As Food Friendly May comes to an end, it’s only right and fitting that I do my best to pass on what I know about one of the most universally frustrating challenges faced by cooks the world over: pie crust.
I honestly don’t know if what I have to say will do the trick for you or not because I am one of those revolting people who just plain has The Touch for pies. I made my first pie crust at seven. My mother nearly cried. Pie crust was her culinary Achille’s heel and somehow she’d produced a daughter who seemed incapable of turning out a bad pie crust.
This is why I rarely attempt to explain to anyone how I do it: because it comes to me so easily that I don’t know why what I’m doing works so well. It just does.
Still, I can pass on what I do in hopes that someone will find it helpful. There are a few hints I know that might be useful to somebody. For one thing, start with very cold ingredients. The colder the better, as long as you can still work them. I even put my flour in the fridge before I start work, because it’s always produced a better result. I don’t know why this works, only that it does for me. The other really important one – and I cannot stress this enough – is not to overwork the dough. Once it almost holds together, stop fussing. Once you get it about the right size, stop rolling and get it in the pan. Pie crust is never improved by extra efforts, but can be by a quick hand.
So what’s my recipe? It’s simple enough. Here’s hoping it works for you: