It’s Pie Week on NPR. Finally, the world and I are in sync. Now, with the help of my simple pie crust recipe you can join the world, and me, in having your pie and eating it too.
Googlereader fans will recall this recipe, and the story of
The Holy Grail of Pie Crust
My Bubby makes a delicious apple pie, which she always denigrates as she serves it. According to Bubby, Aunt Sheryl, the master baker in the family, has perfected the art of pie. Bubby knows that her pie tastes good, but once she tasted Aunt Sheryl’s pie, she knew she’d found pie-perfection. Years ago, Aunt Sheryl gave Bubby her recipe. Ever since, Bubby has followed that exact recipe though never, she believes, with the same success. Now, she passes on to the next generation what she believes to be the holy grail of pie crust.
“The key,” says Bubby, as she leans forward to impart the secret of pie, “is the oil.” You need to have lots of oil to have a really flaky crust.”
“The crust is flaky,” I always insist as I sample another pie which, I am informed, is not as good as Aunt Sheryl’s. Bubby just shakes her head in disgust, and laments once more that she cannot make a truly great pie. Then she shares Aunt Sheryl’s recipe:
Pie Crust [makes two 9″ pie crusts]
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c salad oil
3 tbsp orange juice
Mix all ingredients. Roll out between two pieces of wax paper. Bake at 350 for 45 min.
For Bubby, all pie crust recipes come with a companion Apple Pie Filling recipe. This is the she uses:
Apple Pie Filling
6 c apples [Granny Smiths are good baking apples], sliced thin
1/2 – 3/4 c sugar [brown or white]
cinnamon, generous dash
nutmeg, miserly dash
1 tbsp flour
Sprinkling of corn flakes, crushed
1/3 stick of margarine, cut into pieces
egg white and water or milk [optional]
Mix all ingredients. Sprinkle corn flakes in the bottom of the pie to absorb any sogginess. Place apple mixture in pie crust. Place margarine pieces on top of apples for a nice flavour. Brush apple mixture with egg white mixed with water, or milk.
Bake in pie crust at 400 or 450 for 15-30 min, then 350 for 45 min.
“You’ll be a much better cook than I am,” says Bubby, at the end of another such conversation. With that commendation, I leave you to certain success.
For those who would like to achieve success with a pie other than apple, NPR is here for you. NPR is also opening up the floor to savory pies, which taste just as good with this pie crust as their sweeter counterparts. For me though, pie will remain a dessert, coming into its own with the fall crop of apples. Inspired by the culinary training of NPR’s Allison Aubrey, I’m thinking of starting early this year and whipping up a batch of Blueberry Pie. The universe seems to be telling me that it’s a good idea.