I recently attended a pie-making class at The Chubby Cook presented by the proprietor of Humble Pie Baking Company (and my friend) Diane. Her pies are simply amazing. I have been buying her pies at local farmer’s markets and craft fairs. I am not a fan of pie crust. I worked as a waitress at Baker’s Square for five years, and I always threw out the crust after eating the pie innards. Not her pies! They are light, tender, flaky and crisp. I wanted to learn how to make her pie crust, so I jumped at the chance to sign up for the pie-making class.
The Chubby Cook started out as a local food blog, but Scott branched out and opened his own carry-out restaurant/catering venue, which has now morphed into a catering venue and cooking school. It is located in the shopping strip across from Moxie’s (just down from Hiroshi’s Pub). The facilities were nicely arranged and very clean. I joined my two friends there and met some of the other attendees. We all had a ball.
We were greeted by Diane and Scott and offered a glass of fresh cider from the orchard where Diane gets her apples. We put on our aprons and read through the recipe handout. Diane started out by showing us how she makes a pie: cutting the butter and lard into the flour mixture, letting the dough rest, rolling out the dough, placing it in the pie pan, making the filling (lots of apples with cinnamon and butter!) and crimping and fluting the edges. I could have been happy just eating the filling by itself.
While her pie was baking in the oven we were turned loose to make our own pie. We followed the same steps Diane used, but we had to peel the apples first (she was peeling apples when we walked in). I got fancy and added leaves made from the extra crust dough to mine to differentiate my pie from the other pies. While our pies were in the oven, we dug into her pie and she showed us how to make crust in a food processor. She was an excellent instructor. Everyone’s pies turned out beautifully.
Many attendees really appreciated all her tips like using half lard and half butter for the crust, where to purchase lard and all her tips on locally sourced produce. We all went home with our own steaming apple pie in a glass pie plate. Everyone who tried my pie that weekend absolutely raved about it. I went back a week or so later and picked up some pie crusts that she had dropped off for us. They are now in my freezer, and I can’t wait until the summer to bake and fill them! I walked out of The Chubby Cook covered in cinnamon and flour, but absolutely relaxed and ebullient. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a snowy morning than baking pies with friends.
If you haven’t attended a cooking class, The Chubby Cook is a great place to start! Check out his class calendar today!
The Chubby Cook
3365 Richmond Road, #225
Beachwood, OH 44122