Thank you for visiting my blog; it is an exciting venture for me and I hope this will become a forum for moms and homemakers of all types to share stories, frustrations, and triumphs. There will be recipes, pictures of my latest and greatest soap creations, and anything I think will be interesting to Enthusiastic Homemakers.....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I can see it in your eye; that you want to make pie....

I decided to put up a post about one of my favorite things; pie. I just happen to have a half bushel of apples that are mocking me; reminding me daily by their presence that I have a million things to do that I never seem to get around to doing. So in the spirit of pie making, and with hope that I will, in fact, use the apples for the purpose with which they were intended, I decided to share a few things about pie that I have learned over the years, mostly from that lovely lady, Betty Crocker. As I talked about on an earlier post, my favorite cookbook is a reprint of a 1951 Betty Crocker; the pictures are charming, the recipes a dream. It provides a glimpse into the daily lives of my favorite of the species; 50's housewives. There is a wonderful section which gives tips on stretching the family budget as well as keeping your spirits lifted; no therapy required. I actually think I will post about those tips at a later date; they are just priceless!

I always use Betty's version of a pie crust, it's so simple! Modern cookbooks make the process seem so difficult and time consuming; when it should be....easy as pie! You don't need the finest quality butter, or a food processor, or special flour, or special equipment, just flour, shortening (I know, I know), cold water, and either a pastry blender (which is just a little hand-held gizmo), or two forks. Also, modern recipes call for a higher percentage of fat to flour, which is just not necessary. The recipe I use calls for 2/3 cup of shortening per two-crust pie, certainly not health food, but I have seen other recipes use almost equal amounts of butter to flour! And I just roll the dough out with a wooden roller, no fancy-dancy new models with Teflon, on my wooden cutting board. I would love to have a marble inset to my counter top for dough; but for now, wood it is!

The problem with making pie, is that it is a fairly time-consuming dessert, so last time I made pie, I came up with a new technique, based on something my Granny used to do while making pie. Some of my best memories of my Granny are from my visit to her home in Missouri when I was eleven, she loved pie, and loved baking pies, so my sister and I helped her while she made lots of fruit pies. She came from a time and a place where pie was a staple, more of a way to preserve and a vehicle for fruit than a fancy dessert. She told us that while she was growing up in the 1930's, her mother used to make a dozen pies at a time. I always think of that when I bake pies; and hope that my pies would be Granny-approved! I remember her making the filling and then freezing it for another time, since she didn't have enough pie tins or oven space, so last time I made pies I did something similar. I don't claim that this is completely my idea, I'm sure other ladies have figured this out long ago, but for me it was a new idea!

I simply made enough filling for an extra pie, and placed it in a pie tin with no crust, greased. I did this with cooked filling, but I'm sure you could do this with the uncooked filling as well. I then baked that pie tin with just filling until it was done, then cooled it in the pie tin and when it was cool, stuck the whole thing in the freezer. I froze it until solid, then popped the filling out of the pie tin, wrapped it in plastic, and put it back in the freezer. When I needed a fairly quick dessert some weeks later, I simply made up a pie crust in the same pie tin, added the frozen block of filling, topped with another crust, baked as usual. It made a delicious, fresh-baked pie, and since the filling is the most time-consuming part, was ready in a snap! Of course, you can also freeze entire pies, but that requires putting pie tins out of commission, but I haven't had the greatest luck defrosting whole pies, and the crust has a tendency to become soggy when frozen. 

Now, do you want to make pie?


  1. Oh, your blog makes me so hungry!! Yes, I want to make a pie! Here's a killer pie recipe for you, Pear and Gruyere Pie. It calls for a TON of butter, expensive cheese and cooking your pears in port wine but it is to die for!! I save it for special occasions since it's so unhealthy! :) YUM!

  2. Thanks Brittany! What could be better than pie, expensive cheese and port wine?! Yum! I will definitely give that a try! And it may be unhealthy, but I'm sure it feeds your soul!

  3. Yes! What a great memory! Almost as good as when she made "snails"! THAT is another story:). I also make fruit pies just like Granny, although I created my own crust recipe after years of practice, and many strange crusts!

  4. Oh, please share Anonymous-relative-of-mine! I would love a better crust. Hmmm, this is silly, but I can only narrow down the author of the comment to three people!

  5. I am the one who went to Missouri with you silly!

  6. Oh, gotch, Anonymous sister of mine! So share this crust recipe!