Perfect Pie Troubleshooting
My students finished their individual apple pies today. They have been busy all week. Although I promised I would grade on process over product, I was still impressed at the finished results. Students were proud of themselves too!
I was surprised by how many people were surprised that my students made their own crust, even the school lunch director. She brought my order of flour and I shared that the students would be making pie. “Really?” she asked, “Are they making their own crust?”
To make a 5″ double-crust apple pie, each student prepared one 9″ single pie crust (1 cup flour, 1/3 cup shortening). Groups made one recipe of pie filling to share between three pies.
My classroom has never smelled so great. Students I have never seen before were poking their heads in asking what we made. It’s great publicity for my program.
I want to share this great online resource I used to help students evaluate the pie. Most of them did not have previous experience making or even eating homemade pastry. It was good to have an objective list with a clear solution to each problem.
This was great for me, too. Baking a great pie is quite an accomplishment. Although I like to bake pie, I rarely eat it. The checklist helped me understand what other people are looking for.
If making your first pie seems overwhelming, consider breaking it into steps. I try to keep a balance between hands-on learning and lecture. Breaking a lab up over several days encourages students to stay on task during lecture because they will directly apply their skills the next day.
On Monday I demonstrated a pie crust. Tuesday, students made their pie crusts and refrigerated them. On Wednesday students filled their pies. The pies were finally baked yesterday, left to cool, and
eaten evaluated today.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed with a big task, like keeping up on my blog, organizing a closet, or writing a pattern. I just need to learn to manage my life like I manage my lesson plans.