Pie Crust Science

Pie Crust Science (2)

The lesson plan that went with Travis’s recent Apple Crumb Pie recipe delved deeper into what makes a pie crust so yummy. This was a hard one to tailor for Travis’s age, so here’s just an abbreviated version.

Start off with a read of Enemy Pie by Derek Munson, which you can find at your library or watch a full read-through online. This interesting story will whet the appetite, if you will, for pie!

Pie Crust Science (1)

Travis enjoyed watching, and afterwards we talked about what role pie had played in the story. We talked about pies we’ve made, and specifically about the components that had gone into our recent crust. I helped him remember that we had used:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • salt
  • Earth Balance butter
  • water

You can go through the reasons for each ingredient, as well as definitions for tenderness and flakiness, the two things that people look for in a “successful” crust. Another quick video clip helped Travis understand the idea better.

Raddishthen suggests letting kids become food scientists, making two different pie crusts but only changing one variable. I knew though that Travis would lose interest in taking time to bake two crusts, plus I worried two full pies would go to waste! The idea of independent and dependent variables was also a bit advanced for a kindergartner.

So instead, we baked a store-bought pie shell from our freezer that differed from our homemade crust in one significant way: palm oil as the fat instead of our Earth Balance butter. I had him do a side-by-side taste test of the crusts, both of which he declared delicious.

Pie Crust Science (5).JPG

Older kids can be much more scientific about this. Consider varying the type of flour used, the tool used for mixing, and more. Chart independent and dependent variables along a graph if your kids are old enough for that kind of math. Invite friends over for a complete taste test, if you have the time!

Pie Crust Science (4)

So this was a brief lesson for my little one, but there is lots more to explain here if desired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s