Cakes can flop, breads may not rise, but pies? Even if pie juices run out the moment you cut into one or the crust has some cracks (or a chasm the size of Rhode Island), it's still going to be good. Really. Just serve it in a bowl with some ice cream. Hello: It's pie! If you're really pastry-phobic, though, start by making this Skillet Plum Pie from baking authority Ken Haedrich, founder and so-called dean of The Pie Academy (his demonstration videos show everything from how to keep the edge of your pie from burning to how to make an impressive-looking "floating top" pie). He says these old-fashioned desserts are always a smart move for pastry-fearing bakers, since there's no bottom crust with which to mess. Just mix the plum filling right in the pan, cover it with your crust—don't worry if it's not rolled perfectly—and bake it in the skillet. Big flavor, lots of rustic charm.
Get the recipe: Skillet Plum Pie