Good pie…

… starts with a good, flaky pastry.

Pie is another one of those easy basic desserts that impresses people. Nobody has the time to make a pie these days, but most people have the skills to do it. The most labour-intensive part of most dessert pies is making the pastry, and after that it’s downhill from there.

The pie we make most often in our house is apple pie. Why? Because apples are cheap and readily available and because apple pie is really, really hard to screw up.

Throw a latticed top on the pie with some egg wash, and people will ooh and ahh even more.

Today is another one of those rare days where my recipe comes from a printed source, as opposed to the interweb. Rumour has it that the last time my dad cooked as a bachelor, he used this cookbook as a reference, so it is highly regarded in my family as a relic from another era.

Flaky Pastry for 2-Crust Pie from The New Revised and Updated McCall’s Cookbook.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup shortening or 2/3 cup lard [I use 3/4 cup butter]

5 to 6 tablesppons ice water


1. Sift flour with salt into medium bowl.

2. With pastry blender or 2 knives [in hard times, I use a fork], using short cutting motion, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

3. Quickly sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over all of pastry mixture, tossing lightly with fork after each addition and pushing dampened portion to side of bowl; sprinkle only dry portion remaining. (Pastry should be just moist enough to hold together, not sticky.)

4. Shape pastry into ball; wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to use. Divide in half, flatten each half with palm of hand.

5. To make bottom crust: On lightly floured surface, roll out half of pastry to 11-inch circle, rolling with light strokes from center to edge and lifting rolling pins as you reach edge. As you roll, alternate directions, to shape even circle.

6. If rolled piecrust is too irregular in shape, carefully trim off any bulge and use as patch. Lightly moisten pastry edge to be filled in. Gently press patch in place. Smooth seam with several light strokes of rolling pin.

7. Fold rolled pastry in half; carefully transfer to pie plate, making sure fold is in center.

8. Unfold pastry, and fit carefully into pie plate. Do not stretch pastry. Trim bottom crust even with edge of pie plate.

9. Turn out prepared filling onto bottom crust.

10. To make top crust: Roll out remaining half of pastry to 11-inch circle.

11. Fold in half; make several gashes near center for steam vents. [I usually cut my top crust into even strips in order to make a latticed top. If you do this, skip ahead to step #13]

12. Carefully place pastry on top of filling, making sure fold  is in center; unfold.

13. Trim top crust 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold top crust under bottom crust; press gently together to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

14. For shiny, glazed top, brush top crust with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water, or with 1 slightly beaten egg white, or with undiluted evaporated milk.

15. To prevent edge of crust from becoming too brown, place 11/2-inch strip of  foil around rust; bake as recipe indicates. Remove foil last 15 minutes of baking.

Makes enough pastry for 8 or 9-inch 2-crust pie.


The filling

    • shellie
    • June 10th, 2010

    i miss your yummy apple pies!

      • siridoeskorea
      • June 11th, 2010

      Now you can make them too ^^!

  1. June 15th, 2010
    Trackback from : Quiche. « SiriDoesCooking

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