11/18/12

Pie Hand

If you have only had store bought pie then I understand why you might hate pie. Store bought pie is evil.  EVIL! It was created by rabid VEGANS to make you want to avoid butter and eggs. That is why it is so bad! The crust is like glued sawdust and the filling is usually gelatinous and, yet, simultaneously, watery. The whole thing is enough to make you feel demoralized and sad, which is actually the reason people get depressed during the holidays: too much store bought pie.

Homemade pie, however, is delicious: the crust is flakey and buttery. The filling, whatever it is, sits in silky patience, waiting, covered or uncovered, completely confident in its ability to make you want to a hug a cat.

To make a good pie you need a pie hand. A pie hand is sort of like a horse whisperer: it knows how to coax magic out of what is otherwise a proud and independent animal, or, in this case, flour and fat.

There are lots of recipes for crust, and a good one isn't too hard to find, but it's the pie hand that makes the difference. When you approach the mixing of your flour and your fat, do so with your hands. Put down the fork. Put down the pastry mixer. Use your finger tips. It's ok if you have some big clunks of butter in there. It is butter, after all. But, in general, you want your ingredients to be mixed to the consistency of sort of silky graham cracker crumbs.

When you are ready, add the water. (It should be cold. Really cold. I put mine in the freezer until there is almost a thin coating of ice at the top of the measuring cup.)  Now stir it with a humble fork.

When you feel the calling, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Pat it all together. Knead.  Knead it ten times. You will want with all your heart to knead it more because the kneading itself will be the most cathartic experience you'll have felt in a long time. But this isn't therapy, this is pie. Knead it ten times and then restrain yourself: stop.

Roll out the crust. Make it on the thin side. Thick crust won't get crispy enough, and that will just bring you down.

Now you are ready. With a gentle touch lift the crust into your pan. Poke some holes into the bottom with a fork. Add the filling. If there is a crust top add that with just as much gentlenss. I use a fork to pinch my crusts. I like the way it looks, but you can pinch if you want. Use a knife to cut off the excess. Turn that into a mini pie for your own true love.

Happy Thanksgiving.



13 comments:

Daisy said...

I am drooling!

Jean Spitzer said...

Me, too.

Petrea Burchard said...

I have never made a good pie crust, but I've eaten plenty of them.

Olga said...

You have made me very sad. My hub's family is not traditional about T-day desserts. I can never count on there being pie unless dessert is what I am asked to bring. This year I am bringing home made rolls, but I am already missing the pie.
You know what...I am going to make myself a pie today. I make a kick-ass crust, the touch having been handed down from my grandmother to my mother to me.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Like you, I prefer Homemade pie.
MF, please save me a slice of your homemade TG pie - Apple or Boysenberry are fine!

And don't busy yourself about delivering it. Just lemme know when I can come pick it up. Thks.

Desiree said...

I am filled with deep sadness and compassion for those who do not know the true meaning of pie.

Ms M said...

Perfect recipe (and instructions) for a delectable pie crust!

Happy Thanksgiving :-)

Susan Campisi said...

Your pie-making sounds like a religious experience. I am joining the Church of Pie.

Rois said...

A really good homemade pie is priceless! The bliss of it..sigh.

I don't make pies though,the man of the house does such a good job of it why bother?

altadenahiker said...

Is this a good crust for savory pies (only kind I like).

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Maybe the reason I love cats so much is that my mother never made pie.

Adele said...

I'm with Susan. What time/where are the services held?

Dr. kold_kadavr_flatliner, MD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.