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Pie is a classic dessert that's perfect for any occasion or family gathering. Some pie recipes are complicated and time-consuming, especially if you're making a crust from scratch. However, there are plenty of simple shortcuts that can turn pie-making into a fun, fast, and kid-friendly activity.
Here are a few tips and tricks in making pies at home with your kids!
1. Use pre-made pie crust.
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Whether you need a traditional pie crust or a cookie/cracker crust, it's easy to find in the store. Pre-made pie shells, which come in a disposable tin pie dish and are ready to be filled, can be found in the frozen section.
You can also find ready-to-bake rolls of pastry dough in the refrigerated/dairy section of the grocery store. For these unbaked crusts, make sure the dough is just a little bit colder than room temperature for optimal sturdiness.
If you’re looking for a cookie or graham cracker crust, head over to the baking aisle — no need to refrigerate or freeze it!
2. If you want a scratch-made crust, use graham crackers.
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You just need butter, sugar, graham crackers, and a food processor. Not only is it super easy, it also bakes faster than traditional pie crust. Some recipes may not even call for baking the crust, and just require it to set in the fridge or freeze.
3. Try a no-bake filling.
Image Credit: Julias Simply Southern
No-bake recipes come together in a snap. You just might need to wait for the filling to set! Many no-bake pie fillings take the ‘semi-homemade’ route; ingredients like frozen whipped topping, instant pudding and canned fruit make perfect pies without a lot of fuss.
Taste of Home’s banana cream pie uses both instant pudding and whipped topping for a simple filling, while this no-bake layered cherry pie from Julia’s Simply Southern takes advantage of premade cherry pie filling.
4. Let the kids have fun with toppings.
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Assemble the crust and the filling quickly with store-bought ingredients, then let the kids play and explore by cutting out fun pie crust shapes and using other decorations for the top. They’ll be sure to enjoy their dessert even more after they’ve helped in its creation. Fruit, cookie crumbles, and sprinkles can all make great additions, but the only limit is your family’s imaginations!
5. Make mini pies.
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The smaller the pie, the faster the bake! You'll get all the delicious flavors and textures of a full-size pie in adorable bite-size portions. You can use muffin or cupcake tins to help you portion the pies properly.
These mini apple pies from Live Well Bake Often cook up quickly and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Don’t want to turn on the oven at all? Try a no-bake option, like these individual frozen key lime pies from This Silly Girl’s Kitchen.