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Yes, but can she bake a pie?

At the bottom of the clipping on the fourth page is a pie crust recipe. It is oil based and the kind you press into the pie pan, as opposed to rolling it out. I’ve made oil based pie crusts a few times, but they seem to be more crisp than flaky. And, flaky is what I’m out for.

Real Good Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable or salad oil
2 tablespoons milk

Stir up and press around in pie pan. Don’t roll. — Mrs. Cecil (Janet) Rauch, Deep River, Iowa

To be able to make a great pie crust is truly a talent. Mom decided it was time for me to learn when I was about in the seventh grade. During this phase I would make pies on Saturday afternoons for Sunday dinner. If you’ve messed with pie crust much, you know that during the learning process you will have many failures, or “not-so-good” results. I remember one raisin pie that I had to patch together the top crust. When Daddy saw it he had to laugh…….I was embarrassed! My confidence in making a pie crust didn’t run very deep. I remember on  a visit Vera and Francis, after being married at least 5 years, I confessed I still couldn’t make very good crust. How shameful! Well, anyway, Mom had told me to remember 1-2-3…..1 cup flour, 2 Tablespoons water and 3 Tablespoons lard. So, that ratio is what I compare any pie crust recipe to. As for me, I’m still practicing.

I found this recipe for pie crust in Mom’s handwriting up the side of a page much further back in the cookbook. Looks like a reminder for the proportions to use. This actually works pretty well for me.

Best Pie Crust

1 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup water

What about you? Do you mix and roll your own? Or, do you get your pie crust in the refrigerated section at the supermarket? I confess, I do that pretty often myself. But, occasionally I experiment with pie crusts again. I had a food processor for a while until I melted it in the dishwasher. I tried the food processor for a few times, but that was too much equipment to fool around with. Besides, another bit of advice from Mom was to not work the dough any more than necessary because it will be tough. I supposed that’s something to do with the gluten in the flour. Working dough is good for bread, not for pie.

When I’m in my experimenting mode research is a big part of it. I find that quite a few recipes call for butter, but for me, that just complicates things. I haven’t used lard for years, although earlier in my marriage I certainly did and the flavor was great. Now I use vegetable shortening. Butter flavored Crisco makes a good flavored pie crust, but my very favorite texture and flavor uses only flour, shortening and water with a bit of salt.


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Real Good Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup v egetable or salad oil
2 tablespoons milk

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