It’s officially the holiday season and you’re in charge of bringing a pie(or two) to the family get-together, but you’ve realized that with everything else going on that you aren’t going to have time to make said pie(s). But don’t panic, because your local bakery is on standby with fresh pies being churned out daily and even some made-to-order!
Pies have become quite a popular holiday tradition to the point where they are as iconic as turkey and dressing. Most people can’t imagine a holiday without their favorite pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie, whether you and your family believe firmly in making your own pies by certain tried and true recipes handed down over the generations or you buy one made by the professionals at your local bakery.
However, not all bakeries nor their pies are all the same. So if you or any of your loved ones are particular when it comes to their pies, check out our list of tips as well as some things to consider about picking the perfect holiday pie from your local bakery!
Check Out Reviews
If your local bakery has a social media page or its own website, check and see if they have any reviews on their baked goods in general and the specific pie you’re considering purchasing. If most of the reviews were satisfied with their baked goods overall and that particular pie, then you’re on the right track. Ask friends and family if they’ve ever tried them if you can’t find reviews, and if all else fails, stop by and if they serve their pies by the slice, try one for yourself and see how you like it.
Go to the Bakery in The Morning
If at all possible, go to the bakery during the morning hours because that is the best time to get straight-from-the-oven-fresh goods including pies.
One of the most important details when it comes to a good pie is its crust. When you’re checking out the pies at your local bakery and taste testing isn’t an option, unless you or someone you know has had these pies before and can attest to their quality, make sure that as much of the pie as you can see is a nice, golden brown color and that it looks flaky and tender. You want a tender, flaky crust that is done all the way through but not burnt, or it can quickly ruin what could be a good pie.
While you’re checking over the pie selection, make sure that you’re paying attention to the filling as well, provided that you can see it and it’s not under a top crust. You want the filling to be firm, smooth, consistent, and properly cooked. If it jiggles more than it’s supposed to, if it’s runny, or if the ingredients don’t look like they cooked properly, then it’s a no-go pie.
If you’re able to try some pie before purchasing a whole one, when you’re tasting it, make sure that the flavors blend well together and that it has the correct flavor profile for that type of pie. For example, with an apple pie, you’re going to pick up on the apples, cinnamon and/or nutmeg, and brown sugar and how they all blend together to make that classic apple pie flavor.
The Perfect Fresh Fruit Pies
When it comes to the holiday season, you want fruits that are in season such as apples, cranberries, and pears. However, blueberries and cherries are also wonderful fruit pies that can be served any time of year, warm or room temperature.
Along with checking out the pie to ensure that it looks like good quality, you should also check and make sure of its ingredients before purchasing. Some folks have allergies to spices, glutens, and other food products, so to make sure you don’t pick up something that has what could potentially be a dangerous ingredient, ask the person at the counter if they can tell you what is in it so you can make the best decision possible. If you have severe food allergy sufferers in your group, it may be a good idea to custom order your pie a few days in advance to make sure you get it in time.
When it comes to choosing your perfect pie, you are going to want to choose one that has packaging that can withstand traveling, possibly being dropped, and that of course seals in all of that fresh baked goodness. Also, just in case you’re having to buy your pie more than a day or two before the gathering, you’ll want to make sure that this packaging will help keep it fresh in the fridge or freezer.
Will it Be Eaten After the Holiday(s)?
As you’re selecting your pie or pies, think about whether or not it will be something that will be eaten after the get-together. Is it going to have just a couple of slices cut out of it and then sit for a week until it’s thrown away? If this is the case, skip that type of pie and just go for one or two that you know everyone will eat and continue eating so that it’s not wasted. Fruit and chocolate pies pair well with vanilla ice cream, so they make a great after-holiday dessert option.
Gathering together with loved ones for the holidays can be a fun and exciting time, but when you’re trying to balance your busy every-day life with making time for traditions it can become stressful rather quickly. There is no shame in buying a pie from your local bakery instead of making one yourself. Perhaps you just aren’t a baker, or you just don’t have the time. By purchasing a pie from your local bakery, you aren’t taking an easy way out – you’re supporting a local business; you might be helping make a house payment or paying for a child’s dance or karate lessons. No matter what, enjoy that delicious pie and time with your loved ones this holiday season!