CakeSpy Note: This is the second in Teeny Lamothe's Tour de Pie series on CakeSpy! Teeny is touring the country, learning how to make pies at some of the nation's sweetest bakeries. She'll be reporting here on each stop! This stop: Petsi Pies of Somerville, MA!
Where: Somerville, MA at Petsi Pies
When: November 1st through December 16th
Why: I knew that I needed to have at least one month in Boston or the surrounding area because that's where my boyfriend just happens to be going to grad school. I figured if I could combine my love for pie and my boyfriend's love for eating pie, I would be good to go. I was very persistent, perhaps to the point of badgering, but Rene McLeod, owner of Petsi, seemed more than happy to have me. They're also the place to get pie in Cambridge and Somerville. What began as an extra set of holiday hands turned into a full blown love of this Somerville shop and all the people that work there... I'll be back if I can.
How: The few weeks before Thanksgiving were filled with figuring out the day to day routine of the bakery. Their full time baker for the scone shift (which is the evening shift that makes, bakes and boxes all of the wholesale) was out of commission for my first week, so I was able to step in and lend a hand with all of the scones and muffins that get sent out to the surrounding cafes and coffee shops. The second week I learned all there was to learn about crust before the Thanksgiving chaos ensued... and after that it was madness! We had over 2,000 pies to make in less than a week, and everything went swimmingly. I think if you can survive something like Thanksgiving pie making in a pie shop you reach automatic 'fast friends forever' status. The final few weeks were filled with a much more lackadaisical baking schedule. I think my time at Petsi Pies was absolutely wonderful. I was rather hesitant in the kitchen when I first started, but I was made to feel like a baker from the first day I walked into the shop. Over the month and a half I was there I became steadily more confident. I was put on the schedule, I was given a list of things to accomplish each day that I worked, and for the first time I felt as though I made friends. Plus, I survived my first Thanksgiving as a pie baker; the pie holiday, when millions of people who aren't necessarily pie eaters indulge for the day.
Observations: I felt very settled at Petsi Pies and very much like an official baker. I loved coming into work, and having a list of things to accomplish before I left for the day. I also learned every aspect of being a baker. I learned the basics of making a Petsi Pie, of course, but I also learned a slew of their other pastries as well. I was in charge of apple cake and brownies, almond bars and brioche. Baking at Petsi made me realize that I was a baker of many things, and that there is an ease and a sense of fun that comes with spending time in the kitchen.
Thanksgiving Dinner Pie
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups shredded turkey
- 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 cups prepared stuffing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in a large saucepan and cook chopped onion until tender. Stir in celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer until tender. Stir in turkey, poultry seasoning and peas. Salt and pepper to taste. Add cranberries and take off heat. Pour into a crust lined pie dish. Cover the filling with the stuffing, like you would with a crumble. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until crust and stuffing are golden brown.