Jul 21, 2012


We have a great local Farmer's Market in Athens that runs from April - December. Local farmers and vendors proudly sell their veggies, locally-baked bread, sweets, crafts and strawberry popsicles to the smell of just-brewed coffee and the beat of bluegrass music. It's awesome - and is less than 2 miles from our house.

This week, local charity P.L.A.C.E. hosted a Taste Your Pie contest to raise funds for their mission of building a strong, accessible local food system in Athens. I decided to enter - because why not? - with this Pear Caramel Apple Praline Pie. It's a mouthful in more than one sense of the word.

We didn't win - but who really cares? Money was raised for a good cause, peeps had fun tasting it, I was kept company by a good friend in the kitchen for 2 hours yesterday while baking AND learned a few things in the process:

1. When baking a high-sugar pie, lightly coat both sides of bottom crust with flour to prevent a soggy crust.
2. In order for your top and bottom crust to appropriately bind, it's best not to blind bake your bottom crust first since it hardens and therefore won't "flute" well - even if you only blind baked it for 6 min.
3. And one more thing about the crust: cover the edges with strips of foil while baking to prevent burning.
4. Go with your instincts and don't overfill the pie with fruit, even if it's the amount the recipe calls for... more isn't always better, kiddo.
5. Your man is your biggest supporter - even when it's for something silly like a pie contest.

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