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Gadgets: Martha Stewart's Pie Gate

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[Photograph: Nikki Goldstein]

I don't need gadgets as an excuse to make pie, but why on earth not? Martha Stewart and I are clearly conspiring towards a world with more pie—more intact pies, as it may be—and I don't see too much protest in our way. Her pie gate, a $5 fix at Macy's (not available online, but similar to Sur La Table's $6 model) keeps fillings, no matter how spill-prone, tucked neatly in their crusts.

The little contraption sits in the middle of the pie, and like plastic white clock hands, opens up to fit the size of your cumulative eaten slices. It's about 2 1/2 inches tall and 8 inches in diameter when extended fully, but comfortably holds in the fillings to pies up to 10 inches wide. The smaller the dish, the better it stays in place. Soupy pies and bottom crust-less pies particularly benefit from the device, given their fillings' tendencies to separate from their crusts, but there's no harm in using it across the board. Pies stay prettier, and the urge to pick out the fruit filling (as opposed to biting the bullet and grabbing seconds) is more easily tempered.

It's not always necessary, but fun to have on hand regardless—it does exactly what it promises, and for less than the cost of a restaurant slice. And if it inspires you to bake a few more extra pies this season, that can't hurt either.

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