Sunday, November 7, 2010

So you wanna make a pie?

Or not.
Well, I told you I would try, so here goes.
If I haven't told you before, when I was about 21 years old, I tried to make a pie. It was just plain awful. My mother, who isn't all that much of a cook, never has been, told me to buy those sticks of pie crust. That was even worse than my feeble attempt.
So I called my cousin, who lived up the road from me. She was 4 years older than me, and I figured she must know how. She gave me this recipe, which I have used for 40 years now, with MUCH success.

From november

You start with 4 cups of all purpose flour, one teaspoon (measured loosely) of salt, and one tablespoon of sugar. Mix well.
Take one and 3/4 cups of Crisco (stay away from the cheap stuff) and cut it into the flour mixture, with a pastry tool, like this one from Pampered Chef, or two forks.
From november

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of water, one beaten egg, and one tablespoon of cider vinegar.
From november

Mix this liquid in with the dry ingredients. Put the bowl of pie dough right in the fridge, for 15 minutes.
Now I know you purists out there are flipping out. What? An egg in your pie dough?
But trust me. Everything is better with an egg.
From november

The recipe make four singles, or two pies with tops. Your choice.
I made four.
From november

Baked them in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 min til they were lightly browned.
From november

I made three chocolate pies, and one coconut cream.
I had every intention of taking pictures of the finished pies, but then I got busy, and forgot. By the time I remembered, well. they were being devoured.
See what I mean?
From november

I'm here to tell you, the coconut cream was to die for. If I could move, I would toddle out into the kitchen and cut myself ANOTHER piece.
But I can't.

From november

When I was 26 years old, my cousin died suddenly right in her own kitchen. Every time I make a pie, I think of her, and all the years I've had, and all the years she's missed. I know I'll see her someday, and I hope I remember to tell her about all these pies, over the years, that have made my family smile.
I'll thank her. She'll laugh.
Maybe we'll make pies together. Wouldn't that be a hoot?


claudia said...

Sorry for your loss of a good friend and cousin who would have been a great mentor for you all your life.
But she did leave you the pie crust.
Those pies...well, what's left look so good! I love me some coconut cream opie, and choclate, apple, strawberry rhubarb, get it. I love pie!
Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will try it for our Thanksgiving desserts!

ethelmaepotter! said...

What a tribute to your cousin that you think of her every time you make a pie - and that coconut looks fabulous!

We actually had coconut cream pie tonight - but it was AWFUL! Our son and daughter-in-law called to ask if they could drop by, and we were just leaving a movie, so I stopped by Walmart to get fixin's for chili...and a store-bought pie. YUCK. And the crust was about two inches thick and had the taste and texture of cold styrofoam.

Egg in pie crust? Absolutely. But I've never heard of adding vinegar. Can you taste it?

By the way, I would love to take your adorable babies off your hands, but I have just adopted my...God, I almost can't even say it...I have just third DOG. And none of them get along with cats.

What was I thinking?????

Country Girl said...

I'm terrible at making my own pie crust, but yours and the story that goes with it, makes me want to make the attempt once more.
I love chocolate pie. It does not love me.

re'New said...

Your recipe sounds alot like the one I use... I'm too lazy to get up and check if it's the same! Your story made me think about my grandma. She made bread - all I can remember about it was watching her knead and punch down the dough. Every time I see my aunt Aletha I'm reminded of her - They have the same hands....

Tiggeriffic said...

Pies are comfort food..I have a similar pie crust receipe. egg and all. Once one has found a sucessful pie crust recipe you never change it..never.. I used to make 5 pies every Friday and they were gone on Monday morning. 4 children and a hubby that ate 1/4 of the pie at one time ~ the pies went fast. memories are so wonderful.
I love making pies.. Ta Ta For now from Iowa..

Leslie said...

A family friend gave me her pie crust recipe many years ago and I, too, treasure it. I'm going to add your cousin's recipe to my special file and will give it a try this Thanksgiving. Recipes given to us by loved ones are things to treasure. My three daughters use many of my "special" recipes in THEIR cooking, and it's so neat to see these traditions carried on. Be blessed!

Karen said...

Love this post, Hilary. I'm thinking maybe she's been helping you all along. That coconut pie looks beyond devine!....

Fragrant Liar said...

Oh, man. I love pies. All kinds. They are so bad for my middle, but when I see a pie, smell one, taste one, I just don't even care.

I hope when you see your cousin that you do bake pies. And laugh.

Sharon said...

I'm a life-long pie baker, from a long line of pie bakers. I love to make crust and will even put leftovers in crusts. I love the connection pies gives you with your cousin. I always feel my grandmother when I'm making crust.

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