Pie basically comprises three F's: flour, fat and fun (or filling). Petra Paredez, head baker and co-owner of New York's Petee's Pie Company, has mastered the three F's. And it seems pie making runs in the Paredez family — her parents own Mom's Apple Pie Company a trio of if-you-know-you-know pie shops in Virginia.
Since opening her first pie shop in the Lower East Side of New York city in 2014, she also opened Petee's Cafe in Brooklyn where she serves pies, cocktails and natural wine. Now she wants to share her knowledge of pie making with her loyal New York pie eaters and those who haven't had a chance to try a slice. In her recently released book Pie for Everyone ($28), Paredez offers up over 80 at-home pie recipes that even amateur bakers can tackle. With sweet pies and savory ones, humble apple fillings to exotic custards, there's literally a pie for everyone. We caught up with Paredez who shared the kitchen essentials she uses to make some of New York's best pies — and now you know the tools of the trade.
OXO Silicone Pastry Mat
"This thing is great because it has multiple uses: it keeps your counter clean as you roll out dough, the handy guide helps you measure as you roll, you use it to transfer delicate dough into a pan without breaking, and it’s oven safe so you can line a baking tray with it to catch drips when the pie filling bubbles over. It's super easy to clean, too."
Norpro Silicone Basting Brush
"I always brush the top crust with egg wash before baking. Natural bristle pastry brushes are hard to clean thoroughly and the egg wash can stick to the bristles and make them clump together. This brush is easy to clean and super gentle, which is great for a tender, delicate dough."
"Pie crust bakes consistently in the commercial convection ovens in my bakery. In a regular home oven, though, the edge crust can cook a lot faster than the rest of the pie. This pie crust shield is perfect for my delicate butter crust because it’s lightweight enough that it won’t crush the edge."
Ozeri Touch Waterproof Digital Kitchen Scale
"All of my recipes use weight instead of volume to measure ingredients such as flour and fruit. Having a scale that is easy to clean and you don’t have to worry about spilling on is a must."
Breville Control Grip Hand Blender
"We use massive commercial immersion blenders at Petee’s to make enough filling for, say, 100 pumpkin pies at a time. At home, though, the Breville immersion blender is pretty perfect. It doesn’t take up much space, and it can do many of the same jobs as a stand mixer, food processor and standard blender. I use immersion blenders to make smooth pie fillings (everything from sweet potato to chocolate chess), to whip cream or meringue with the whisk attachment and to make purees."