By Sam Mathew, Pie Bar Marietta
You’re here with Sam, the new Pie Bar Marietta Shop Manager! Before I began working at the Marietta shop, I was in Pie Bar’s kitchen as a baker making and baking all the pies you see in the stores. I’ve learned so much from that experience and wanted to share some of those wonderful moments with y’all. Today, I’ll be sharing my top five baking appliances that I can’t live without. Let’s get started!
1. First, my number one baking appliance has to be a Kitchen Aid Mixer. Without one of these, our bakers would probably spend hours just making one pie! It allows us to mix ingredients at varying speeds without having to keep an eye on them the entire time. For example, Pie Bar’s Key Lime Pie begins with us whipping egg yolks at very high speeds till the yolks get airy and light. This process takes roughly 6 minutes with a stand mixer but would take WAY longer if we had to whip it by hand. Thank you Kitchen Aid for saving us bakers from a strenuous arm workout!
2. My next favorite baking appliance has to be the simple Rubber Spatula. Although basic in its look and design, a rubber spatula is a vital utensil in the pie-making process. When making fillings for many of our pies, there are points where we have to stop using an electronic mixer and mix the filling by hand to ensure everything is combined properly. A rubber spatula makes this step so much easier and allows the baker to evenly fold all the ingredients together. It is also helpful in ensuring our cream pies have a thick, even layer of whip cream and gives us the freedom to make cool patterns in the cream as well. So the next time you see your toasted coconut cream pie with that thick swirl of whip cream, you can thank our handy rubber spatulas!
3. Investing in a High-Quality Rolling Pin is important if baking is something you do a lot at home. In fact, Pie Bar offers locally made rolling pins by Mike Baumgardner and Lazy Beagle Woodcrafts which are hands-down better than any rolling pin you can get at a store. They last a very long time, are made with all-natural wood, and allow you to directly feel the pressure you are applying to your dough. I have one at home and any time I make biscuit, pie, or bread dough, it always comes in handy and is so easy to work with. If you call yourself an at-home baker, a rolling pin is a must-have kitchen appliance.
4. Now, this next item has many different names, but I’ve always referred to it throughout my life as a Strainer. I’ve heard people call it a sieve, sifter, and even wire-mesh filter! But no matter what you call it, its purpose in the kitchen is crucial in ensuring a quality product and the safety of our customers. Any time I crack and whisk eggs, I strain the egg mixture into another bowl to make sure no little bits of eggshells sneak into my filling. So regardless of the name, a strainer is an item we can not bake without in the kitchen.
5. And finally, I think baking is so much fun, but the one part that I can’t stand is the amount of cleaning that I have to do afterward. Not only do I have to clean a sink full of dishes, but then I have to clean and scrape off all the flour and butter bits stuck on my countertop. Although this is always something I loathe when baking, it is super important to keep a clean and sanitary workspace at all times. That’s why I really appreciate having a Bench Scraper on hand. A bench scraper is a flat, rectangular piece of metal with a handle along one edge. It has a multitude of uses from cutting butter, portioning out dough, and my favorite, scraping off stuck-on flour and other bits that may be stuck to your countertop. Having a bench scraper on hand makes the cleaning process after baking much easier and quicker. It definitely makes my least favorite part about baking just a little bit better.
And that’s pretty much it! Thank y’all for reading! I know I talked a lot but I could go on and on about anything baking and pie related. If you want to see me and chat some more, come to Pie Bar in the Marietta Square and I’ll be more than happy to serve you a slice of pie with a cup of coffee and a good side of fun conversation.
See you soon!