Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Today I made pie. I love pie I think that is the principal reason that I finally buckled down and went through the hell it is to learn to make pie crust. I don't care what pillsbury says there is something off about their crust. My Grammy has always been the alfa pie maker in our family followed closely by my Aunt Debbie, who, I'm told, once spent two days in the kitchen making and throwing out pie crusts until she got it right (I also imagine there was a lot of swearing going on during those two days) but she like me was able to look into the future and think that someday someone else beside Grammy would need to know how to make a decent pie (not to be dramatic or morbid). Also as good as Grammies pies are, I like pie so much that in order to get my fill I had to learn to make it myself because there are never enough family get-togethers to warrant getting Grammy to make me enough pie. Plus this gives me a skill that makes cool and invaluable to my dad and sisters.

My favorite pie is raspberry, which has two crusts and tons of raspberries which are more expensive then gold at the grocery store.  Grammy always made me at least one a summer (my Grandpa had raspberry bushes) and would cut my first initial out of the top crust so it could vent.  Oh mama there is nothing better tasting in the entire world then a warm piece of raspberry pie with vanilla ice cream!!  I went years without getting a raspberry pie, then last summer my dad and I discovered wild berries where they live while Grammy was visiting; jackpot!!  I managed to get one this summer as well.  After raspberry it's hard to choose between dutch apple, pumpkin (my sister heather's favorite), pecan (my mom's favorite) peanut butter (my dad's favorite or is his favorite key lime?)...Oh how I love pie!!

Luckily, or not depending on how you look at it, my husband does not like pie (I think it's lucky or I would weigh a lot more) so I only make them if I'm having company.  Today is a potluck at church and I always sign up to bring desert (because beyond pie I love dessert and baking in general) so since it's fall and my fridge is full of apples I am taking apple and pumpkin.

below is my recipe for pie crust, it's a good tasting recipe as long as you use the off brand crisco because it still has trans-fats which must make the crust light and flaky.  Since crisco changed their recipe their crusts are horribly tough.  Some things are just better with a little trans-fat.  I wish I could say that you will never have problems with a pie crust if you follow these instructions but it's just not true.  You will swear and stomp your feet as your learning and you will piece crusts together (at least I still do) but I think it is well worth the pain.  You will be an enigma if you make your own crust, I'm pretty sure I'm one of like only three people my age that can make a pie crust.  Don't worry about how it looks at first it's the taste that really matters I've been making them for four or five years now and mine are only just now becoming consistently pretty.  And remember the number one rule is don't over work it, stir it less then you think you should.

Simple Pastry
makes one 9 inch double crust pie
2 1/2 Cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 stick of butter chilled
1/2 Cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 Tbs vinegar

In a food processor (if your lucky enough to have one) or with a pastry blender or your fingers combine the flour salt butter and shortening until you get crumbs that are about the size of peas (don't over think it).  Break the egg into a measuring cup and beat in the vinegar add enough cold water to equal 1/2 cup.  Stir into flour mixture until a soft dough forms (don't over stir you will still have flour hanging out on its own on the bottom of the bowl). Divide dough in half wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk, refrigerate for at least one hour. (The vinegar and refrigerating will make it a little easier to work with and roll out, and allow you to store the crust if you only use one half; you can store the other in the fridge for a couple days or in a plastic bag in the freezer for three months, partially thaw before rolling it out.)

I have a theory that a persons favorite pie can tell you a lot about their personality.  I'm sweet, a little tart and full of crazy (the seeds), so what about you are you spicy and warm like pumpkin, a little nutty like pecan or just plain weird and alien by not liking pie at all?  Let's see if my pie personality idea is correct.


Courters said...

Hey Jess
Oh no you haven't gotten enough data to make your decision.
I love pie too!
But i'm not even sure what kind i like the best... probably dutch apple pie or maybe cherry (odd i know because no one makes it in our family) what is your theory on my pie personality? :)

Jessie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessie said...

You are sweet sweet sweet with a something that makes people go "hmmm, she might be a little bit wacky (cherry)