Pies are delicious. I think that’s something we can all agree on. But, they’re also cumbersome. They rest in big, heavy dishes that are a huge pain to carry around. Portable? As if. And as someone who loves taking baked goods to school to share with people, portability is a big issue. But the taste of a pie is incomparable, and the flakiness of a good crust is superb. Solution? Pie pops.
What does it take to make a pie pop? Well, I could say that it’s just filling some pie crust with fruit and thrusting it on a stick. But that would be downplaying it. Pie pops are more than painstaking to make; they take time, effort and a ridiculous amount of care to make them just right. It’s a pretty grueling process, but it’s also a labor of love.
My last project for Baking Bites was salted caramel brownies. They tasted amazing, but were ridiculously sloppy. So this time, I decided my outcome would turn out much better.
I began by mapping out all of the steps it would take to make pie pops. First, I would need to make pie crust. Then, after wrapping up the dough and letting it chill for two hours, I would have to make the fillings. Once the fillings were made and the pie dough was chilled, the dough would need to be rolled out and cut into thin circles. After transferring the circles to a parchment-(or in my case, foil) covered tray, I would press lollipop sticks into the dough, spoon out some filling, and then top every pie pop with another layer of crust. Once they’ve baked for about 15 minutes, boom. Pie pops.
The process, when written out like that, sounds complicated. Trust me, it is. Anyone who has ever said something is “easy as pie” is a dirty liar. Pie is hard. Pie pops are even harder. Take the difficulty of pie making, and multiply that by 20. And as much as I love baking, it sucked.
Making the dough was definitely laborious. Yes, it might have been easier if the bowl I was using was the right size. Maybe I would have had a better time if my arm muscles weren’t nonexistent, a fact that makes cutting butter into flour impossible. But I persevered and wound up with what looked like pretty good dough.
The rolling and cutting-out process wasn’t too horrible, but it went much too slowly for my taste. After moving my pie circles to the baking sheets, I set about making the fillings.
At about that time, I realized I had yet to make the most important decision in the pie pop-making process. Oh right, the flavor. Rather than wracking my brain for something inventive and unique, I went with two pie staples: cherry and apple.
After about two hours total of preparing the pie pops, I was already completely exhausted. Plopping fillings onto the pie circles was thankfully the easiest step. But I still had the final challenge to complete, which was pressing down the top crust. And as much as I would like to sound like some sort of pie-hero, conquering pie pops and slaying top crusts, it was a pretty chill final step. But like the rest of my baking adventure, it was time-consuming.
The result, however, proved to be fantastic. Amazing. Marvelous. Whatever adjective you want to use. They turned out beautifully and tasted heavenly. Take every single one of your grandmother’s homemade pies and throw them out the window, because nothing your grammy could make is as good as my pie pops. Seriously.
The pie overall was warm, sweet and the crust was a perfect blend of crunchy and soft. Cherry and apple were perfect, and in retrospect I’m glad I stuck with flavors so basic. The crust was heavenly. It was like tasting the manna of the gods. Utterly unreal. And as delicious as the pies were, on a stick, they were also adorable.
And after finishing my pie pops and giving them to a friend for her birthday, I asked myself: what did I learn from this? Did I learn anything? The answer is both yes and no. No, I didn’t learn any practical life skills. No, I didn’t solve some monumental problem or world issue. But what I did learn is that I will never make another pie pop as long as I live. Fantastic taste or not, spending 3+ hours making mini pies is frankly just not worth it. Sorry to break your heart, but deep down, I’m just a simple girl who likes making simple treats. And that’s that.