Before the Mister came along, my approach to pie was simple. All I ever really put thought into was, “What kind of yummy stuff can I fill this with?” The crust was just the wrapper around the good part.
As it turns out, the crust matters too. Mister comes from a family with two generations of prize winning pie bakers and the trick, I’m told, is all in the pie crust. I was ignoring a vital part of pie baking. Bad me!
The Mister, in the beginning of our relationship, waxed poetic about the pies his mum could bake. This, of course, is where I heard about the multigenerational prize winners, and… the secret pie crust recipe. The Mister told me all of this because he already knew about my penchant for baking and was connecting to it, not in attempt to daunt me with how amazing of a person I was going to have to live up to (and Heather, you are amazing). Being myself, though, I was daunted with all of this. I never really put much thought into pie crust, are he going to think I was silly for that? Was I ever going to be able to live up to these prize winning expectations?
Of course, all of my worrying was unfounded, as per usual. He liked the things I baked for him, as did his family. Still, the secret recipe loomed. What was so special and secret about it? Was I ever going to find out what the secret was?
The Mister brought it up at some point, “Maybe Dana can learn the secret pie crust recipe one day, so she can bake us pies.”
And Heather said, “Secret? That recipe isn’t a secret!” She got out her book of recipes, flipped to the page and enlightened me as to the prize winning excellency that is her pie crust. Heather has given me permission to share the not so secret with you! Use it wisely. A pie is a beautiful thing.
Prize Winning Pie Crust
(from Aunt Phyllis’s Never-Fail Pie Crust)Ingredients
5 Cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
ice cold water
1 pound of lard, shortening or butterDirections
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar so that they are evenly distributed throughout the whole mixture.
- In a 3/4 C measure, combine beaten egg and vinegar. Add ice cold water until the measure is full.
- Cut the fat you chose to work with into the dry mixture until crumby.
- Mixing with a fork, pour in liquid mixture gradually until dough forms.
- When all of the flour is combined, cut the ball of dough into 6 pieces. This will be enough for 6 pie crusts, or 3 pies that have both a top and bottom crust.
The recipe leaves you with a lot of crust, do you really want to make 3 to 6 pies? You surely could, but you could also store what you don’t yet want to use in the fridge or freezer. Wrap it up with cling film or put it in a container with a lid, you don’t want it to lose it’s moisture.
I know that this post is all about the pie crust, but what yummy things did I pour into it? Rhubarb and sugar and cream. This rhubarb cream pie gets two thumbs up!
Rhubarb Cream Pie
(adapted from Spring 2010 Dish Magazine)Ingredients
Pastry for one, bottom only pie
1 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup flour
1/3 Cup cream
1/4 tsp salt
4 Cups finely chopped rhubarbDirections
- Turn the oven dial to 350 ° F.
- Roll out pie crust and line a 10 inch pie plate with it.
- Mix sugar, flour, cream and salt together in a large bowl.
- Then, mix in the rhubarb.
- Tumble into pie crust and place in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is just set (~70 minutes).
- Serve warm with ice cream! Share with friends!