Have you ever struggled to make beautiful delicious pies? I once did. That is why I dedicated years developing recipes to make consistent wholesome artisan pies! Using quality ingredients and following these recipes, you too can make great pie.
My name is Marie. I owned and operated a pie shop, Passionate For Pies, outside of Seattle. There, I developed a step-by-step system that is easy to follow. It is the same techniques that my employees used at the shop, and many of them had no experience with pie.
You will learn:
Are you wanting more? Then come on and join me! I believe that if you want to Master Pie Making, it can be done. I will start to show you the way.
Step-by-Step HD 720p Video recipe tutorials will show you how easy it is to make delicious flaky buttery pastry dough.
Multiple Camera Angles give you a closeup, entertaining, & mouth watering view into the learning process.
Quality Audio. Narrated by me, Marie
Why does Pie Making seem so challenging?
The biggest challenge to pie making is not having a consistent recipe for dough. Classic pie recipes are a struggle for most beginners because they all lack precision. Ever wondered why the amount of water is never exact in classic pie dough recipes? The answer is simple, and so is the solution.
Cutting the butter into flour by hand has so many variables. One being how it affects the amount of water needed. This requires advanced knowledge from the baker of the exact feel and texture. It can be frustrating and not fun. And has scared many away from making their own delicious pies from scratch.
I want to change that and show you a super easy way! Fool-proof almost. Why? Because I love pie so much and want every one to feel confident to make it at home themselves.
How you ask? By following carefully composed recipes. The video recipes in this course will show you through all the action! They are consistent and precise every time!!!! That's why I know you can succeed. I have done the challenging work of getting the recipes right. So you can just enjoy the process. And take all the credit from your loved ones!
Since I am a visual learner, that is how I teach. Step-by-step, follow me in your own kitchen. And by the time we are done, your pies will be beautiful and scrumptious. That I guarantee.
I begin by showing you the first pies I mastered: Crumb pies - Peach, Spiced Rhubarb, and Jumbleberry.
Then will be how to make classic Double-crusted pies - Apple, Strawberry Rhubarb, Wild Blueberry, Blackberry, and Bumbleberry.
For some of my favorite Specialty pies - Pecan Brownie, Dark Sweet Cherry, and Fresh Butternut Pumpkin Pie.
Cream pies are better than icing on a cake! My favorites are - Lemon Cream, Chocolate Cream, and Coconut Cream all with fresh whipped cream of course!
And lastly you will make a delectable Chicken pot pie, the way it should be! (full-flavored chicken stock with amazing health benefits turned into your own homemade gravy).
Oh and let's not forget...Tarts are even easier than pie. Spinach Mushroom and Gruyere Tart, Smoked Salmon & Leek Tart, Caramelized Onion Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart, Fresh Raspberry Tart, and Cheese Apple Tart. Perfect for any casual meal or picnic.
A few pie reviews from customers at Passionate For Pies:
"Wow. Just. Wow...The crust is flaky and buttery, melt in your mouth amazing. The chicken pot pie was delectable in every way. The fruit pies were also amazing...." - Camille V. - Tacoma, WA
"Been looking forward...since I read about it in The Wall Street Journal, and it lived up to our expectations. Delicious." - Renay Portland, OR
“If heaven could exist in a pie, you would find it here. We shared the spiced rhubarb pie and the dark chocolate coconut cream pie. The fresh organic cream on the coconut was amazing. It was all the best pie I have ever had... " -Rob S. Austin, TX
"Unbelievable...I am a pie maven, but I bow to "Passionate for Pies". The best crust ever, not too sweet, really fantastic. We will go back tomorrow to take some home on the plane! " - Kathleen R. Fayetteville, NY
Historians have recorded that the roots of pie can loosely be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. These early forms of pies were like galettes or crostatas, essentially rustic free-form pies. It has no top crust, but an enlarged bottom dough that folds inward to hold the filling.
The crumb pie is made exactly like this. We then add to the center a crumb topping. This is one of the best pies to first learn.
This is the video tutorial (Part I) for all the pies in this section using the Crumb Pie Dough.
This is the video tutorial (Part 2) for all the pies in this section using a Crumb Topping.
Berries are well known for their high antioxidant properties. Doctors are recommending a cup a day for brain health! Get your fix by eating pie...
This was the first pie I created. I prefer using frozen berries. This is because they are so consistent in their sweetness and ripeness, available year round, and fairly priced. But if you just picked some fresh berries, you will not be disappointed.
A Chinese saying is “Longevity peach”. That is because of the peaches nutritional benefits. It is used to improve blood circulation, dissolve accumulated blood clots, moisten the intestines and relaxes the bowels.
My first choice is fresh peaches especially when they are in season, ripe and juicy. These make the best pies. I have found one frozen peach brand that I do like so far. Columbia River Organics peaches are picked ripe and have outstanding flavor. I found them at Whole Foods. Many others I have tried are picked way too early lacking flavor and color. Taste your peaches beforehand. Your pie is only as good as the quality it keeps.
Spiced Rhubarb Pie.
Rhubarb is grown in many areas. With greenhouse production, it is available fresh throughout much of the year.
Rhubarb is usually considered a vegetable. In the United States, however, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used as a fruit, then it counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties.
Although most recipes with rhubarb include strawberries, I was desiring another option. I spice this rhubarb up with a little fresh orange zest, some ground cardamom and nutmeg. You are in for a real treat! I believe you will be pleasantly surprised at how lovely this one tastes.
This is the video tutorial (Part I) for all the pies in this section using a Double Crusted Dough.
Wild Blueberry Pie.
Wild blueberries are packed with flavor and natural sweetness. This is a great pie because sugar can be used minimally. My favorite part of the wild blueberry is its size. When you take your first bite of this pie, the little berries explode and pop in your mouth. Like the caviar of fruit!
I prefer to use frozen wild blueberries. They are very consistent and great to work with in pies. And they are available year round. A pie with fresh picked wild blueberries is great too, but I usually eat them all up before I get back home!
While living in the Northwest, I was then first introduced to a REAL blackberry pie. Because of the consistent rainfall, I noticed these wild blackberries tasting juicier and being more plump, therefore having a higher water content than ones elsewhere.
For frozen or fresh store bought blackberries the recipe is great as is. Frozen berries are great to work with and are consistent. I love how amazingly frozen berries make an outstanding pie. If you have the pleasure of using fresh picked wild Northwest blackberries, take into account the extra water content and add extra arrowroot for thickening.
This lecture includes instruction on trimming the dough. This can be applied to any double crusted pies. It creates a thinner edge crust.
With a memory of running through a sprinkler, my thoughts immediately turn towards strawberry rhubarb pie. Early summer days are made special when these two come together in a pie. Although I do add the dehydrated whole cane sugar to this pie, I like to keep the essence of the fruits' flavors by maintaining a nice sweet to sour balance.
Original apple pie recipes came from England. These were made with unsweetened apples and encased in an inedible shell.
"Apple-pie was used all the year, the evening meal of children. House-pie, in country places is make of apples neither peeled nor freed from the cores, and its crust is not broken if an agon-wheel goes over it!" - Reverend George Acrelius published in Stockhold on 1796
I choose to peel, core, and slice my apples with an apple peeler. Then I layer them in the pie shell. When it is all baked up, it looks and tastes like a strudel. If you prefer chunks or thicker slices, then just adjust your baking temperatures for desired apple consistency.
When I am on the East Coast, I prefer Cortland apples. They are crisp and have a nice balance of sweet to sour. In my pie shop in the Northwest, I used Braeburn apples most of the time. A Gala apple will work too. I stay away from apples that are either too sweet or mostly sour.
Bumble is in reference to a mix of berries. ( Not a type of berry). We add apples and rhubarb, just because! This really is everything but the kitchen sink, in matters of fruit pie anyway. If you are having a tough time deciding on what fruit pie to make, this one's for you. Its our version of a fruit cup, wrapped in flaky goodness.
Double Crusted Pies
Is a tart a pie? A tart is a subset of the pie. If sides are perpendicular, the pie is called a tart. Tart comes from the word torture. The pastry is twisted or tortured to fit the dish. Layered with custard, fruits or vegetables, a tart is 'open' with just a bottom crust.
I have included my favorite sweet and savory tart recipes. A simple and elegant alternative that requires no manual crimping. If you use a fluted tart pan, the beautiful edge is done for you.
This is the video tutorial (Part I) for all the tarts in this section using the Large Tart Shell.
Smoked Salmon Tart.
Smoked Salmon is sold both as either hot smoked or cold smoked. Cold smoked is sliced very thin. Hot smoked, which this recipe calls for, is usually sold as a thick piece of salmon. Hot smoked refers to the temperature of smoking, it is not spicy.
Hot Smoked Salmon is naturally salty, so this tart requires no added salt. A favorite of my girls, they enjoy it anytime, any day.
Spinach Mushroom Gruyere Tart.
Inspired by a family quiche recipe, I altered the recipe to a delicate tart. I use baby spinach and baby portabella mushrooms. I lightly saute the mushrooms in unsalted butter and season.
The gruyere cheese really adds a wonderful flavor. It gets its name from the village in Switzerland where it comes from. Gruyere is sold at most large grocery stores. It has an earthy and nutty flavor. Quite delicious!
Caramelized Onion, Tomato, & Goat Cheese Tart.
The caramelizing process of the onion creates a roasted sweetness. This is the key to its great flavor. A natural sweetness from the onions and the juicy fresh tomato makes this like a delectable flaky pizza. Master the onions and you will master this tart.
Cheese & Apple Tart
What sets this tart apart from others is the ability to design the sliced apples to resemble a rose. It is truly exquisite. An apple peeler is essential to helping create this pattern with ease.
Underneath the beautiful layers of apples is a filling compared to that in a cheese danish.
I am particularly fond of these pies because they came by chance. I did not sit down and consciously plan to make these. It was in the moments where I was not thinking, where their creation emerged. A special lesson I learned, that some of the best things find us with ease. Have Fun!
Dark Sweet Cherry Pie.
English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I.
Cherries grow throughout the Northwest. All types of cherries, sour and sweet. While the sour cherry pie is more traditional, I was given some dark cherries. I decided to make them into a pie and the results amazed me. The sweet cherries mixed with the dehydrated whole cane sugar and a little vanilla extract create chocolate undertones like that of some fine red wines.
If using fresh cherries, be sure to remove all the pits and stems! Frozen works well too and are available year round at your local grocery store.
Pecan Brownie Pie.
The filling of this pie is mostly pecans, so it is surprising that it tastes more chocolatey than nutty. A light but full flavored sweet pie. I have not yet met someone that has not loved this pie. It is so simple, easy to make, and the combination just works.
A brownie in a pie crust...why resist!
Fresh Butternut Pumpkin Pie.
Pumpkin pie originated from British spiced and boiled squash. But it was not until the early 1800's that it become popular in America.
Butternut pumpkin (as referred to in Australia) has a low water content, a deep rich flavor and color, and has a solid smooth texture. Whereas, 'pie' pumpkins are typically stringy and contain more water. My good friend (& farmer) gave me squash and asked me to make him a pie from it. He knew what I was to learn, that a winter squash makes the best pumpkin pie. I later researched and found that most canned pumpkin companies use a winter squash blend which includes a high ratio of butternut. Using fresh butternut is a real specialty!
I like to par-bake the shell. This allows the pie filling to not overcook, while still making sure the pie crust is completely baked.
The history of pudding is quite interesting. The creamy, rich pudding dessert we think of today is more closely related to custard. This is because the first puddings were mostly meat-based meals or if sweet, were more like a cake consistency. Where as custard, or the sweet almost pudding-like substance we know today, dates to the Middle Ages. Custard was associated with using eggs for their binding properties.
The emergence of the two, pudding and custard, came in the 1840's. First, as food was now more plentiful, large boiled meat puddings were no longer necessary in order to feed whole families so the tradition weened. At the same time, an English chemist introduced custard powder, and other corn starch derivatives, as an alternative to egg thickeners. This created the stage for what we know of today as pudding.
This is the video tutorial (Part I) for all the Mini Pies ( or Tartlets) in this section
Fresh Raspberry Tartlets.
This is a summertime favorite! I remember a little girl of about six who returned to our shop on vacation year after year. She would run to the pie case, eyes wide open, to find it looking back at her.
The most simple to make of any pie or tart. This is our version of a classic French fresh fruit tart. It can be made year round with the availability of fresh raspberries
Lemon Cream Mini Pies.
A Philadelphian invented the lemon meringue pie. Mrs. Elizabeth Goodfellow, a 19th century pastry shop proprietress, ran America's first cooking school. Inspired by this classic pie, I made a slight adjustment topping it with homemade fresh whipped cream.
This pie is amazing because of its use of freshly squeezed lemon juice. A sour lemon pudding topped with honey sweetened fresh whipped cream. Made into mini pies, this is like a sweet-tart!
Chocolate Cream Mini Pies.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, chocolate pudding was thought of as an appropriate food for children, the ill, and as a dessert. It was considered a wholesome, high-calorie food for those with poor appetites.
When I was growing up, a family friend would feed her husband and three growing sons a Chocolate Cream Pie every Christmas. I was happy to become a part of that tradition. With its three layers, it consisted of lightly sweetened cream cheese, homemade chocolate pudding, and a topping of fresh whipped cream. This has been one of my favorites ever since! I make them into small mini pies, so I can get one all to myself! They are naturally sweet tasting, although only a little honey is added.
This Video Tutorial makes one 10-inch Pie Shell.
Coconut Cream Pie.
It is believed that the coconut originated in the Americas millions of years ago. But it was an Englishman, J.W. Bennett, in 1831 that shared its health benefits with his European associates, such as applying charcoal from the shell as a tooth cleanser, removing wrinkles with coconut water, and using the root for medicinal purposes, that eventually brought it into the American kitchens.
With sugar becoming plentiful, the pastry business blossomed. All sorts of fruits and nuts were used. Coconut meat became a desirable product. Soon whole coconuts were shipped to London. Unfortunately it was an operation that proved impractical and expensive.
A French company came up with a unique solution. They shredded the coconut meat and dried it thoroughly, making it easier to pack without spoilage. Now coconut was able to be easily shipped abroad. By the early 1900's, coconut cream pie was the rage.
I like to add a layer of dark chocolate to the bottom of my pie shell. The combination of chocolate and coconut is pure perfection!
Individual Chicken Pot Pies.
The meat pot pie has a long history. It dates back to the Roman Empire. Pastry was used as a cooking vessel to heat the meat to keep the juices intact. In the 16th Century, the English revived the ancient custom of meat pies. The fondness for meat pies spread to the New World. By the 19th Century, Americans became enamored with pie. Today, chicken pot pie is characterized as American as baseball.
This recipe is made completely by scratch. From creating a healthy chicken stock from meat bones to making your own roux to thicken stock for gravy, this is a proven recipe that will delight your whole family and friends.
THIS ENTIRE TUTORIAL (PARTS 1 - 5) IS DESIGNED TO BE MADE OVER 2 DAYS!
BUT THE VERY AMBITIOUS COULD COMPLETE IT IN ONE DAY, GIVEN AN EARLY START
Light (or "white") roux provides little flavor other than a characteristic richness to a dish, and is used in French cooking. It contains equal amounts of flour and butter (fats).
Marie Bigbee is an inspired pie maker, mother, wife, & yogi. She has owned and operated the critically acclaimed Passionate For Pies, an artisan pastry shop located on Orcas Island outside Seattle, Washington. It specialized in organic sweet and savory pies and tarts. Every pie and tart was handcrafted with the highest quality local organic ingredients from throughout the Northwest, USA.
Marie believes in the humility of staying within the beginners mind. Creating from this place ignites the child within and allows us to open to the great potential of the unknown. She intends to inspire and direct others to this place of joy & possibility. Marie is grateful for the wonderful teachers that have helped her find the passion within. She shares with you her knowledge and experience in making pie.