Newest Recipe Testing! – Sally’s Baking Habit

Someway it’s been 2 years since I shared a Recipe Testing put up with you! Despite the fact that each new recipe I publish goes by means of a number of phases of testing, I haven’t had the time to sit down down and share a complete put up documenting my current checks and baking blunders. (And belief me, there are a variety of fails!)

4 cheesecake pies with raspberry sauce and sticky notes on top used for comparison.

With out realizing it, my behind-the-scenes posts form of took a pause in 2020—like most issues in life did—and I simply hunkered down and targeted on publishing recipes as typically as I might. My crew has expanded since (welcome, Beth!), and we’ve a brand new system for in-house kitchen work. Nowadays, new recipes you see on my web site are examined greater than they ever have been earlier than, and we’re even going again and sprucing up outdated recipes to make them higher—like honey soy salmon, breakfast casserole, and better-than-ever zucchini bread.

This implies there was SO. MUCH. BAKING!

(And I’m within the strategy of securing a publishing home for my 4th cookbook. I can’t wait to share extra particulars, hopefully quickly!!)

In as we speak’s Recipe Testing put up, I’m sharing the pie testing we’ve been doing over the summer time. From-scratch pie could be laborious work, so my crew and I repeatedly examined the next pies so the outcomes are price your effort and time.

Higher-Than-Ever Blueberry Pie

Reader opinions reporting a soupy filling impressed me to transform the baking directions on my blueberry pie recipe (initially printed in 2016), and make a slight change to the filling components. My crew and I examined a LOT of blueberry pies as we looked for the magic trick to a wonderfully flavorful, non-runny blueberry pie. The magic trick is endurance.

The earlier model of the recipe was tremendous, however the outcomes have been by no means constant. I typically had runny, under-baked pies like this:

under-baked blueberry pie with raw-looking lattice dough and runny filling.

Even the dough was uncooked typically.

Within the up to date recipe, you have to bake the pie for longer, begin with an preliminary excessive temperature after which decrease it, and let the pie cool utterly to completely arrange. All of the testing was definitely worth the effort, as a result of this actually is the finest blueberry pie I’ve ever had. And the current feedback from readers who’ve made the brand new model appear to agree!

New model units up so significantly better. Massive distinction:

blueberry pie with lattice top with slice taken out.

Peach Pie Filling That Units

For peach pie, I up to date the baking directions so it’s extra just like the brand new baking directions for blueberry pie, and the filling units higher.

I additionally discovered that chopping the peaches into chunks as an alternative of slices made a giant distinction! Not like apple pie the place you peel and reduce apples into slices, reduce your peeled peaches into small (approx. 1-inch) chunks. As a result of peaches are so juicy, slices bake into mush, whereas chunks retain extra of their deliciously gentle texture. 

And just like the blueberry pie, slicing heat offers you a soupy slice of pie. Cool for a minimum of 4 hours at room temperature as a result of the pie filling continues to arrange because it cools. I promise it’s definitely worth the wait!

peach pie slice with vanilla ice cream on top.

Graham Cracker Crust Woes

Do-it-yourself graham cracker crusts are, by rule, tremendous straightforward. Simply 3 easy components, and little or no time, effort, or talent wanted to have them prepared to your filling (versus conventional pie crust).

So updating the photographs and including clearer directions for methods to make an ideal graham cracker crust ought to be straightforward as pie, proper?


Graham cracker crumbs are surprisingly difficult. Right here’s why:

  1. The scale and weight of graham crackers can fluctuate, and producers periodically—and with out discover—change the quantity or dimension you get in a package deal. For instance, to get 1 and 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 10 full sheet graham crackers was sufficient. Now you want extra like 12. So now the 30+ recipes on my web site that use a graham cracker crust have all been up to date, to account for this alteration. No less than till subsequent time!
  2. Not all graham crackers are created equal. Beth and I examined each store-brand crackers and the favored name-brand crackers, Nabisco Honey Maid, and we concluded that the Nabisco grahams make for the crispiest crust. I’m in no way affiliated with Nabisco, simply my trustworthy opinion!
  3. It’s laborious to search out graham crackers exterior of the US! My crew and I are regularly requested about graham cracker substitutions, so now we’ve examined and are very proud of a digestive biscuit crumb crust different. You’ll find the recipe for it within the graham cracker crust put up.

As a part of this recipe replace, I did my finest to explain how I pack and form a graham cracker crust, in order that it doesn’t end up too laborious, or too crumbly, however good.

You already know… the crust Goldilocks would select:

graham cracker crust pressed into pie dish.

I additionally filmed a video tutorial to display my graham cracker crust-shaping strategies, as a result of when it comes right down to it, that is the a part of the recipe that may make or break—actually!—an excellent graham cracker crust. I hope you discover it helpful!

Cheesecake Pie Recipe Exams

My recipe for cheesecake pie was really a byproduct of all of the graham cracker crust testing. I wanted a simple filling so as to add to the various graham cracker and biscuit crumb crusts we have been cranking out, so a faster, simpler adaptation of a basic cheesecake was created.

I performed round with the cheesecake ingredient quantities and ratios, to regulate for a pie dish moderately than a springform pan, and examined leaving out the bitter cream. Whoo, was {that a} fail! I don’t perceive how the absence of bitter cream really made the cheesecake pie style extra bitter, however my first thought was that perhaps we disregarded the sugar?! (We didn’t! It tasted so very unhealthy. Don’t skip the bitter cream.)

So the cheesecake pie recipe makes use of the identical 6 components as basic cheesecake, however it contains a shorter bake time, no water bathtub, and no cooling-in-the-oven step. I ought to actually name it a cheater’s cheesecake! Some take a look at pies & crusts:

4 cheesecake pies with raspberry sauce drizzled on top.

Every topped with raspberry sauce.

Who eats all these pies? You’re most likely questioning that! Fortunately we’ve a variety of neighbors, mates, and household who are actually all referred to as Sally’s Official Style Testing Crew. 😉

Smoother-Than-Ever French Silk Pie

I’d been seeing some reader feedback concerning the filling of this French silk pie tasting a bit of grainy, from the granulated sugar not totally dissolving. So I went again to the drafting board and examined the recipe with some tweaks.

Earlier than, you cooked a few of the sugar with the eggs on the range, and creamed the remainder of the sugar with the butter. Now you’re combining ALL of the granulated sugar with the eggs, so it has an opportunity to completely dissolve. The result’s a wonderfully silky chocolate pie:

chocolate pie filling inside baked pie crust.

Staff member Trina topped it with probably the most lovely chocolate curls. (It was the very first thing I observed when she despatched me this image!) All she did was take a vegetable peeler to the perimeters of a Hershey’s chocolate bar. HOW EASY IS THAT?! Higher than ever French silk pie:

french silk pie with whipped cream and chocolate curls on top.

I feel that’s all of the testing price noting for now! I’ve a couple of extra recipes we’re engaged on proper now, so anticipate one other Recipe Testing replace this fall.

All of the Recipes in This Put up:

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