June 17, 2015

Grammy's Pie Crust

Grammy, her name was Della [isn't that lovely?], was my grandfather's grandmother. That would make her my great-great grandmother. We never met, but I've heard stories of what a force of a woman she was.
Later in her life she moved into a mobile home behind the farm house that her daughter and son-in-law (my great grandparents) lived in. According to the story, my great grandmother would leave some Crisco and flour out for Della to make a pie if she wanted. When my grandmother was asking her about pie crust Della looked at her and said, "Of course you can't make a decent pie crust without lard and New Rinkel flour."
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Naturally, I said "I'M A VEGETARIAN! I CANNOT HAVE LARD!" Nope. No that is not what I said. I actually said, "I MUST MAKE GRAMMY'S PIE CRUST."  I went to the grocery and grabbed all the things. I had strawberries [strawberry cream pie recipe coming soon] and I needed pie.

Now, I've made lots of pie crust. This one. This one. I even made the vodka pie crust from ATK [it's baller]. And I frequently just grab a pie crust from the refrigerated section at the grocery store.
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The combination of lard, pastry flour, a pinch of salt, and a few tablespoons of cold water wins for me though. Simple, easy, flaky, and just the tiniest hint of a porky savoriness [is that just me? other people can taste that, right? I haven't had pork in about 7 years...] makes this pie crust heavenly.

When I think about Grammy baking, in my head she cooks a lot like Miss Lillie from A Chef's Life [here's the episode where Lillie makes buttermilk biscuits (9:39, but you should totally watch the whole thing) this show *love*]. You add the ingredients and use your hands and eyes and when it's right it's right and you just know it.

Since I had no idea of what the ratios would be for fat to flour, I started with one of my favorite books at the lake house, Granddaughter's Inglenook Cookbook.

Yes, I read cookbooks for funsies.

I made the pie crust, rolled it out, placed in in a pie tin, crimped the edges, docked the crust, baked it off and filled it with cream and strawberries.

It was amazing.

Grammy's Pie Crust
    for 2 pie crusts

- 2 cups New Rinkle Pastry Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2/3 cup Lard
- 4-6 Tablespoons Cold Water

Mix the flour and salt. Add the lard and use your fingers or a pastry blender until the fat is about the size of small peas. Sprinkle the water one tablespoon at a time into the flour mixture and toss it lightly with a fork until it just comes together. Once the particles hold together when you pinch a piece you have enough water. Divide dough into two portions. Flour your surface and roll out your crust until it is about 1" larger than your pie plate all the way around. Place the dough into your pie plate and crimp the edges. I do it almost exactly as this epicurious video teaches.

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