Sarabeth Levine - Goddess of Bakedom
 
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CATEGORY: Pies

 

HOLIDAY CRANBERRY-APPLE PIE

 

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This pie is one of my favorites.  Quintessentially tart, yet perfectly sweet, with just the right balance of spice—andthe ruby like color is spot on for Christmas or New Years. Use your own recipe for a double crust, or try my recipe for Tender Pie Dough. The beauty of this delicious streusel topped pie is that you are going to create a double crusted pie with only one piece of dough. It is a quick and easy technique that I use every time I make a fruit pie. You will love this method and I know you will use it on all of your pies as well. This pie will not disappoint!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year. 

                                                                                               


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THANKSGIVING RUSTIC APPLE PIE

 

This is the time of year that we make 1000 pies. You have no idea what it's like to make 1000 hand-made pies in one day! I only bake three varieties—Pumpkin, Apple and Pecan—otherwise it would get too crazy. We prepare all the pie dough about a week before so it can mature and the gluten can relax in our walk-in freezer. Today we will make the Pumpkin and Pecan fillings and they will chill in the refrigerator until very early tomorrow morning when the pies are filled and the oven madness begins. Twenty-five cases of fresh apples will arrive this morning and we will  peel and slice them tonight. Early tomorrow morning the apples will be seasoned in small batches and the unbaked shells will be filled, shaped and topped with our delicious streusel. Each pie is handcrafted, just the way you would make them at home. This is an  easy single-crusted covered pie— kind of resembles a big dumpling. You can make your own in your favorite pie dish, with my recipe that I posted recently in full detail —and here it is again. Or, if you have my book, open it to page 180  Oh, by the way, the recipe for my creamy Pumpkin Pie is also in my book.  

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               This is what it looks like UNBAKED and then...

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                                                               BAKED

If you don't have time to make your own, let us bake one for you. This pie won the Macy's Best Apple Pie Bake-Off this year. Available at the bakery and by special order and can be picked up at all of our Sarabeth's restaurants. Sarabeth's Bakery, 75 9th Avenue, NYC. It is best to order in advance, so give us a call 212-989-2424. Don't forget to buy a jar of my Cranberry Relish to go with your Thanksgiving Turkey. If you stop by, please wave at me through our glass window and I will wave back.   HAPPY THANKSGIVING


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APPLE PIE

 

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These could be the most beautiful and delicious apples I have seen or eaten in a long time. These Macouns are just huge and I couldn't wait to bring them to the bakery to make my first apple pie of the season. They are crisp and juicy, not too sweet —great for eating as well as baking. The visit to the local farm out East was a family affair. My daughter Tina and my three granddaughters, Sammijo, Lilli and Chloe where there to help choose our favorite variety. It was an easy decision because we sampled right from the trees before we made our final decision—these were the winners across the board.


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HOW TO MAKE PERFECT MERINGUE

 

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Making perfect meringue for lemon tartlets or a pie is like winning the Oscar. For years I struggled each time I tried to make meringue, always experiencing disappointment. I would make this gorgeous pie, prepare the meringue, pipe it on and admire the results. Immediately, after removing it from the oven it would start to deflate and within two hours weep— ruining my beautiful flaky crust. Fellow bakers would tell me, "It doesn't keep well and so you have to serve it right away". I couldn't accept that kind of thinking and decided to do my own research and experimentation. I knew most recipes specify cream of tartar to stabilize the whites (ugh, I hate that awful taste), and others suggest a dash of lemon juice or a pinch of salt (not much better). You can always heat the sugar and water to 236°F. and carefully add it to the beaten whites in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer using the whisk attachment. This method is successful but you have to be very careful handling the hot syrup. It is important to make sure the egg whites are cooked to 160°F (according to recommended food safety regulations). Using the following method will assure you completely cooked egg whites that are safe to eat, and retain their beautiful shape when beaten into a meringue.


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TECHNIQUE:HOW TO ROLL AND BLIND BAKE A PIE SHELL

 

Here are a few photos that are definitely worth checking out. I decided to photograph this easy technique for you to see how simple it is to roll out and blind bake (pre-bake) a pie shell. This will be very helpful when you want to make a lemon meringue, banana cream, or chocolate pudding pie —or any pie that requires a baked shell that will be filled and chilled to set before serving. Use this technique with your favorite pie dough recipe, or use the Tender Pie Dough recipe from my baking book, Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours. I know you will be very pleased with the results.

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Blind baking is when you bake a pie or tart shell partially or completely before you add the filling. The shell is at its personal best when baked this way. It allows the pastry to bake completely and achieve its signature light and flaky texture. 


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