workshop introduces Hancock County youth to the “lost art” of baking pies | Agriculture

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Lilyana Bliss quickly rolled out her pie crust, then carefully transferred it to a pie plate.

“It’s just fun for me to make pies,” said the 8-year-old from Basco. “It’s kind of a tradition in our family to bake a lot of pies.”

Her favorite type of pie, cherry, was quickly baked with varieties of apples and peaches prepared by attendees of the recent Pie 101 workshop sponsored by the Hancock County Farm Bureau.

Not far from there, Charli Wisehart, 10, got down to crimping the crust of her peach pie.

“I love pies,” said the daughter from Carthage, who already loves baking cookies and brownies.

Charli’s cousin Nolan Markey, 10, was less sure about making pie. Although not particularly interested in cooking, “I thought it would be cool” to attend the workshop, said the boy from Carthage.

Julie Knoche of Sutter Produce Co. led the first workshop with help from Farm Bureau Manager Kristin Huls and adult volunteers.

“I hope they learn a skill that has kind of been abandoned. Many people no longer know how to make pies, or even cook. I grew up making fruit pies,” said Knoche, who bakes 100 pies a week for the farm stand in Quincy and sells them at the Carthage Farmer’s Market during the height of the growing season.

The 14 youngsters participated in making pie dough in a food processor, learned how to make fruit filling and nibbled pies prepared by Knoche, who also shared some tips for working pie dough.

“Don’t handle it too much. If you handle it too much it becomes difficult, so I use a food processor to work all the ingredients together,” Knoche said. “All of a sudden, it pulls itself together. It’s very satisfying.

Then roll out the dough.

“Try to roll it out pretty thin. It gets flaky,” she said. “If you freeze the dough before you use it and then thaw it, it gets even more flaky.”

As their five-inch pies baked, the youngsters did the math with Hancock County Literacy Coordinator Dawn Weinberg, turning the recipe for one pie into a recipe for six – just like Knoche does for baking large quantities at a time – and played bingo with baking terms and ingredients.

The idea for the workshop came from conversations Huls had with parents, who said they would have liked to listen to a grandmother who tried to teach them how to make pies, and she hopes to offer similar workshops. , even one for adults, in the future.

“Pie making is kind of a lost art — and a life skill,” Huls said. “It’s also an educational thing. You learn math. You are learning science and more importantly our children are going to learn farming.

For Grace Stevens, 13, and her sister Caroline, 10, baking pies is just plain fun.

“It’s good practice,” Grace said.

“We love baking things at home, and we want to be able to bake things in the future because it’s a good skill,” Caroline said. “If you know how, you might be able to pass it on to other people like they are doing to us right now.”

Put the flour and salt in the food processor. Pulse once or twice. Add butter and margarine; mix until crumbs form. Add cold water and lemon juice and mix until a ball forms.

Makes a nine inch deep double dish crust or a single 10 inch deep crust or three five inch double crusts.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apples. Place in a nine-inch pie crust and cover with a second crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes until brown.

About Stephen Arrington

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