Hand Pies For a Wedding

Discussion in 'Desserts' started by dlawyer, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. dlawyer

    dlawyer Member

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    I've been asked if I would like to make hand pies for a wedding this summer attended by roughly 150 guests. I have never made hand pies in any sort of bulk.

    Can someone offer some advice here. Would I make 150 hand pies? More than or less than 150? Any helpful guidance would be welcomed!
     
    dlawyer, Nov 7, 2018
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  2. dlawyer

    Becky Administrator

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    Hmmm I don't have any personal experience cooking in bulk, but my mum used to have a small catering business with a friend. From what I remember they always used to do more than they needed, but I'm not sure by how much. Assuming the pies freeze well, you could always start making them ahead of time and freeze them?
     
    Becky, Nov 8, 2018
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  3. dlawyer

    dlawyer Member

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    Makes sense. Thank you Becky.
     
    dlawyer, Nov 8, 2018
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  4. dlawyer

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    @Becky I’d correct that you make additional product. Catering rule of thumb in estimating desserts.

    When I bake hand pies in large quantities I roll out the dough and two large sheets. On one sheet I use a scoop to portion out the filling. I then brush a bit of egg wash between the filling then place the second sheet over it the first. Press down between the filling. Then use a cookie cutter and cut out each pie. It’s the same technique for handmade ravioli.

    I stack two high on baking sheet with wax paper in between. I then freeze. Once they’re frozen I transfer them to a freezer bag and burp all the air out. They go straight from freezer to a hot ( 375°F) oven. Because pie needs to bake at high heat I do not put more than one sheet in the oven at a time. So I use a 2/3 baking sheet, which is the largest size baking sheet that will fit in a standard home oven. But for 150 hand pies you’ll need to bake more than one sheet at a time.

    Calculating qualities:
    Meal served before dessert & only 1 dessert:

    1 serving per guest plus 20% to account for people who will take more than one when its self-serve. So 150 x .20 = 180 hand pies


    Meal served before dessert in which cake & multiple types of desserts:

    1 slice cake per guest plus 1 serving other desserts per guest divided by the number of dessert types.

    Example cake and 3 other desserts:

    150 guests divided by 3 types desserts = 50 of each type the 3 desserts.

    When serving multiple desserts, they should be no more than two bites in size.

    ==========
    Estimating food quantities for appetizers is a bit different. I’m just including it here because it‘s useful, especially with the holiday’s coming up.


    Cocktail hour appetizers with a full meal to follow:
    • 3 - 4 bites per person every hour.
    Example:

    100 guests
    1 hour cocktails
    3 bites per person per hour


    100 guests x 1 hr x 3 bites = 300 total bites


    Another example, cocktail hour is 1 1/2 hours.


    100 guests x 1.5 hr x 3 bites = 450 total bites


    If you were going to offer three types of appetizers make 150 of each type for a total of 450.


    If it is a cocktail party, no meal, increase to 5 - 7 bites per person per hour.


    The math is the same.

    100 guests x 1 hr x 6 bites = 600 total bites


    100 guests x 2 hrs x 6 bites = 1200 bites.

    ========

    For a cocktail party only (no meal) during the hours people normally eat dinner, then increase to 8 - 10 bites per person.

    =========

    Another way to calculate the number of bites is by how long the event will be.

    3 - 4 bites per person for 1 hr, with meal to follow


    5 - 6 bites for 2 hr events, with meal to follow


    8 - 10 bites, 3 - 4 hr event. For a long event you want to serve heavier appetizers.


    Not all appetizers are calculated by bites, some are best calculated by weight.

    Charcuterie, cheese, and crudités
    • 30g per person, meal following
    • 60g person, no meal
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 9, 2018
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  5. dlawyer

    dlawyer Member

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    OMG! Wonderful write-up and guidance here. Thank you so much. Very helpful.

    One little follow-up (even though I know you've provided Sooooooo much already), but seeing that there has been some serious thought in this break-down, do you have guidance on how you charge for a large quantity of mini-pies?
     
    dlawyer, Nov 9, 2018
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  6. dlawyer

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    @diawyer,

    Unfortunately there is no formula for establishing price because the local market is going to dictate your price. Every region is going to be different. For example, where I live wedding cakes starts at $8 per serving and can go beyond $25 per serving. Pie here is $4 - $5 per serving. But those prices reflect this market only. You can only charge what customers are willing to pay. So it’s important to understand your market AND the food philosophy in your region.

    I live in a world renown wine and food region; food philosophy AND consumer demand is for organic, locally sourced, and sustainably raised ingredients. No one uses ingredients like shortening in a pie crust here because there’s no market for it AND it violates the food philosophy in the region.

    Regional food philosophy is very important. How people feel about what goes in their food and their historical connection to the food will dictate what they’re willing to pay for it.

    For example I made several batches of biscotti to take to a professional coffee event. Everyone at this event has a highly developed palate because they are trained to taste and detect multiple flavors in coffee like a sommelier is trained to taste wine. They were picking up the most nuanced flavors in my biscotti. They also mentioned a couple of things that I could’ve added to the biscotti to enhance some of those flavors. They are also able to detect the quality of the ingredients. One of the participants said, “You used a good quality chocolate. Too often a cheap chocolate is used and it ruins the product.” This tells me what my target market expects, and that I cannot cut costs by using a lower quality chocolate.

    When you understand your market, you bake accordingly and your prices reflects both quality of ingredients and consumer demand for these ingredients.

    After you determine the type and quality of the ingredients for your market, then calaculate your ingredients costs per pie, then multiple that by the number of pies.

    Then calculate your profit; divide it by the number of pies, then add it to the ingredients cost per pie. That’s your per serving price.

    Just an aside, it’s advisable too create a product line with costing and pricing calculated. Accepting an order without knowing the cost per unit could result in your working at a loss. If a request is made for a special order or goods outside your product line, it’s best to tell the potential client you need to cost special orders first.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 9, 2018
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