8 Best Pie Tips from Pie Expert Kate McDermott

Making great pies isn’t about the recipe—it’s about techniques. Join us at The Resort at Paws Up for Cookbook Live: Art of the Pie, held at Paws Up on November 3–6, 2017. Cookbook Live is a brand-new culinary series that features chefs bringing their acclaimed cookbooks to life through interactive demonstrations, hands-on classes, receptions and world-class meals. For our November Cookbook Live session, author and “pie whisperer” Kate McDermott will walk you through the steps for mixing, rolling and baking perfectly flaky pie crusts every time. Her hands-on classes will help you master essential pie-making skills that all bakers should know. McDermott’s cookbook, Art of the Pie, was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2017. Below is a preview of some amazing pie tips from the book and much more.

What are some of your top pie tips?

  • To avoid filling spilling over, fill the pie pan about 1/2 inch below the rim.
  • Place the pie it in the lowest part of the oven (if that is where your heating element is) or on a preheated cookie sheet or even a pizza stone to give the bottom crust a blast of heat. This can help with avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom!
  • If your pie is burned on the top, try lightly scraping it off with a paring knife and brushing the crumbs away much like you would do with burnt toast.
  • A little ice cream or dollop of whipped cream can camouflage a burn.
  • And if all else fails, get out the lasagna pan, turn your fruit pie into it, stir lightly to even it out and you will have the best crumble in the world. No one needs to know that you planned something different.
  • “Don’t overwork the dough” . . . words that we’ve all heard before might also be translated to “stop before you think you are done.” When flour and water are mixed together, they make gluten. The more it is mixed, the tougher the dough. Work the dough lightly, and just enough, so it comes together.
  • For best flavor, use fresh spices.
  • Clean your oven before embarking on your holiday baking so as not to get a blast of smoke from a preheated oven!

What is your ultimate baking tip?

It really helps to keep the ingredients for the pastry crust well-chilled. I put my flour in the freezer and sometimes grate frozen butter to ensure it doesn’t melt. Butter starts melting at 59ºF and cold fats are essential for a flaky crust. If my hands feel hot, I hold ice cubes for a minute until they cool down.

Which pies do you make for Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin pie and pear cranberry walnut pie.

 

Can you tell me how you became a pie expert?

From the time I was a little girl, I loved to bake. In the afternoons after school, I would come home and while my mom taught piano lessons, I would get out the mixing bowl and spoons to make cookies, cakes and bread. Some of these first attempts were disasters but many turned out to be pretty good and kept me interested in baking.

Those years of learning and experimenting later served me well in baking for my young family. We lived “out,” had a big garden and in the kitchen was a wonderful six-burner stove with an oven that could fit six loaves of bread at a time! I loved getting up early to bake for my family.

For a while in the late 1990s, my son Duncan and I lived on a blueberry u-pick farm on the north Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. There was no shortage of berries there. I made blueberry pie, blackberry pie and raspberry pie and combined all the berries to make triple-berry pie.

In 2005, pie became a passion and a two-year exploration of crust ensued. There was lots of experimentation with different flours and fats, ratios and recipes. The dough that we make in my Art of the Pie® workshops is the culmination of much that was learned along the way.

How many years have you been baking pies?

I’m a lifelong baker. But I got seriously bit by the pie-making bug in the mid-1990s.

Do you have plans for another cookbook?

Kate’s Can-Do Cookbook: Easy as Pie Recipes for Everyday Cooking will be published in Fall 2018 by the Countryman Press/W.W. Norton. Photos once again by Andrew Scrivani. 

Why do you love to come to Paws Up?

I love the rustic elegance of Paws Up. Montana is truly Big PIE Country.

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe and Our Next Cookbook Live

Join The Resort at Paws Up on November 3–6, 2017 for our fourth Cookbook Live event with pie expert Kate McDermott. This flaky and fun-filled baking weekend brings to life McDermott’s book Art of the Pie, which was nominated for a James Beard Award. By day, you’ll create works of edible art from fresh local ingredients. And by night, you’ll dine on the masterfully executed cuisine of Paws Up’s Executive Chef Ben Jones. It’s the perfect treat for anyone who’s passionate about succulent, homemade, just-out-of-the-oven pie. We hope to see you in a few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy this divine Lemon Meringue Pie recipe in your own home.

 

Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes One 9-inch Shallow Pie

1 pre-baked single Art of the Pie® crust or pre-baked dough of your choice

For the Filling
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 egg yolks, fork beaten
  • zest of 1 large lemon
For the Meringue
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Procedure

For the Filling
  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Add the water and constantly stirring with a whisk, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 more minutes while continuing to whisk. Don’t be afraid to whisk vigorously as it gets thicker.
  3. Take 1/4 cup of the hot mixture and stir it into the fork beaten egg yolks. Return this to the saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for 3-4 minutes more while stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the butter, lemon juice, and zest and cook for another minute.
  5. Immediately pour into the pre-baked pie crust.
For the Meringue
  1. In a clean and cold bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric handheld beater or a stand mixer.
  2. Add the pinch of salt, and the sugar while you mix. Add the cream of tartar and mix a bit more.
  3. Lift the beaters out when you can see soft peaks in thick foamy waves. That’s when it’s done.
  4. Put the meringue on the hot lemon filling starting at the edges first. Make sure the meringue reaches all the way to the edge of the crust so there are no gaps.
  5. Then add the rest of the meringue in the middle so that the filling is completely covered.
  6. With the handle of a spoon or the blade of a knife, pull up some soft peaks.
  7. Place in a preheated 375F oven for 6 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Possibly the World’s Most Uplifting Countdown

Make a resolution to finally have the New Year’s Eve of your wildest dreams. No crowds, no traffic. Join us for a weekend filled with wintery outdoor adventures like snowmobiling, horseback riding, snow tubing, cross-country skiing and skijoring (to name a few). Then get cozy inside with movie nights, shopping and bowl game watching. And when it’s time to ring in the new year, you can celebrate in spectacular fashion right here at The Resort. You’ll find a dazzling night that begins with an elegant, five-course dinner and ends with fire dancers, fireworks and a live performance by American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox. After you retire to your private vacation home and wake up to a lavish breakfast buffet, you’re looking at an ideal welcome to 2018.

Our vast menu of activities provides opportunities to do things you love, as well as things you’ve always wanted to try.

 

Paws Up’s Featured Entertainment

“Crystal has ‘a voice like dirt and diamonds.’ Her music is intended to bring a positive message of love and light to the world—things that folks will be able to take with them on their own journey, so that they, too, can feel truly alive.”

— from crystalbowersox.com

Crystal Bowersox will provide the music for Paws Up’s extravagant end-of-the-year celebration. She will perform with her trio for all New Year’s Eve revelers to enjoy. Crystal Bowersox’s emotive folk-rock-country style catapulted her from the cramped coffeehouses and cavernous subway tunnels of Chicago to millions of homes across the United States when she placed second on Season 9 of American Idol. Along with her old soul of a voice, her carefree style and “don’t mess with me” attitude set her apart from the other contestants and landed the self-taught songstress performances with Joe Cocker, Harry Connick, Jr. and Alanis Morissette.

This Year Between Christmas and New Years, the Holidays Are Even Sweeter at Paws Up.

Because we like to do everything right, down to the last little detail, we’ve arranged for our very own Sugar Plum Fairy to make a visit this winter. Chef Mindy Segal of Chicago’s ever-popular HotChocolate restaurant will be providing heavenly cupfuls of her signature dessert. Stop by the fully stocked HotChocolate Bar for an assortment of concoctions. Winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and author of Cookie Love, Segal will also be leading cookie-making classes* and creating a featured dessert. As if you needed any other reason to visit during this magical time of year.

10 Reasons to Celebrate Christmas at Paws Up

This holiday season, leave behind the hustle and bustle for something truly magical: Christmastime in Montana. At The Resort at Paws Up, you’re in for a warm and adventurous holiday weekend. We have elves to take care of everything. Here are 10 reasons to spend Christmas at Paws Up in pictures and words.

  1. You get to experience a picture-perfect backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
  2. You’ll rock around your very own decorated tree.
  3. You’ll receive a surprise personal visit from Santa, right in your cozy luxury home with gifts and all.
  4. You’ll experience bonfires with s’mores and downhill snow tubing with a snowmobile chauffeur, followed by hot apple cider.
  5. You’ll participate in a gingerbread house decorating contest.
  6. You’ll enjoy quality family time with bingo game nights and more.
  7. You’ll warm up with indoor activities such as holiday crafts, movie nights and plenty of shopping at our Wilderness Outpost.
  8. You’ll experience a family broomball game on the Paws Up ice skating rink.
  9. You’ll enjoy the best Montana Christmas brunch and a glittering Christmas dinner with live music.
  10. You’ll end each day soaking in a soothing hot tub and then relax by your roaring fireplace.

Enough said? Contact our live chat on pawsup.com now for more information.

Kick off the holidays with something spectacular

This Thanksgiving, create new traditions with a family vacation to The Resort at Paws Up. With an abundance of activities to choose from, there’s something on the menu for everyone. Get cozy inside with family movie nights and football and parade viewing parties, or satisfy your appetite for outdoor adventure with horseback riding, ATV rides, hayrides, touch football, bird watching and more.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the feast itself. For Thanksgiving dinner, you and yours can sit down to a spectacular spread at Pomp or opt to have a private, plentiful meal brought to your home, which will be whisked away when you’re done. That’s just one portion of a weekend filled with sumptuous, locally sourced fare brought to you by our world-renowned Executive Chef Ben Jones.

We sincerely hope you’ll join us for an unforgettable Thanksgiving weekend at The Resort at Paws Up. We’ll take care of everything—you just make the memories.

Along with five-star cuisine, you’ll enjoy exquisite vintage wine all weekend long from our featured vintner, Rombauer Vineyards. Established in 1980, Rombauer Vineyards is a family-owned and operated business with deep roots in food and wine. Owner KR Rombauer is a great-nephew of The Joy of Cooking author Irma Rombauer, and his ancestors originated from the winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal. This rich history has led to an award-winning selection of wines that will make for an ideal pairing for your
Thanksgiving weekend.

Paws Up welcomes Dan Dubuque as the special musical guest for our Thanksgiving celebration. A solo acoustic guitarist, Dubuque is known for his unique approach to the Weissenborn, a slide guitar that’s played lap-style. Dubuque often adds percussive effects, playing the guitar like a drum while infusing every song with his free-sounding style.

Blackberry Smash Recipe

Blackberry Smash

At The Resort at Paws Up there are countless ways to get outside and get active. But after all that horseback riding, ATV touring and hiking, there’s no better way to cool down than with a fresh cocktail. Our bartending team gets inspired by the local, seasonal ingredients and Montana-made spirits. This Blackberry Smash recipe is just one of our many favorite cocktails which we wanted to share with you so you can create a little slice of Paws Up at home.

Blackberry Smash

Ingredients

A handful of blackberries

The juice of half a lemon

3/4 oz thyme simple syrup

1 3/4 oz Willie’s Distillery’s Big Horn Bourbon

Club soda

Directions

  1. Muddle blackberries, lemon juice and thyme simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon, and shake well. Strain into a Collins glass, ll with ice and top with soda. Garnish with blackberries and thyme sprig.

cocktails at the Resort at Paws Up

Top 10 Personal Paws Up Faves

The Resort at Paws Up

My Summer at Paws Up

by Cameron Gutierrez, Paws Up Intern

With all the beauty and adventure here at Paws Up, you may wonder what it’s like to work at the most gorgeous place in the United States. I’m lucky enough to have spent the summer interning here at The Resort. At the end of the summer, I’ll return to California State University in Chico, California, where I am a senior majoring in business administration. (Prior to enrolling in college, I spent six years in the military.) However, once I graduate, my fiancée and I plan to make Montana our permanent home. Paws Up and Montana truly are The Last Best Place. Here are my Top 10 favorite things about working as an intern at Paws Up.

The resort at paws Up
Top 10 Personal Paws Up Faves

1. Paws Up is located in a beautiful part of western Montana. Even after two months of driving to work every day, I will never tire of the magnificent views on Highway 200.

2. The Resort is located on vast land that lends itself to deer and jackrabbit sightings, while hoping for an elusive bald eagle to soar above.

3. River Camp and Moonlight Camp are my two favorite glamping camps. River Camp has a small private beach with an amazing view of the Blackfoot River, located just past the Dining Pavilion. Moonlight Camp, although secluded, has a phenomenal meadow view. Take a small hike down a dirt road, and you’ll find yourself at an access point to the Blackfoot River. The slow-moving water is perfect for a midday swim.

4. The opportunity to meet guests from all over the country and world is incredible.

5. Working in the Transportation Department (Bell Stand) opened my eyes to the inner workings of The Resort, as well as the hard work required to make the entire operation run smoothly.

6. Being a small part of guests’ experiences has been amazing, especially when I hear them talking about how much they enjoyed their time at Paws Up.

7. On my first day at Paws Up, I witnessed the birth of two beautiful baby deer, and I have been able to watch as they grow older each day.

8. A piece of the ranch’s history—and something I really love too—is located off Elk Creek Road, just beyond the pastures. The Morris Ranch House (built in the late 1800s) is beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. Located next to the front door is a picture of the Morris family when they lived in the house.

9. The pasture animals are a great addition to the Montana guest experience. I’ve seen so much unique wildlife here on a daily basis: cattle, horses, buffalo, Watusis and even a beefalo.

10. My time at Paws Up has given me a wonderful summer away from home, and working for The Resort reinforced my dream of living in Montana. I can’t wait to get back!

The Resort at Paws Up

Meet AdrenZen Fitness Expert Idalis Valazquez

Idalis Velazquez

A wife and proud mother of two girls, a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a former elite track-and-field athlete, Idalis Velazquez is a top expert in total body fitness. Velazquez specializes in fast and effective workouts that help busy people get the results they want in the time they have. Velazquez’s workouts and fitness tips have been featured in too many national publications, websites and TV shows to list. Paws Up is thrilled to have her as the featured fitness expert at the AdrenZen: Fall wellness weekend on October 20–23, 2017.

Paws Up: How would you describe your fitness style?

Velazquez: My fitness style is all about time-efficient workouts and building sustainable habits. The workouts and programs I create combine resistance training and are metabolic, meaning you will challenge your cardio and keep your metabolism revving for hours after you are done. I’m tough, but more of a cheerleader with those I train to help them unleash their fullest potential and keep them motivated.

Paws Up: How many times a week do you work out?

Velazquez: Four to six times a week. These workouts can last 15 to 60 minutes long, depending on the workout.

Paws Up: What is your top weight loss tip?

Velazquez:

  • Focus on building positive and healthy habits instead of creating restriction.
  • Learn to be mindful with your nutrition and exercise routine. Consistent application of small, sustainable habits along with your workouts will help you reach your goals.
  • When it comes to training for weight loss and fat loss, prioritize strength training and don’t overdo the cardio.
  • Resistance training builds lean muscle mass, which helps you burn calories and fat all day long and boost your metabolism. You’ll feel younger and energized and achieve the “toned” look most people want.

Paws Up: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Velazquez: I see fitness and living a healthier lifestyle as tools that help me be at my best physically, mentally and emotionally. I challenge myself during my workouts, but I also have fun. Knowing that caring for my body and mind will help me feel and be at my very best keeps me motivated. Plus, it’s nice to look in the mirror and see how this lifestyle pays off.

Paws Up: What inspires you?

Velazquez: My kind and loving daughters. The way they look at me and look up to me. Knowing that the way I live my life and that my habits and behaviors will have a huge impact in their life inspires me.

The community I’ve built through my social media also is inspiring. Knowing that I’m helping to reach a follower’s goals is priceless. I know that many of them don’t have a personal trainer nor gym memberships, and they have chosen to follow my workouts and tips. They inspired me to get creative with exercises and workout ideas that will keep them motivated to get their sweat on anywhere.

Paws Up: Why are you excited to visit Paws Up?

Velazquez: All of it! Every time I plan a vacation with my husband, I always tell him that my ideal vacation includes a beautiful resort surrounded by nature where I can just disconnect and enjoy fitness, healthy meals, rest and relaxation with spa treatments. The Resort at Paws Up has everything I would want for a perfect wellness retreat and more. I look forward to having the opportunity to share my love for fitness and wellness by teaching and meeting new people!

Paws Up: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to regain their fitness or start a new program?

Velazquez: Just start! Focus on what your body can do, rather than on what it hasn’t mastered yet. Create a plan, do your best and stay consistent. Even if you start with 15 minutes a day. Set positive, performance-related goals, since these will help you stay motivated and empowered.

Fall Culinary Offerings at The Resort at Paws Up

Montana Master Chefs at The Resort at Paws up

From James Beard Award winners to Bravo Top Chef stars, we have been featuring a steady stream of highly esteemed chefs for our unique culinary weekends. The Resort invites guests to dine on cutting-edge cuisine from a select group of gastronomic geniuses during Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars and the launch of Live Life Love Food with Paws Up’s own Executive Chef Ben Jones. Guests will have the opportunity to experience menus that have foodies clamoring for a chance to try. The events include exquisite wine, chef workshops, live music, wilderness adventures, spa treatments and more—all set under a never-ending Montana Big Sky.

culinary events at the resort at paws up

Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars, September 21–24: As part of the weekend event, guests can partake in a myriad of wilderness adventures like horseback riding, river rafting or fly-fishing and will enjoy one-on-one interaction with some of the finest chefs, distillers and winemakers in the U.S. Montana Master Chefs 2017 will also feature cooking demonstrations and multicourse dinners prepared by up-and-coming all-stars in the culinary world including Chef Michael Corvino of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room (Kansas City), Chef Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow and Revival (Atlanta), Chef Annie Pettry of Decca (Louisville), Chef Garrison Price of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria (New York), Chef Amanda Rockman of South Congress Hotel (Austin) and Paws Up’s own Executive Chef Ben Jones. The chefs will also duke it out in a lighthearted (read: highly competitive) Master Chef Cook-Off Challenge.

food and wine at the resort at paws up

Paws Up is proud to welcome Montana’s Whitefish Handcrafted Spirits as the featured distiller and the celebrated California vintners Kosta Browne Winery, Melville Winery and Steele Wines to provide tastings and pairings throughout the weekend. Among the many highlights will be nightly private concerts by Cory Branan, a punk-influenced country artist from Memphis; John Floridis, a talented Missoula guitarist, singer-songwriter and composer and Ali Solomon, a captivating singer and cover artist also from nearby Missoula. Chef Ben Jones

Live Life Love Food, October 20–23: For a delicious course on how to incorporate exhilaration (Adrenalin) and renewal (Zen) into your everyday life, join us for our first-ever Live Life Love Food daily exercises. As a complement to AdrenZen: Fall wellness weekend, Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones shares the philosophy behind his cooking—and his life. Watch firsthand as he mixes, twists and lifts his way through this brand-new weekend event. Guests will gain new insights into using food as nourishment and experience the dual health benefits of energizing activities and a ranch-based diet. They will learn how to translate locally sourced ingredients into artistic creations on the plate. Basic training has never tasted so good.

homemade Kombucha

The weekend will feature a hands-on “clean eating” cooking class with Jones, a tour of the greenhouse, early-morning workouts alongside Jones, world-class dinners and more.

For reservations, please call 877-588-6783. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook, Instagram (@theresortatpawsup) and Twitter (@Paws_Up).The Resort at Paws up

 

Get the Inside Scoop on Chicago Dessert Icon Mindy Segal

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Walk into Mindy’s HotChocolate and you’ll find yourself transported into Chicago’s most famous pastry mecca. Before you even set your eyes on the restaurant’s chic industrial interior, you’ll catch yourself ogling a display case filled with deliciously crumbly cookies. James Beard Award winner and owner Mindy Segal is a Windy City institution, and we’re always excited to witness her fierce, urban creativity here in the wilds of Western Montana. To give you a taste of why we ask her back again and again, we had a short chat with the famous pastry chef.

Mindy Segal at the resort at paws up

PAWS UP: What’s your personal favorite menu item at Mindy’s HotChocolate?

CHEF MINDY SEGAL: Believe it or not, I love the hot chocolate ICED! My favorite is my most popular flavor, which is the “medium.” Hot chocolate served over ice with a shot of whiskey. Trust me, it’s the most adult chocolate milk you’ll ever drink!

PAWS UP: In a competitive food town like Chicago, what makes Mindy’s HotChocolate successful after so many years?

SEGAL: My team and I are always working on our craft and we are always changing and upgrading the menu to make it special for our guests. I also think that because I’m at my restaurant at some point every day, I stay connected with my guests and my staff.

PAWS UP: What inspires you?

SEGAL: For sure, the seasons (obviously), the farmers market and, above all, vintage plate ware (of all types)!

PAWS UP: How many times have you been to Paws Up?

SEGAL: I believe 6? Not sure—I stopped counting because I never want it to end!

PAWS UP: What do you like about it?

SEGAL: First of all, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and a 180-degree shift from Chicago! And the staff is amazing and I always look forward to going back and seeing them.

PAWS UP: How do you keep the Montana spirit alive once you return home to Chicago?

SEGAL: I try to go hiking around the Chicago area to stay one with nature. My husband and I enjoy camping and fly-fishing, which of course is the spirit of the Blackfoot River!

PAWS UP: Can you describe the qualities of the perfect s’more?

SEGAL: A great graham cracker (we make our own), the PERFECT toasted marshmallow (I like a charred crust and a soft interior) and an elevated chocolate creation. We use toffee chocolate brittle; the added crunch and salt adds a nice balance to the sweet marshmallow. Not to mention, texture, texture, texture!!

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And if your sweet tooth likes the idea of that, be sure to join us for Cookbook Live: Cookie Love, August 10–16, when Segal will be at Paws Up serving s’mores just the way YOU like them. Campfires were invented for just such an occasion.

national amores week at the resort at paws up