Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homemade Pie Crusts: My Arch-Enemy

My husband and I just don’t use a lot of profanity. Actually, let me clarify that statement by saying that my husband freakishly NEVER swears, but should a stubbed toe or frustrating electronic device come my way, I will occasionally scold with a choice 4-letter word. For the most part, I keep my obscenities to a minimum…unless I’m making a pie crust.

Perhaps you’ve never made a “from scratch” pie crust, or maybe you are abnormally talented and can mix, roll out, and line a pie pan in 40 seconds flat, all the while, whistling “Blue Skies” and doing ballet moves around your kitchen. Good for you. Really, I’m happy for you. (Honestly, I’d like to use one of those 4-letter words about now.)

Anyway, I come from a long line of Southern women who would never, under any circumstances whatsoever, sully their kitchen with a store bought pie crust. My mom learned to make her first pie crust when she was 5 years old. My five year old can just about make her own pb&j—times are different. But I still have that tradition, and pressure, hanging over me every time I try to make a pie crust.

Thankfully, I have come a long way. I made my very first pie crust shortly after the garlic episode (see Tuesday's post), when we lived in Florida. I’ve blocked out a lot of the details, but I know that I was making a double crust for an apple pie, I know I used profanity A LOT, I know there were tears, and I know that Shawn had to fish my dough out of the trash more than once.

After that fiasco, Shawn gave me a nugget of wisdom that I’ve held onto for these past 10 years of pastry-making: “Maile, your Mom has been making pies her entire life and you are just beginning. It will take practice, but you’ll get better.”

So if even the thought of pie-making completely stresses you out like it does me, relax. We’re just beginning. All those perfect piecrusts out there started somewhere, and probably were accompanied with their fair share of obscenities, too.

Tomorrow, I offer to you my limited wisdom on pie crust making and a simple, yet delicious, recipe for a summery fruit pie.

**A special note about yesterday's post: Many thanks to Jane who pointed out that I omitted pimentos from my list of ingredients. I was not trying to mislead you all into thinking that you can actually eat Pimento Cheese without adding the pimentos so please check out the changes to yesterday's post. Thanks again, Jane!


  1. You brought back some wonderful memories. It has been many years since I made crust from scratch...ever since they began selling it already made. At age 8, I was very ill and unable to attend school for a few years, so my mother taught me to make pies and we sold them to friends in our small country town. Pie crust gave me a purpose in a way. I may have to make crust now, just to re-live those days.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Helen. I'd love to hear how it feels to "relive those days" again. And feel free to share any of your crust-making tips--I'm sure your wisdom would be much appreciated by all, especially me:)

  3. Oh you made me grin today. :-) I've had some bugger all moments with pie crusts accompanied by tears and rants and grrrr-ing. I finally found one that works Every Blooming Time. The Julia Child's one. Now I feel like an Amazing Pie Crust Woman. :-) If you like I'll send you the recipe so you can be Wonder Woman too. :-)

  4. I would love your pie crust recipe. I'm appreciative of anything that will keep the obscenities to a minimum!