Holiday Disaster: How to Clean Up Pie

Posted on Dec 18, 2013



The Great Thanksgiving Eve Pie Catastrophe

If you saw my last post you saw a beautiful, perfect crumble topped apple pie.  It was delicious, by the way.  Remarkable, really. In fact, it’s praises were sung by all at Thanksgiving and not one bit was left.  But, If you looked closely you might have noticed a discrepancy.  In the “before cooked” picture (below, top) the crust is pinched with care and glass pie dish has a small edge.  The “after” picture (below, bottom) shows no crusted edge and the pie dish has a wider, wavy rim. Trickery? Dishonesty?  No.  I can hardly stand to write this even now. It was a holiday disaster.  I dropped my beautiful homemade pie up-side down on the floor as I was pulling it out of the oven.  Nooooo!


Apple pie before and after


Admittedly, “No” is not what came out of my mouth.  I had spent all day making the crumb topping look just perfect, caramelizing the apple’s juice from letting them sit in the filling mixture, and painstakingly setting up my shot to give you the best possible visual story of my all-time favorite apple pie recipe. It was safely tucked in the oven, the mess was cleaned up, the dishwasher humming away with the last of the dirty dishes. I just needed one last shot of the finished product.  Before I could get the “Glamour Shot”, that last photo of the golden brown crumble topping and the perfectly cooked crust with a bit of the caramelized juices dripping down…

I dropped it.

I could hardly believe it myself!  All that work! All that care!  Now it was a in a shattered heap on the floor, crumble side down, crust split apart, apples bulging through, and glass shattered everywhere! I had just pulled it out of the oven and it was ever so slightly, but enough, off balance that it started to slide away from me (thankfully) and gained momentum as it went.  I thought I could save it, but my fingers were starting to burn from squeezing so hard and the cookie sheet just kept sliding down, down, down toward the floor.  Plunk!


Apple Pie disaster

“@*#%*!”   I’m not much of a swearer.  I believe in keeping those words limited so people know you really mean it when they come out.

I really meant it.

Surprisingly, my first instinct was to pick it up right away.  Even though I knew nothing was salvageable and shattered glass was strewn through it,  for a glimmer of a moment I had hope it could be saved. So I bent to pick it up.

Fortunately, The Mister had a far more rational mind than mine at that moment and stopped me just in time.  Forget the glass.  Everything in that heap was 425 degrees!  To add injury to insult, I would have burned myself too!

Since I had promised to bring apple pie to the thanksgiving gathering, I had no choice, but to brave the last-minute crowds at the grocery store.  So, while the mess cooled off I headed to the local store (mind you it’s tiny) for more apples and a new pie dish. Thankfully, the apples were easy.  A helpful employee directed me to the tiny bake ware section, but the only baking dishes they had, tin, glass or otherwise were cake pans.  Yep.  The evening before Thanksgiving and not one pie pan to be found.

I am, however, a veteran of disasters in the kitchen, so my brain went into “fix it” mode.  That tiny store has a tiny bakery section so headed on over to plead my case and get that baker to sell me one of his aluminum pie tins.  If you guessed that the only thing he had left were cake pans, you’d be right.  I was desperate, so I took it anyway and went to the checkout.  Of course it was not a “normal” item so I had to get extra help from the checker to buy my 50 cent cake pan.  Oh, well, at least it was something.  After several minutes I had checked out and was heading back home to start over.  Guess what I saw on my way out of the store.  Yep.  All the glass pie pans had been moved to the holiday display right by the exit doors.  Armed with my apples and my 50 cent tin, I have never been so happy to go through the grocery line again.  It wasn’t the same as the one I had, but so what!  It was a real pie pan. Hence the different pan.

Back at home the “pile” had cooled.  Cleaning up a heap of baked pie and glass is not as instinctive as one might think.  A mop is no good. A broom? Forget it.  The best thing for cleaning up a mess like that: a metal dustpan.




Our dustpan gets a lot of use (that’s grout from our recent shower tile redo all over it).  I scooped it under the heap and dumped the mess in a plastic lined trash can until there were only small bits of glass left. The dustpan worked like a shovel scooping up everything in it’s way, glass pie and all. Once the majority was up, we swept up the remaining glass then washed the floor and the splattered baseboard.

My sweet husband offered to remake the crust so he pulled out the extra dough he had just put in the freezer and rolled it out. Unfortunately, the new pie pan was bigger so there wasn’t enough dough left over to make another whole crust with the pretty edges.  Hence, no lovely, perfectly pinched crust in the “glamour” shot.

So now you know why the pie looked like two different ones.  It was. And, as an added bonus, if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation, now you know how to clean up a steaming pile of pie!




More Inspiration:

The Place To Go On Halloween
The Ultimate Among Christmas Tree Shops: Rogers Gardens
A Year In The Life Part 3: The Engagement Party
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