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May 8, 2010 / Wendy Joan

Wendy versus The Pie Crust

In the grocery store, I was invincible. “No,” I thought “I don’t really need to buy that $6 rolling pin. That can of artichokes in the cupboard will work just fine.

Back in my kitchen, I am cowering. Everything is going wrong.

Let me back up. My mother is a world-famous pie maker—best known for her delicate, fluffy and never-dense crusts. As I grew up, I gradually learned her secrets along the way, but have always been disappointed with my own results that never taste as good.

With the launch of Playing House, I have decided to face my fears. First, I made a danish puff for Easter, and the pastry came out excellently. On Mother’s Day Eve, I am preparing two pie crusts to fill with quiche the tomorrow morning. I think the crust fiasco is best described through the following stream of consciousness:

I know I’m not supposed to handle the dough too much, but these chunks of butter aren’t getting any smaller! If the butter was warm, this would be a lot easier.

Ok. I think I’m ready to roll the dough out. (Cuts thumb on wax paper) Shit. This blood is totally going to get in the dough. (Bandages tiny cut with paper towel. Rolls out dough. Dough falls on skirt and floor and in shoes.)

I should have bought that rolling pin! What was I thinking? And why can I still see chunks of butter through the wax paper? Ok, slow down. Mom would tell you to put the crusts in the freezer. (Puts crusts in freezer. Starts writing blog post.)

The pie crusts came out of the freezer okay, but were crumbly to say the least. Transferring the crusts to the pie plates ensued more crumbling on the countertops and floors that were cleaned this morning. Who knows how these will taste.

.

Maybe I should make muffins as a back-up?


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4 Comments

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  1. Bridgit / May 9 2010 9:50 am

    Just to let you all know that I am the receiver of all this good will and pie crustery, blood (literally), sweat and tears (dunno that for sure). Have to tell you that I am so blessed to have a son who had the good sense to bring this wonderful girl into my life.

  2. Aunt Amy / May 10 2010 7:51 am

    hahahaha – sorry, BAD Aunt Amy….I’m giggling at your expense! Sorry to say I don’t think anyone can make a pie as well as your Mom!!! Grandma tried to give me pie crust lessons too…..and I pretty much had the same outcome as you. Don’t you hate the pie crust crumbs all over your floor!!! Mine are not so pretty, but they do taste good. I bet yours tasted wonderful!

  3. Mom / May 11 2010 7:57 am

    Oh, Daughter Dear! Relax a little and the pie crust will come to you! I know my early attempts with pie crusts were not successes. When you are home next, I will give you a hands-on, shortening (or butter) to flour, step by step.
    Do not give up, and what ever you do, DO NOT BUY PREPARED CRUSTS!!!!
    I’ve seen recipes recently where grated, frozen butter are incorporated into flour for an even distribution. You could try this (I think Mark Bittman in NY Times used this method).
    Yes, knives can be dangerous!!!!
    xoxox Mom

  4. Mom / May 11 2010 7:59 am

    I am sending you that rolling pin from Grandma’s.
    Mom

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