Have a sweet tooth? Want to show off your baking skills at your wedding? With wedding guest lists growing smaller & plans more petit, there's never been an easier time to craft your own desserts for your wedding day!
We've covered before all the best tips for baking your own wedding cake. But maybe you don't like cake or are still leaving that special confection to the pros? There's an alternative wedding dessert that's easy enough (and honestly, easier than cake) to make yourself ahead of time and include in your wedding menu: pie!
I bake quite a lot. Not only for the two of us, but I'm always planning get-togethers just for the excuse to cook & bake for others. The key to baking for a party (whether your wedding or any special occasion) is careful recipe planning. You want to choose recipes that…
- You can bake ahead of time. (I advise against baking on your wedding day!)
- Won't become dense, soggy or dry in the fridge or counter overnight.
- Can transport well.
Turns out, pie is all of these things! You'll also want to choose something that is in your wheelhouse – a type of dessert you often make or have the foundational skills for. Or, give yourself plenty of practice runs & taste tests beforehand. Your fiance & friends will appreciate frequent pie taste tests, I promise you.
Finally, you'll want to factor in serve ware & transport. I like to shop for cake stands (which are great for pies, too) & eco-friendly bakery transport boxes on Etsy. You can also make mini pies as favors or to serve on each plate!
Below, I've shared my tips, tricks & recipes for baking delicious wedding pies. Once you've chosen the perfect wedding pie recipe to make yourself, here are some classic & unique cocktail pairings for desserts that sound so delicious!
In the cake vs pie debate, I'm staunchly in the pie camp. Not only is pie just delicious in general it is such a fantastic wedding dessert. While cake has the tendency to dry out over a few days, pie tastes even better the days after you make it! All that gooey fruit melds together through osmosis and gives you an explosion of flavor. There are so many dough recipes, flavor possibilities & methods to pie-making to fit your fancy.
Finally, I tend to like making rustic-looking desserts for parties because honestly, it's hard to make it look bad! It's super east to cover your mistakes with pie. That means less stress & less f-bombs the days before your wedding.
Making the Pie Crust
My favorite crust recipe is Martha Stewart's Basic Pie Crust.
But, I have an extra secret for you: swap the water for chilled alcohol. Why? Water plus flour makes gluten, which gives you a tougher crust. Alcohol, on the other hand, will burn off in the oven leaving you with an extra flaky, even more buttery crust. This also means you can use more alcohol than you would use water, making it easier to bring the dough together.
Use flavorless alcohol like vodka if you don't want to impart any added flavors into your crust. Me, on the other hand? I like to choose alcohols with flavors that compliment my pie filling. Bourbon will add that sweet malty flavor. I once hid a fancy bottle of Walnut Schnapps deep in a cupboard to save solely for nutty, berry pies. It's fun to experiment with botanical spirits as floral notes go fabulously with blueberries & blackberries (my favorite!)
Plan ahead tip: You can make your pie crusts well ahead of time, freezing your prepared disks for up to three months and thawing them when you're ready to make your pies.
Fun Pie Fillings
Making a fruit pie filling is quite easy. You just need your fruit, some type of sugar, a tablespoon or so of starch and a little squeeze of citrus. All of these ingredients will macerate together (aka ‘sit and get juicy') as you prep all your pie dough & baking station.
For custard pies, you'll make use of your blender or whisk with a puree of your chosen flavor, eggs, milk or cream, sugar & any extra flavor.
Below are a few fabulous pie-filling flavor ideas for every season. You can use their suggested pie crust recipe or just pair their filling recipes with Martha's pie crust above.
Claire's Oregon Lavender Blueberry Galette
It would be wrong of me to not give you at least one of my own recipes. I'll keep my sacred Rhubarb Pie recipe with me to the grave but I'm happy to share my Oregon Lavender Blueberry Galette recipe.
A galette is an even easier, more rustic pie (meaning, even harder to eff up!) where the filling is placed on a rolled out pie crust & then the edges are folded inward a bit. You can absolutely turn the below recipe into a proper pie instead, just make two pie crusts rather than one and use a pie plate rather than a sheet pan.
The recipe makes one galette, multiply the ingredients for more galettes.
1 Martha Stewart's Basic Pie Crust – Swapping the water for alcohol, I like Barr Hill Honey Gin for this pie
2 pints of Fresh Blueberries
1 – 2 tbsp Honey
1 tsp Dried Culinary Lavender
2 tbsp Corn Starch (or Flour)
Pinch of Salt
1 tbsp Butter – I like using cultured, European-style butter for the best flavor. Kerrygold works great!
1 Egg Yolk
1 tsp Sugar
- Start by making Martha Stewart's Basic Pie Crust. You'll need just one dough for each galette you make.
- Chill pie dough disk in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to three months in the freezer.
- If your pie dough is frozen, place it in the refrigerator the night before to thaw overnight.
- Combine blueberries, honey, zest & juice of one-half lemon, lavender, corn starch & salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly; it's okay if some berries get a little smashed, just not all. Taste, after 20 minutes. Add more or less of the honey, lavender & lemon based on your preference. I like a more balanced, more floral, less sweet pie. But feel free to add more honey if you like. Let your berries macerate on the counter for an hour or so.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a baking stone, place that on the middle rack of your oven.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a cool counter and flour generously.
- Remove the pie dough disk from the refrigerator and let sit on the parchment for 5 minutes or so.
- Roll out your pie dough disk into a large circle, 1/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks considerably while rolling the dough is too cold. Let the dough sit for another 5 minutes or so and try again.
- Transfer the pie crust with the parchment paper onto a sheet pan.
- Pile your macerated berry mixture into the center and dot with bits of butter. If you have too many berries, you don't have to use them all. (Maybe save for ice cream, your morning yogurt or another dessert!)
- Fold edges over the berries. You can fold them far into the center for a thicker, tighter galette or just barely over the edges of the berries for a thinner, wider galette. Up to you!
- Make an egg wash and brush it on the crust.
- Sprinkle sugar onto the entire galette.
- Place on the baking stone if using it. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until golden brown.
This galette will taste best the next day or two after it's been baked. You can keep it at room temperature on the counter or even freeze once cooled from the oven and thaw it a day before eating.