Aunt Ruth's Pie Crust and Mom's too

Now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it is time to bake pies and I would like to share with you my favorite pie crust recipes.

The art of pie baking eluded me for years.  It had nothing to do with the filling; it was all about making a good, flaky crust.  My mother had a reputation for her excellent pies and I watched her make them many times.  In fact, I even made one along side of her once. 

Mom could do this so well with little effort but, I could not get the ‘touch’ at all!  It would not incorporate well; had too much water or not enough, or else broke into pieces when it was rolled out.  

It always stuck to the board or counter and was nearly unfeasible for me to pick the dough up and place it in the pie pan, forget trying to patch it.  Mom did it effortlessly in one swift motion.  I was ready to give up on it and just buy those ready-made crusts in the grocery store.
Then, Aunt Ruth came to the rescue and gave me a pie crust recipe that was almost impossible to mess up, she said!  And she was right!  

She told me a friend gave her this recipe many years ago when she was learning to bake.  It is different in that a paste is made and added to the flour.  I have always used this recipe ever since because it never fails – is always flaky and delicious!

Mom’s pie crust recipe for a 2 crust pie:

2 cps. flour
2/3 c. Crisco
1 ½ t. salt
Her method: 
Add water by teaspoon and feel of dough.  Roll out and work fast!

Aunt Ruth’s (mine t00) recipe for a 2 crust pie:
2 ¼ cps sifted flour
¼ c. cold water
1 t. salt
¾ c. Crisco
Her method:
Measure flour into mixing bowl, then take out 1/3 cup flour and put in a smaller bowl.  
Mix the cold water into the 1/3 cup flour, making a thick paste.
Add salt and Crisco to flour in large bowl and knead until crumbly (I use a pastry blender).  
Add the flour paste.  
Stir till just combined.  
Roll out on floured surface.

Make a paste
Gather into a ball
Roll out the pastry

This recipe will not fail.  It makes a delicious tender, flaky crust.  If I can do it, anyone can!  


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Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!
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We went for Sunday rides in the Model-T when my grandmother didn't visit. My parents liked the orange groves, miles and miles of orange trees always either in blossom or full of oranges. My parents had a picnic basket and a metal chest. In the metal chest were frozen cans of fruit on dry ice, and in the picnic basket were weenie and liverwurst and salami sandwiches, potato chips, bananas and soda-pop. The soda-pop was shifted continually back and forth between the metal box and the picnic basket. It froze quickly, and then had to be thawed.
~ Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye


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