- First, clean out your fridge and freezer, acknowledging your space limitations. Toss those tired lemons and freezer-burned nuts from a year ago, and start afresh.
- Create a supply list including tools like parchment paper (for lining baking sheets and assembling ingredients), plastic wrap (for covering pies before refrigeration), and a sturdy bakery box or container for transporting your pie to the festivities.
- Check your spices for freshness. If you can’t remember the last time you replenished them, do so now. (Consider purchasing whole spices that you can grind yourself in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; they retain their flavor longer than pre-ground.)
- Purchase your ingredients sooner rather than later. As the holidays inch closer, prices climb higher.
- Pre-measure your nonperishables (sugar, spices, and thickeners) for the pie(s) you will be baking. Place these ingredients in zip-top freezer bags, then label them with their contents along with any missing ingredients. When it’s time to bake your pie, the fiddly measuring is done.
- Check your pie-plate inventory in advance and make sure your recipe coincides with your pie plate. (Deep-dish plates require more filling than standard ones.) If you will be traveling with your pie, consider using an aluminum pie plate, which is freezer-to-oven safe and won’t be missed if left behind. Better still, purchase a brand new pie plate and gift it to your host, along with the pie.