An Autumn Pie Party with Second and Edgemont
It's peak season at our local orchards, and we're using the bounty of fruit as an opportunity to try out some of our favorite pie recipes. Recently, our friend Amy Johnson of Second and Edgemont did the same, serving up a pie party on her porch for friends and family. We caught up with Amy after the festivities, and she kindly shared her tips for the perfect crust and a perfectly laid-back evening. Read on for her suggestions-- we're feeling inspired to serve up a few slices of our own!
terrain: What was on the menu for your pie party?
Amy: I like to host monthly pie parties as an excuse to bake with seasonal fruits and feast with friends. This time, the menu focused on an array of soft and stone fruits, including a plum-almond galette made with cream-cheese dough and plums gifted from a friend, and a peach-raspberry pie filled with fruit from a local roadside stand. I also served up a good, old-fashioned blueberry pie with a lattice top. For the kids, there were raspberry-blueberry hand pies-- although I did spy a few adult plates with them! Of course there was vanilla ice cream, too. When hosting a dessert party, I also like to serve something savory-- like cheese or spicy nuts-- to go along with the sweets.
terrain: Do you have any favorite pies to make this time of year?
Amy: In late summer, I love to bake with the later varieties of red and golden raspberries as well as figs and plums. In early fall, pears and apples make their way into pies, galettes, crisps, and crumbles.
terrain: Can you share a few tips for making a great pie?
Amy: Pie making may seem intimidating but just like anything else, practice makes perfect. Perfectly imperfect pies are sometimes the tastiest! There are many ways to crimp, fold, weave, and pinch a pie crust. To keep from getting overwhelmed, make your pie in two stages. Make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate. The next day, when the kitchen is clean and the filling is made, you’ll make more time to be creative in constructing your pie. Pie dough also freezes well; When making a pie, double the dough recipe and store half away for the next occasion.
terrain: What drinks did partygoers pair with their pies?
Amy: There was a pitcher of sangria, a few bottles of rosé, and the fixings for a gin and tonic (my favorite drink this time of year). A crock of lemonade was served up for the young folk.
terrain: Can you share some highlights from the gathering?
Amy: The day was unseasonably cool, perfect for heating up the kitchen and baking all day. The pies were displayed on pedestals and slabs of wood out on the porch where guests could easily sample. Peach-raspberry was the most popular, though my favorite was the plum-almond galette. Conversation revolved around vacation plans, upcoming concerts, gardening, and stories of a guest's recent cross-country trip. With plates of pie in hand, some of us strolled the garden to talk plants and argue who had the biggest bumper crop of zucchini. The kids played foursquare, chased after fireflies and, as the sun lowered in the sky, a game of ghost in the graveyard began. There may have been a few adults who joined in!
terrain: Are there any small touches you'd recommend to make a pie party extra-special?
Amy: Keep your invite list to a minimum-- an intimate party allows guests to sample more than one kind of pie. It’s hard to only eat one piece! If baking pie all day doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, allow guests to contribute by bringing a pie, along with the recipe to share. It’s always fun hear about the baking adventures of others. For the kids, bake a batch of hand pies, the grab-and-go alternative to a regular piece of pie. Not so messy and they don’t involve any plates or forks! Once they’ve grabbed a pie, offer a basket of flashlights for flashlight tag, sparklers, or Mason jars to collect fireflies.
There's nothing like eating pie outdoors, so host your gathering on the porch, or grab a blanket and serve picnic style. Make a playlist of some favorite tunes, or even better break out the record player and vinyl. String some twinkle lights around tree branches to make things a bit festive at sundown. Most importantly, make sure to tuck a piece of pie away for breakfast the next morning!