Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pie Crust

My dad and his girls; Bucksnort on the left and me on the right

I always liked to cook--probably because I always liked to read and that included the directions on the cake mix box. My mom started me out with pudding, jello, and cake mixes, and then turned me loose with her cookbooks.

One Saturday, along about the time this photo was taken, the family went off on some errand for the morning, leaving me at home alone. There was a crate of Gravenstein apples in the garage that my mom had bought at the local farmers' market and I decided to make apple pies.

I scouted through Mother's 1950 edition of the American Woman's Cook Book and figured out how to make pie crust. By the time the family arrived back home, the apples were gone and I had 10 pies, wrapped in foil, tucked away in the freezer. That crust was good, too, and I still make it exactly the same way I learned to that day.

That's a true story. I was a weird kid.

For a two-crust pie:

2 cups sifted flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
4 to 6 tbl. cold water

Sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. Cut in shortening with two knives or a pastry blender until the shortening is about the size of peas. Add water, using only a small portion at a time, until mixture will hold together.

Divide dough into two parts. Roll out on floured board to desired size.

Line the pie pan with one piece of dough, being careful not to stretch it. After the filling is in place, moisten the edge of the bottom piece of dough with cold water. Cover with remaining piece of dough, which has been rolled out and slashed several times in the center to allow steam to escape while the pie is baking.

Press the edges together with the prongs of a fork and bake according to the recipe for the filling selected.

For a pastry shell that is baked before the filling is added:

Roll half of the dough 1/8 inch thick, fold in half and lift into pie pan (or roll around the rolling pin to place it in the pan). Do not stretch dough.

After the crust is fitted, trim edges evenly, leaving a 1 inch overhanging border, which you will then fold under and back to make an upright rim.

Flute the edges using the thumb and index finger of one hand and the index finger of the other hand.

Prick the crust thoroughly with a fork, line it with waxed paper, and partially fill with raw rice or dry beans. Remove paper and beans or rice after first 10 minutes of baking.

Bake in a 450˚ oven for about 15 minutes or until delicately browned.

No comments: