Austin pastry genius Jessica Maher’s reputation precedes her: the pie workshops she teaches at Métier Cook’s Supply, the shop where she is a co-owner, sell out immediately. (She’s already booked through August!) Lucky for the rest of us, she's willing to share her secrets for baking with the upcoming onslaught of awesome summer fruit. Here, her top seven tips for perfect summer pies.
1. Sugar smartly
My rule of thumb for fruit pies: if the fruit is ripe and juicy, add 20% by weight in sugar for the fruit. It seems to work with every fruit. Invest in a scale, and weigh in grams to be more accurate.
2. Go beyond butter
Try mixing other fats into the dough, using a ratio of 75% butter to 25 % other fat. I like using lard if my pie filling is a bit more savory, like mincemeat. You can also try tallow, if you have access to it.