Foodwoolf on The Kitchn

Banana Cream Pie

Over at The Kitchn, an inspiring food-blog, the editors are running a Pie Bakeoff. Readers are asked to bake and photograph their favorite pie and submit the recipe for judgment. The pie bake off is, as far as I’m concerned, a true challenge: it tests my weakest cooking skills.

In my entire lifetime of cooking, I’ve technically never made a pie. I did make a delicious nectarine and rhubarb pie once, but it required culinary training wheels: a pre-baked crust.

At the beginning of the month, I lurked on the Apartment Therapy’s Kitchn website and read about other people’s pies and wondered if I would ever build up the courage to try out one on my own. When my cravings for my Grandmother’s banana cream pie overtook me, I decided to try my hand at creating my first pie from scratch. And, as I feared, I was not completely successful.

The crust was a perfect texture–crisp and flaky with a touch of flavor boosting salt–but the custard was runny because I omitted the baked meringue element from the original recipe.

Yesterday, while trying to convince myself that my tasty, albeit soupy, cream pie wasn’t so bad, the editors of the Kitchn asked readers what kept them from baking pie. With a culinary “wound” that fresh, I couldn’t help but be honest.

I admitted I am scared silly about making desserts because I can’t make mistakes without it equaling failure. I’m an impulsive cook. I hate reading recipes all the way through BEFORE starting them. I hate EXACT measurements. I like to manipulate recipes. But with baking, I know that if I miss one small and important element I will ruin the entire baking endeavor.

And that’s what I said over at the Kitchn…and they responded with a survey (inspired by my comment!) that posed the question to readers: even if you love to cook, is it possible you’ve never made a pie from scratch?

I sincerely hope I’m not alone.

Do you fear baking as much as I do?

* I should admit that I recently made a crust-free pie for my Iron Chef Challenge. Goes to show you I’ll do anything to avoid making a pie…


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.

One Comment

  1. matt wright
    November 6

    I completely hate baking. I am the same way as you – more of an impulsive cook. I hate exact measurements.

    Baking just seems like a black art to me. I guess it just takes practice.. How do you know when a dough is the perfect consistancy? your pie crust isn’t too dry? All practice.. and I don’t want to have to end up eating 1000 pies to get it perfect!!

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