Four Fall Pies

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Fall pies (left to right): Salted Honey, Pumpkin Pecan Brittle, Chocolate Coffee Pecan, Salted Caramel Apple

Our favorite time of year has arrived at Styer's Garden Café-- pie season! With Thanskgiving celebrations on the horizon, we stopped by the kitchen to get a few tips on baking the blue ribbon pie for this year's celebrations.

1. When making a crust, be sure that you can see chunks of butter in the dough. Overmixing will make your crust dense instead of flaky.

2. The refrigerator is your friend! Allow your dough to rest overnight in the fridge before rolling it out or making a lattice. Once the dough is rolled or cut, place it in the fridge overnight again before it's time to bake.

3. When making fruit pies, be sure to use a thickener like cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot in the filling. I like to use cornstarch because it helps to absorb extra liquid from the fruit.

4. When blind baking a crust, use a fork to make sure the dough is pressed firmly against the curve of the pie tin. Then, line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with beans before baking. No need for anything fancy-- any dry beans will do!

5. For a glossy finish on lattice crusts, top the crust with an egg wash and raw sugar for a hint of sparkle. Another trick for a beautiful, golden brown lattice is to turn the oven up to 400F for 15 minutes, then down to 350F again.

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