The Great American Pie Extravaganza

There's something special about a freshly baked pie straight out of the oven

Relax, sit down, and have a slice of pie.

No matter how you slice it, there are few iconic foods as American as, well, pie. (Sorry for the cliché, but it got your attention, didn't it?) After all, on a hot summer afternoon, what could be better than sinking into a warm, gooey apple pie, with a dollop of cool whipped cream on top? And don't forget to wash it down with some homemade lemonade.

Click here to see the Great American Pie Extravaganza Slideshow

Even extraterrestrial-fighting New Yorkers tuck into some pie when the bad guys start rassling up a little too much trouble. The dynamic duo, J and K in Men in Black, always find themselves in a diner with a slice of pie to mull things over whenever they can't figure something out. The English do tea; Americans do pie. So if it's good enough for a couple of intrepid guys in suits defending the Earth, it'll probably do the trick for you, too, when you can't figure out how to start the lawn mower or fix the sprinklers. So, sit down, relax, and have some pie.

Or better yet, bake some pie. It can be a relaxing and almost therapeutic experience — but only if you go into the kitchen armed with the right tips. After all, it won't be very therapeutic if the cure only causes more problems. So here are some tips from various bakers, chefs, and instructors that will make your next baking experience, well, as easy as pie.