Of all of the presents that my parents ever gave me, my very favorite was the 1970 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. Having noticed that I was always underfoot in the commercial kitchen of my maternal grandmother’s restaurant, the Port Arthur; my parents gifted me with this cookbook as a Christmas present when I was ten years old.
This cookbook which has long since fallen to pieces, introduced me to the basics of homestyle food preparation. Included among the colorful pages with mouthwatering photographs of all sorts of foods was an entire section about pies. In addition to a basic recipe for making a pie crust from scratch were all sorts of recipes for different types of pie. There were recipes for fruit pies and cream pies and custards, tarts, meringues, and chiffons.
Since I knew that my father’s favorite pie was cherry, I waited until my parents went out shopping before going to the kitchen to make my dad a cherry pie. Although I was quite successful with the physical act of assembling this pie, in my haste to finish this before my parents got home I made the mistake of using a recipe for fresh cherry pie filling. Since I didn’t have any fresh cherries, I substituted a canned filling. Given my youth and inexperience, I didn’t realize that canned filling was a ready to use product that should have been poured into the prepared pie crust. Since I was using a fresh cherry pie filling recipe, I thickened the canned cherries with cornstarch and added sugar before filling the pan and completing the pie.
My parents were astonished to find a freshly baked cherry pie waiting for them when they got home. After learning what I had done, my mother was furious that I had been in the kitchen without permission. “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?” she screeched as she complained about how I had rummaged through her kitchen drawers and that I had operated an oven without adult supervision. While my mother was scolding me, my father leaned over the pie, took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and smiled. After seeing my father smile, mom abruptly stopped screaming and stormed out of the kitchen.
After dinner that night, my father sliced and served the pie. I was so eager to taste this dessert that I quite forgot my manners. Instead of waiting for everyone to be served, I picked up my fork and took my first taste of this pastry. The pie was so cloyingly sweet that I couldn’t eat it. My mother and sister also refused to eat this pie.
My father ate all four slices. He thought it was delicious. While I appreciate the fact that he liked this pie (and ate the rest of it the following night), the memory of this experience has quite put me off over ever again eating cherries. Although I liked cherries as a child, I can no longer eat them because their taste reminds me of the cloying sweetness of the first pie that I ever baked.
Having received a fresh supply of silicone, I sculpted a clay model for a small 3.75 inch diameter pie. To make the pie more visually interesting, I cut away part of the crust and made a cavity for the filling. Since blueberries are my favorite type of fruit pie, I melted Golden Soy Wax 416 and added blueberry and freshly baked pie crust candle aromas. Once the wax had set in the mold, I removed the pie (pictured above) and made a filling using medium density candle gel with a dark purple-blue filling. Picture below is the result.
To make this pie more realistic, I brushed it with orange-brown wax to give it “baked” highlights. I also used a knife to cut three “air vents” which I brushed with filling to simulate how juice from the filling would have bubbled up through the vents as the pie was baking.
This pie looks and smells scrumptiously delicious. It reminds me of the four ounce miniature pies that are sold at Walmart for just 50 cents each. Since I’m on a diet, my pie candles are about as close as I’ll be getting to a real pie for the foreseeable future.
I have since used this mold to create additional pies. I have not yet added wicks to any of these new models. Since soy candles need a minimum of two weeks to cure, I have to wait for fourteen days prior to lighting up the test model. I am uncertain at this time as to whether or not these candles will need two wicks or three.
If these candles were contained within a disposable foil pan, I could have gotten by with one wick. The pan would have pooled the melting wax and this would have resulted in a long and steady burn. Since my candles are free standing, I will have to test burn the test model prior to installing wicks in any of the other candles. Pictured below from top left going clockwise are pineapple, peach, mixed berry, and apple pies.
Here is a raspberry pie.
Having started this post with a story about a cherry pie, how could I not make a cherry pie candle? I will end this post by sharing this image of a cherry pie. Once I have test burned the original model, I will add wicks and vent lines. I will also blog about this in a future article.
P.S. If any readers would like to suggest a flavor for a baked fruit pie, please feel free to add a comment to this post. Please note that cream pies and custards are open faced and do not have a top crust. This type of pie would therefore not be appropriate for the production of chocolate or banana cream. As I write this, I have found myself thinking that I could easily sculpt a new model to use to make a silicone mold for cream pies. I will have to think about this.