Pie Party Photos

The pie party takes a lot of planning and a lot of work. Luckily, I’m an organized person who likes writing lists. Also, I can look at a recipe and know what I can do ahead and what has to be done at the last minute (why don’t more food writers put that sort of information into their recipes? I do!) Even with the prep that I had done all week, there was still a lot of cooking to do on Sunday. Just the Banana Cream Pie required several steps. The pudding filling was made on Saturday, so to have time to set. But, on Sunday I had to make a crust, (I was short crusts, how did that happen?) make the meringue, top the pie

and then pull out my blow torch to brown it!

The crust for the Almond-Chocolate-Pear Tart was done the day before, but the rest of the pie had to be assembled and baked on Sunday. While still warm, I brushed on an apricot jelly glaze.

I’d cooked the chicken up a week earlier, picked the meat off the bones, and chopped and froze it, but I still had to make the rest of the filling for the Pot Pie, (which entails sauteing the vegetables, adding flour to make a roux, and tossing in homegrown rosemary) roll out the puff pastry (the only dough I don’t make) and do a little decorating. I don’t often get to use this tool, but it was perfect for this job!

Doesn’t this look delicious?

The Sweet Potato Pie recipe was surprisingly complicated. I had to make caramel to sweeten the batter. The caramel provides a depth of flavor that straight sugar can’t do. It was worth it, as several people said that this pie was their favorite. This last piece was soon gone.

Here is part of the spread before the guests arrived. (That’s homemade, unsweetened whipped cream in the bottom right corner.)

And here it is later.

I was happy.

But tired.

Some of my guests, though, seemed to have unlimited appetites and energy.

Thanks to Steve Golson and Spencer Webb for the photos!


  1. Oh Terry, what lucky quests you had. That chicken pot pie is making my mouth water….I can almost smell it. One of my favorite comfort foods!

  2. It all looks delicious and I’m sure every single person appreciated your pies. It is a very good thing you are organized.

  3. Was thinking of you and your pie day yesterday! I envy your ability to do all that and have it come together so perfectly! Not something I could do, but seeing how you do it is very interesting. And I agree,… why don’t more food writers share how and what can be made ahead and what can’t?? That is of great interest to me. I’m so glad you had a great day!

    • Sharon, I never understand why a recipe will say that one small step can be done ahead, but not explain all of it. Or say whether the final recipe can be frozen. Etc. etc. I also think that many of the “this can be done one day ahead” is inaccurate. What about two days? Have they tried? I actually have made things and pushed the limits to see when failure happens. For your information, unbaked apple pies freeze successfully. Bake off from frozen (don’t defrost!), add about a half hour of cooking time, and cover the edges if necessary to prevent those from browning too dark.

  4. My goodness! I can almost smell all that wonderful food and I’m here in Texas. I love the chicken design tool. How cool is that!
    BTW: I read all your animal/hen bios. It was delightful. I love the way you describe your hens. David/ :-)

  5. Your pies were such treats for the eye, I can only imagine how delicious they must have tasted! Happy Holidays!

  6. Your pies look delicious. I hope you rest now. I like the scratch and sniff idea.

  7. It Looks like the pie party was a huge success, well done. I can’t believe how many pies were eaten.

    You deserve to put your feet up now.

  8. What a wonderful, unique spread of pies!! I saw the mention of the whipped cream and wondered if it was straight whipped cream or had been flavored but not sweetened?

    Loved the cut out for the Chicken pot pie.

  9. They all look delicious! Do you have a book with your pie recipes by any chance? or are they posted on your blog?

    • I don’t have them in a collection. Some are posted on the blog. Do an archive search and you’ll find a few recipes. I guess it’s time to write a new cookbook…

  10. I wish I still lived in Carlisle. Maybe you would have invited me to one of your pie parties. (Sigh) The best recipe source that I have encountered for advice about make ahead/freeze and bake later/etc. is the King Arthur blog. Invariably, someone writes to ask about freeze and then bake or bake and freeze. Or how to make it gluten-free. Or just to detail how they made it with slightly different ingredients. Or some other question. Their recipes almost always have a side-bar that prints out with the recipe with various tips and hints. Plus they have a dedicated question line and they’re very good about trying to solve your problem. Not to mention that they have super good recipes and share everything. And a fantastic store in Norwich, VT (and on-line) that I know you visit.

    • Yes, and I am long due for a trip up there! I like their dough conditioner and they sell Italian bread flour that makes excellent crusty bread.