10 Baking Essentials for Mastering Lisa Ludwinski’s “Sister Pie” Recipes — Plus Where to Buy Them

updated Nov 4, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

It’s November, and this month’s Kitchn Cookbook Club pick couldn’t be more perfect: Lisa Ludwinski’s Sister Pie. Sister Pie is a popular Detroit bakery with a cult-like following, thanks to its sweet and savory menu that includes everything from Salted Maple Pie to Salted Rosemary Shortbread. The cookbook is chock-full of owner Ludwinski’s favorites, including Toasted Marshmallow-Butterscoch Pie and Sour Cherry-Bourbon Pie, as well as recipes that are perfect for the holiday season, like Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie; Caramelized Onion, Delicata Squash, and Sage Hand Pies; and Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. There are also scones, buns, and even a few salads!

Of course, in order to master many of the recipes and wow your holiday guests, you’re going to need the right baking equipment. Below, we’ve listed out 10 of the essentials that Ludwinski mentions in her book, along with our own product recommendations for each. So pick up a few (and the cookbook, of course), then try whipping up a new recipe or two, and let us know how it goes! Share your comments in our Facebook group, or post a photo of your dish on Instagram, with a short review of the recipe in the caption, and use our #kitchncookbookclub hashtag to be featured on our Cookbook Club hub page. Happy baking!

Oven thermometer: Before you begin your baking journey, start by investing in an oven thermometer. It’ll help you determine how close your oven temperature matches what’s on the dial, says Ludwinski.
Kitchn recommends: Taylor Classic Oven Series Large Dial Oven Thermometer, $7

Bench scraper: Ludwinski loves bench scrapers because they’re mini workhorses that can be used to portion dough, cut up butter, and clean off messy countertops.
Kitchn recommends: OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper, $10

Offset spatula: After a bench scraper, an offset spatula is Ludwinski’s favorite tool. A 9 1/2-inch spatula is ideal for spreading filling into a pie shell and making those fancy swirls in meringue.
Kitchn recommends: Ateco Medium Sized Offset Spatula, $6

Pastry blender: A pastry blender is crucial for making everything from pie dough to scones, according to Ludwinski, who suggests looking for one with sharp blades and a sturdy handle.
Kitchn recommends: Spring Chef Dough Blender, $10

Peeler: Ludwinksi prefers Y-peelers over swivel peelers because they give you more control when prepping fruit for pies.
Kitchn recommends: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler, 3 pack, $7

Pastry wheel: Pastry wheels are great to have in your arsenal if you’re big on making pies. Ludwinski uses the straight edge to cut rounds of dough as well as lattice strips.
Kitchn recommends: Norpro Grip-EZ Pastry/Ravioli Wheel, $10

Pie pans: The bakers at Sister Pie use 9-inch metal tins made from recyclable aluminum, which is excellent for conducting heat, according to Ludwinski.
Kitchn recommends: Vollrath Wear-Ever Aluminum Pie Plate, $18

Sheet pans: If you’re going to bake, you’re going to need sheet pans. Ludwinski likes aluminum half-sheet pans, which she lines with parchment paper.
Kitchn recommends: Vollrath Wear-Ever Half-Size 18 x 13 Aluminum Sheet Pan, $7

Stainless steel bowls: Ludwinski prefers to work with stainless steel bowls because they won’t get all scratched up by bench scrapers and they keep butter chunks cold when prepping pie crusts or scones.
Kitchn recommends: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $23

Tapered rolling pin: Put away that rolling pin with handles! Ludwinski is all about a tapered pin, because it offers greater control and creates dough that is more even.
Kitchn recommends: J.K. Adams FRP-2 Maple Wood French Dowel Rolling Pin, $20