Easy as Pie

Whoever coined that simile never made one.

I have been trying to make a simple, flaky piecrust like my mother’s for ** years. Just flour, salt, Crisco and water, mixed with her hands, it is always delicious, especially with McIntosh apple filling between the double layers.

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Grocery or Grandma’s?

I have resorted to the Pioneer Woman’s recipe which you can get online, and by rolling it out between two pieces of waxed paper can accomplish an acceptable result. But the added ingredients expand the wavy edge and keep it from looking like I shaped it with my thumb and forefingers before it went into the oven.

A long time ago I tried a recipe which used cooking oil, and pressed it into the pan like Play-Doh. It tasted like Play-Doh. I wouldn’t recommend it.

I do use refrigerated crust from the grocery store at times, but don’t consider that a homemade pie.

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I guess it is a little easier to make a graham cracker crust for some pies.

Do you have an all-time favorite made-from-scratch filling? Mine would be pumpkin, Dutch apple, banana cream (stirred in the double boiler) and sugar cream. Glazed fresh strawberry pie marks a special summer dessert time at our house. Though I have a recipe for the glaze, I also use Wick’s, which probably contains more red dye than I want to think about. Who remembers the ban on red food coloring?

The oven temperatures which result in a set but not runny end product can be tricky. Some instructions tell you to start out high, then turn to medium for the duration. The knife test in the middle always certifies the state of the filling. A century ago farm ladies had to be even more skilled to keep their wood-fired ovens at an even heat for pies, cakes, cookies and bread.

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I had to give up on the wavy edge., using a fork to make it look decent.

Even with the unusual circumstances of holiday celebrations this year, you can bet there will be pies on many tables. If yours are homemade, consider yourself fortunate. There is no shame in buying a Christmas pie. I guess in that case, it is easy.