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Pie Anxiety

Pie Anxiety
Olivia Pisano, Pie Bar
Pie anxiety, whenever you're near
Pie anxiety, it's you that I fear.
My heart's afraid to fly- it's crashed before...
But then you take my hand;
My heart starts to soar once more.

Pie's always the same;
Pie's you that I  blame.
It's very clear to me that I've got to give in...
Pie anxiety- you win!*

Ah, Pie Anxiety. We've all felt it; the pull to approach this Fall-season staple with a swashbuckling attitude and try our luck. We've heard the horror stories and cautionary tales, but something in us just says "Go for it."

So, where do we start, and how do we work through our nerves to navigate this proliferation of pie-soaked pages? Ranging from the less-than-helpful, dusty old church cookbooks that could use a touch more instruction than the bare ingredients list, to detailed descriptions of overly-ambitious decorations worthy of a professional photographer, the variety of all things "pie related" is enough to make any baker's head spin. Here are a few helpful tips from someone who has made every confectionary mistake possible- and now gets paid not to!

First, and most importantly, start simple and enjoy yourself. Take your sweet adventure one step at a time and allow yourself some room for error. Pick flavors you like with ingredients you know how to handle. I'd also suggest planning ahead: are you making this pie for an event? If so, what can you do ahead of time to ease your way in and make the actual baking day less frenzied and more enjoyable?

Second, do your research. There are plenty of  YouTube videos demonstrating exactly how to make a pie crust, start to finish. No more guessing or keeping your mom on the phone for an hour! All of the finesse of mixing to rolling to crimping and beyond is in a format that you can transcribe and replay at will (or you can make it even easier and pick up a Pie Provisions crust mix, complete with instructions written in loving detail by all of us here at Pie Bar**). There are even a fair number of "what went wrong?!" baking forums to help you along the way, should something go awry, which reminds me...

Expect some things to go wrong. It sounds weird, but baking is a science, and sometimes science doesn't go the way you planned, especially when you have a dozen people waiting on that "amazing" dessert you've promised and have been working on all day...anyway. Stuff happens. It's not the end of the world. Just add some whipped cream and no one will care (which, by the way, is extremely easy to do at home and is easily personalized). More to the point, your guests will probably just be happy that someone else made a thing that they didn't have to make. In the event that nothing goes right and you are at your wits' end, come pick up a pie from Pie Bar and put it in your own baking dish. We won't tell ;)

*Paraphrasing of "High Anxiety" by Mel Brooks- not original!
**Shameless plug