Please stand back from the glow of Pie Day, because its radiance may burn you.
Pie Day consisted of making pie crusts, cutting up vegetables for chicken pot pie (the best food in the world), making copious amounts of pumpkin filling for one GIANT pumpkin pie, and of course eating pie and drinking too much black coffee. I don't have a pie and coffee tattoo for nothing kids:
To be truthful, I have a pie and coffee tattoo because I love "Twin Peaks," pie, and coffee, but for the intent and purpose of this blog post as well as those that don't know of the show, this is just a bangin' representation of my love affair with the pastry and filling arts.
The first day of Autumn seems like the perfect time to celebrate a day like this, but it was totally accidental. My husband and my parents were bringing in wood for the furnace, and I'm MUCH too fragile to do something like that, so I was in charge of the pie crusts and beginning to make pot pie. I was wearing a sweater, it was slightly brisk and there were big and fluffy autumn clouds in the sky that replaced the haze of the humid summer sun. It was the perfect time to fire up the oven and bring back the pie-making season from it's sticky-summer hiatus. I hadn't made crusts in a while, so I felt a little rusty, but by batch two, I could easily have made a dozen more batches. I read somewhere that decent bakers are born and not made, but I feel like with this recipe the former doesn't always have to be the case (thankfully for the rest of us that must get by with our Grams' recipes and a nanobyte of their talent and patience).
My Gram gave me her love for pie and all things tasty, some skill with which to create these tasty things, and she gave me her figure (gee thanks, lady.) Something else she gave me, though, was a pie crust recipe that cannot be beat by anything that I've ever seen. The woman lived by this recipe and it's ability to create a pie crust that will not get tough no matter how much you handle the dough. It's genius. It's divinely-inspired. It might be slightly satanic (okay...it's not), but it's also the secret to any pie that I've ever made in my life. The fillings are the fillings, but the crust...honey chile, that's what makes a pie more than pudding or stewed fruit.
If I share this recipe, you have to promise to use it. No excuses and don't argue with the directions.
"Fool"Proof Pie Crust
4 Cups Flour
1 3/4 cup Crisco (regular or butter flavored...if you like butter, use the butter flavored)
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1/2 Cup cold water
Mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Cut in Crisco until crumbly (use a pastry blender if you're averse to getting your hands dirty, but I've been watching way too much "Two Fat Ladies," lately and I want to do everything by hand). In a separate bowl, whisk egg, then add vinegar and water and mix together. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until you get a big ole pastry ball. Flatten it out and cut into four equal parts, then make those parts into pastry patties. Freeze for a heck of a long time...or at least chill in the fridge for half an hour before using. The waiting is the hardest part...Tom Petty said so.
There you have it. Make your own "Damn Fine" Pie Day.