Baking Pies: Let’s Make it a Community Thing
How to plan a community pie-baking day
Baking pies together creates community. It’s really that simple. Whether it is two or ten of you, there’s something so warm and lovely about gathering to bake. Maybe you’re a pie maker. Great! And if you aren’t, do you have a seasoned baker or two in your midst? Invite them to teach the group. This is such a great opportunity to learn from them – and such a great way for someone to pass on those skills. Share it. Everyone’s going to love this fun day!
And if you don’t know someone, that’s okay. There are lots of ways to learn how to make great pie. Why not make it a chance to learn together?If none of you currently know how, you can all chip in and take a baking class together, or invite someone who DOES bake to the group to teach you how.
Who to Invite
This isn’t just for experienced bakers. You can have people of all experience levels help each other.
- Church groups
- Club members
- Anyone else you know who would love baking pies!
Location, location, location!
You don’t have to have a ton of space, however, you will need table space. If someone with a larger kitchen is willing to host, that’s awesome. If you have a smaller space, use everything from the counter, the kitchen table, and even purchase or borrow an extra folding table or two to make this a fun gathering.
Fun fact: once, when I was a kid, we had a pie day while camping. Eight women piled into my grandparents’ motorhome and created an assembly line of sorts, using every available space to make blackberry pies. If we can make pies in an RV next to the Russian River, we can make pies anywhere! Read the full story in Baking with the Bread Lady.
Make it a Potluck Style Event
Plan ahead of time. Figure out 1-2 recipes. Maybe there is a family favorite like lingonberry or rhubarb-strawberry. Maybe you want to go wild with coconut creme or my Strawberry Lemon Cream Pie.
Preparation makes it easy to have a lot of fun. Keeping this streamlined and organized will mean less chaos. Decide on crust, pie recipes and ingredient/tools. Then, assign people to bring an item or two.
The point is, don’t get bogged down by this. It’s supposed to be fun! And if you have multiple pie recipes, then maybe there will be a second Pie Day!
Preparation To-Do List
- Assign ingredients, tools, etc to each attendee.
- Who is bringing what? Make the assignment – and it is super helpful to send a couple of reminders a few days in advance.
- Assign roles, or rotate so everyone gets a chance to do each part.
- To keep it streamlined, it may be easier to have everyone just do one role. However, it can also be fun to experience every step of the process. I would say take a vote and see what everyone is comfortable with. Just remember that this is about having fun, even if everyone is pushed a bit outside their comfort zones. There’s no grade.
- When space is limited…
- I find it best to assign roles and create stations for each step. Creating an assembly line minimizes mess and keeps things organized.
Tools You’ll Need
If you’re new to baking, here’s a list of tools you’ll need:
- Rolling pins
- Pastry mats (or parchment paper)
- Paring knife (for fruit pies)
- Pie pans (heavy duty disposable is best because you can reuse them a couple times and they’re sturdy enough to transport once full of pie)
- Saran wrap
- Dried beans (a cheap substitute for pie weights for blind-baking crusts)
- Cooling racks
- Bowls for mixing dough, prepping fruit, etc
- Pastry cutter
- Pie carriers, boxes, or just use saran wrap
The Most Important Thing:
Have fun! This is about togetherness. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Not a competition (unless you make it a friendly one!)It’s just an opportunity to learn, to spend quality time with each other, and eat pie.
Oh, and don’t forget snacks and beverages. Those pies take time to bake. Stay hydrated, friends!
Want a great selection of pie recipes? Check out my new book Baking With the Bread Lady for a super easy pie crust recipe and plenty of ideas for your next day of baking pies!