All the sweet smells of holiday baking envelope visitors as they walk into the out-of-the-way kitchen of My Mom’s Pies in Niwot. But for Kini Christie and her family, smelling pie—and smelling like pie—is just an occupational hazard.
My Mom’s Pies has been in business for about four years now—and Thanksgiving is of course the busiest time of year.
Christie learned to make pie from her grandmother. Family would request that she bring her pies for events and friends would ask her to make them pies for their own family get-togethers. The business grew from a part-time gig to a dream come true.
There is no real secret to her success. Christie says pie is, well, as easy as pie.
“When I was little, I loved helping my grandma make pie. I’d pick all the fruit and then I’d peel all the fruit,” she said. “My sister and even my mom thought it was such a pain, so much work. I never thought it was a lot of work. It’s easier than cake, I think.”
That’s likely because Christie takes a straightforward approach to baking—go simple, go fresh and don’t forget the love.
Upper Crust: The most common mistake when making pie, according to Christie, is getting too handsy with the dough. Don’t overwork it. “Really, just barely knead it,” she said. Once it gets elastic-y or shrinks up, you’ve kneaded too much.
Low-Hanging Fruit: When it comes to filling, bakers should have more fruit and less filler. Use fresh fruit when possible (but make sure it’s ripe). Fresh frozen is often just as good—if not better. “Sometimes you can get fresh frozen that was frozen right when it’s perfectly ripe. That’s better than having fresh fruit that’s over ripe,” she said. Though, apples should be fresh.
Real Simple: The ingredients in a My Mom’s Pie include fruit, sugar, butter, flour and shortening. Oh, and love! It underlines the importance of enjoying the process. Don’t bake a pie because you have to, bake it because you want to. If you loath the process, just call up My Mom’s Pies.