My mother always makes perfect pies (except for the Thanksgiving that the dog ate them). Flaky crust. Yummy, sweet, gooey fillings. I supposed I've been intimated to try to live up to her standard. And although I love to cook, there's an exactness and precision to baking I find
So the beautiful red Emile Henry pie pan, along with Mom's recipe for Flaky Pastry crust sweetly handwritten on an index card, has gone unused since she gave it to me the Christmas after Mr. H. and I were married.
But blueberries are beautiful right now and I swear I heard them taunting me at the market this morning, so I decided that for Mr. H's birthday I'd give pie a try.
The result? Well, the dough whipped up like a dream, but rolling it out and working with it got a little tricky. I thought about calling Mom to have her walk me through it... but then I decided to get a little creative. Instead of trying to fashion a flawless top crust, I broke out the heart shaped cookie cutters. Not perfect. But fine. And clearly made with love.
And the crust flaked beautifully.
Next time, I'll ask Mom to take me through pie boot camp. Until then, there's plenty of leftovers. (Hint, hint to my friends whose children have soccer camp in our neighborhood: please come by to help us take care of the extra!)
Or, if you want to try it yourself, here's Mom's recipe for flaky pie crust. I'm not sure where it originated, it's the recipe she's been using as long as I've been eating pie.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 3/4 cups vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup ice cold water
With fork mix first four ingredients.
In a small bowl beat ice water with vinegar and egg. Blend into dry ingredients with fork until mixture is moist.
With hands mold dough into ball and chill at least 15 minutes. Dough can be refrigerated three days or frozen until ready to use.
Makes two double-crusted pies and one 9" shell.
Thanks for all the warm happy birthday wishes for Mr. H! And if you're in the neighborhood, please stop by for some pie!