Hosting Your First Cook-In? : Make Simple Pies

The Pie Cook-In was held before Thanksgiving. More than thirty pies adorned tables that day.

More than twenty pies were made at The Pie Cook-In

A pie-baking cook-in is not a new idea. I remember gathering on the farm, stoking the wood stove and making holiday pastries with my aunties. You too can Invite people to join you for an afternoon of pie or cookie baking. It’s quick, simple and, requires few ingredients.

Now-a-days, with pies being offered on sale for $2.99, It is so convenient to buy them, I hope that baking does not become a dying skill. Pie Baking is rewarding. When baked at home, you save money, can avoid artificial additives, make it gluten-free or sugarless. Best of all, you can bake the leftover pie dough, sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar and enjoy it like cookies fresh out of the oven. A cook-In is a way to share ideas and keep the home-cooking spirit alive. Here’s how we planned our first pie baking cook-In.

The Venue;

  • Contact your circle of friends to pick a time and place for the cook-In
  • Inspect the kitchen to make sure there’s enough room for your group and fill out paperwork to reserve it. You may be required to get an insurance rider and post a damage deposit.
Pies can be baked at the cook-In or taken home to freeze or cook.

Pies can be baked at the cook-In or taken home to freeze or cook.

The event:

  • Who brings the ingredients? Host? Participants? Or do you prefer to choose two recipes and each person brings one of the ingredients.
  • What utensils do you need? Who brings them
  • Arrange for enough pie pans and foil covers.
  • Decide if you will bake the pies or take them home to bake.
  • Who cleans up?


  • If your group wants to take the pies home for baking have one or two prepared ahead of time so you can sit down together and enjoy.
  • Have each person bring a unique recipe to share.
  • The host may need extra ingredients and pans for people who forget to bring theirs.
  • Before leaving, plan the next cook-In. Once a month is popular.
  • If you bake the pies during the cook-In plan on having a book discussion, games, or other social activity to fill the time.
  • Take lots of pictures and send them to each person as a thank you.
Granola pie crusts are easy to make.

Granola pie crusts are easy to make.


  • There are gazillions of recipes available so no need to add any here.
  • Cook-Ins can be more fun when each participant shares their favorite recipe, dessert favorites included.
  • It is not necessary to stick to traditional pumpkin and apple pie.  Be creative and unique.
  • Think about any medical issues a guest might have  when choosing a pie filling,  you can use ripe, natural fruit and reduce the amount of added sugar.
  • Pie crusts can be made with shortening or lard for flakiness, butter or vegetable oil for smooth crusts. Oatmeal, granola, gluten-free flour or chopped nuts make a healthy crust.




This entry was posted in 2014, Crock-pot Meals, Tips & Tricks and tagged , on by .

About Don R

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Retired teacher. Multiple successful business endeavors including screen printing / sporting goods business, executive director of a Boys & Girls Club, commercial fishing, and co-founding an alternative high school. Interests include family, hiking, cooking, Parkinson's research and developing an educational cooking program.