2016 Will Include Pie

Pie crust has always been daunting for me. The tedious process of "cutting" in the butter until it the dough "resembles peas?" has always baffled my mind and, frankly, my abilities.

And, who needs pie anyway? I make a mean cake, all kinds of cake.

My daughter makes a great pie crust and has for many years. I just chalked it up to her superior intelligence. I guess she finally decided I should stop whining about her not being here to make pie because she bought me an amazing pie cookbook, Hoosier Mama, and MADE me use it while she was home.

We started by deciding which pies to make. That is not as easy as it sounds. Our location is remote and we can't just run to the store and grab some rhubarb. After an hour or so we picked two and got started. Since the crust is my nemesis, I wanted to pay close attention to the steps she took. I don't think I would have been able to translate the steps in the book as easily if she had not been at the helm.

Turns out we both learned a few things.

She has always cut her butter into the flour (the whole pea thing) by hand and this technique called for the food processor. She was doubtful that this would work having tried it before. The key we discovered was not letting the dough come together in the food processor. There was also some frozen butter in there somewhere.

For me, the obstacle has been getting the dough off the board. After rolling it out to get that paper thin circle, I usually end up scraping it off with a knife and, dare I say, making a cake.

Turns out the key is to roll and turn the dough after each roll. Worked like a charm. She already knew this so the surprise was all mine. I did wonder why she had never shared this tip with me before. Hmmm. Probably because this was the first time we had ever made just pie and not a whole meal. Maybe I just never paid enough attention? No, that can't be it. OK, maybe.

The resulting pies were amazing. A coconut cream and a persimmon that were the best pies I ever ate.

She left the next day, but I was so inspired (and had so much smoked turkey left over) that I decided to make a Turkey Pot Pie using Hoosier Mama's Thyme butter crust. It was a little intimidating to attempt this by myself and I did make a few mistakes but in the end I had a gorgeous looking pot pie to put in the freezer for another day, maybe the day she comes home for another visit.