Paula's Pie Project Blog

52 different pies in 52 weeks

Pie #49- Pies from Mrs. Taylor’s Classes December 8, 2010

Here you go Swanson Middle Schoolers- Here’s your own blog post with all of your photos from your pie making class on Monday.

Audience you cast your vote (make a comment) on who made the best looking pie….

My vote goes to….   (scroll to bottom)

1st P/Kitchen 1


1st P/Kitchen 2


1st P/Kitchen 4


1st P/Kitchen 5  


2nd P/ Kitchen 1


2nd P/ Kitchen 2


2nd P/ Kitchen 3


2nd P/Kitchen 4


2nd P/ Kitchen 5


…And the winner is…hands down…2nd Period, Kitchen 4!  You guys  had the best looking, most FLUTED pie crust of the group.  Congratulations!

On a side note, I must say, I am completely impressed by ALL of the pie making.  Great job to ALL of you students!  By the way, I loved reading your comments on my previous post. 

This pie was by far the most fun and most memorable one I have done to date.  Thank you Chris (Mrs. Taylor) for including me in your curriculum.  I had such a blast doing this with you and your students! 

Who knows where this will lead me.  Maybe in a year or two I’ll be teaching my own Home Economics class of junior high students in Idaho the art of pie making!  Ha!  Now who’s up for another pie?….




Pie #49- Ginger Streusel Pumpkin December 5, 2010


This pie has a really great back story. 


This summer when my family was back East, we made a special trip to Washington DC so that our boys could see our nation’s capital.  My sister Denise lives north of the city in Maryland and we stayed with her during the time we were there. 


It just so happens that one of our favorite childhood friends, Chris Taylor, lives about an hour south of  her in Virginia.  (I also made a reference to Chris in Pie #40- Green Tomato since we both miss living in Ohio.) Anyway, she is a Home Economics teacher at Swanson Middle School in Arlington. Since it is difficult for the two of them to get together during the school year, they try to meet for lunch in the city during the summer so that they can catch up and let their kids play together.  This year, Denise planned their annual lunch at the Sculpture Garden during the time that we were visiting so that I could also see Chris and meet her kids. 


These photos below are from that day.    





When Chris heard about the Pie Project and my homemade crusts, she became very excited!  Of course most people don’t get excited about a pie blog, but Chris thought it was awesome.  (I love a good fan every now and again.)  Thus the seed was planted in her mind…somehow I was going to have to show her Home Economics students how to make a pie…


Well, got to LOVE today’s technology and Skype.  Both of us were first time users, but thanks to the help of my husband Travis and her tech support staff at Swanson, we got hooked up rather quickly and easily and the seed grew into reality.


So Friday morning at 7:00 am MNT, the pie project went LIVE and I made pie with about 50 kids from Chris Taylor’s class.  (You guys were awesome, by the way!)  Chris had pre-selected the pie and recipe I was going to make.  I made one pie the night before so that I could show the students what it actually looked like since I only had about 40 minutes of class time to demonstrate the process. The cooking time alone for this pie was close to an hour.  That is why you may notice photos with two different dates.


AND THEN, this coming Monday morning, when the kids get to school, they are dividing into small groups and are going to make this very same pie in class.  Chris will be taking photos of  her students in action and will send me the digital images so that I can post them here on the blog.  We will ALL be able to check out their culinary creations!  Can’t wait for that!  I think I will have to give out an award for most beautiful pie….


One last piece of advice to the students-  PLEASE remember to double-check your measurements, ESPECIALLY on the crust.





Ginger Streusel Pumpkin Pie 

I pie Shell, purchased or home made 



3 eggs

1 can (15oz) solid-pack pumpkin

1 ½ C heavy whipping cream

½ C sugar

¼ C packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cloves 



1 C all-purpose flour

½ C packed brown sugar

½ C cold butter, cubed

1/3 C finely chopped crystallized ginger 


Place pastry into a 9 inch pie plate.  Trim to ½ inch beyond the edge of the plate.  Flute the edges.

In large bowl whisk the eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugar and brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.  Pour into pastry shell. 

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

While the pie is baking, in a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar, cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in ginger.  Gently sprinkle over filling when the 40 minutes are up. 

Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.


 Source:  Taste of Home- Sonia Parvu from Sherrill, NY



Here are the photos from my pie making Skype session with the Swanson Middle Schoolers.



Personal Notes:

  • My mom’ s crust recipe is the one I used for this pie. 
  • When I made the pie on Thursday night, I ended up using my kitchenaid stand mixer.  It wasn’t necessary at all.  In fact, whisking the ingredients together like the recipe states is probably just at easy and requires very little arm power.
  • I was a little short on the crystallized ginger (about 1/4 cup instead of 1/3) but it wasn’t a big deal.  The topping was still pretty amazing.
  • LOVED the taste of this pie.  Wow!  It was much better than the average pumpkin pie.  The crumb topping was so yummy and crunchy.  A perfect 10!
  • Thanks for the recipe Chris and for the wonderful opportunity to spread the love of home-made pie to your class! XOXOXOXO