There’s no season like stone fruit season to try your hand at pie making—and who better to get a few tips from than the lovely ladies of Three Babes Bakeshop? For the past few years, Lenore Estrada and Anna Derivi-Castellanos have been crafting some mouthwatering pie combinations including Donut peach and strawberry, salty honey-walnut, and peach-tayberry. The babes stopped by the market recently to give us a few tips on perfecting our pie-making skills and talk about some of their favorite summer fruits to use in baking.
With so much amazing fruit at the market right now, choosing a favorite pie filling is tough for Lenore and Anna. “If we had to choose, I’d say the winner for us is stone fruit—but a stone fruit-berry combo is our absolute favorite,” Lenore told me. This summer they are excited about mixing it up and trying out new combinations like blueberry-rhubarb, tayberry-buttermilk, and raspberry and Emerald Beauty plum. Lenore says they also have a number of collaborations planned with some friends and fellow food makers this summer. “We'll be working with Dandelion Chocolate in June and July to make chocolate-cherry brownies and chocolate lemon bars. We’re also going to be churning out some chocolate cream pies featuring Almanac Beer's Biere de Chocolat.”
For first-time pie makers, Lenore and Anna have a few simple tips. “Make sure you leave enough time to make and chill your crust—if you rush through, the crust it will end up tough and crumbly,” says Lenore. “And whatever you do, don’t overwork your dough!” She also recommends using the ripest, most delicious fruit you can find at the market and always ask the farmer what he or she recommends that day. “Generally speaking, you can make something delicious with the things you have on hand. You don’t need special tools or specialty ingredients. Take some time to understand the fundamentals (the way the flour, fat and liquids work together) and then have fun with it.”
Try your hand at baking like a babe this month with Anna and Lenore’s recipe for lattice-topped cherry pie made with Bing cherries from Hidden Star Orchards, which they demonstrated at a recent cooking demo at the CUESA Classroom. Check out the Three Babes Bakeshop website for info on what pies they are baking up this week and where to score one of your very own.