Childhood happy remembrances for me revolve around my mother baking. She loved to bake. Her specialty was pie. All shapes, sizes, and flavors of pies. She always wanted help when making pies because she needed us to peel apples or do the cleanup work. But the aromas from the oven right around Thanksgiving were just heavenly.
We lived in a really old farm house. We had a gas oven where the automatic pilot light didn’t always light. Therefore you had to use the old stick matches to wave over the opening, or stick it in the hole, to get the oven to light. I singed all my red hair a time or two. That’s a smell you never forget.
Mom wrote the recipe down and I’ve kept it all these years. But, I could never get it right. I’m not very proud of this, but making pie dough is not my strong suit. In fact, I haven’t made her pie dough recipe in well over thirty years. In my mind, when you have Pillsbury, why bother?
As a fan of Food Network, and more importantly Ina Garten and Ree Drummond, I feel as though I’m actually being shamed into giving the pie dough a try again. It’s as if they’re saying any dummy can make pie dough. Well, not so much.
I researched making pie dough. Just watching the show hosts make the dough, and you know it just magically appears, it seems to me that they are just too nonchalant about the entire process. Reading over my mothers recipe, then watching and reading my foodie Bff’s recipes, plus my sister asking me to make dessert, well obviously any dummy can make pie dough, I just had to give it a go.
Now, I did watch the science of flaky pie dough which in all sincerity resembled my mother’s recipe by a lot, with one exception, vodka. I used 2 Tablespoons of plain vinegar instead. I think it’ll have the same effect – pure flakiness. You should watch it too. The science of it makes perfect sense.
Mom’s Pie Crust Makes 3 pies
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pound of lard, or 2 cups of Crisco (I used 1 cup butter, 1 cup Crisco)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 2 T. plain vinegar
Crumble and mix the first three ingredients. The mixture should look like small peas. You can use your hand, like my mother always did, or stop in at Aldi and pick up a pastry blender for $3.99. The pastry blender did really well.
In a 1 cup measure, add the 2 T of vinegar. Add the egg and whisk. Then add enough water to make 2/3 c liquid. Blend.
Add this to your flour mixture and use your hands to get it to dough formation.
Place the dough between two sheets of wax paper then place in a plastic bag. It needs to be REALLY cold when you go to roll it out.
But we’ll write about that one tomorrow.