart – use a toaster oven or regular oven preheated to 350 degrees (maybe 10 minutes– or a bit more if the pie is straight from the fridge, but be careful on timing) – for re-warming pie.

Then when the pie crust is crisp again and just warm enough, add a scoop of ice cream and you’ll be in heaven.

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?