Sunday, January 12, 2014

Two Knives and Some Fat*

I have always loved pie. I love making it. I love eating it. But I have never gotten the Holy Grail of crusts down perfectly, and in my mind, that's a lard-based crust.

I want to be the Empress of Pie Crust. I want to be able to whip a perfect pie crust together with nothing more than two knives, some fat, and some flour. Come hell or high humidity. No food processors. No tricksy vodka recipes, just the basics, like our grammas used to make.

I told A today that I was going to make a pie a week for a year until I got it right. She said (and rightly so) "That's a lotta pies!" Well, that's a price I'll have to pay I guess. One hopes it won't take a year...

Like my friend Julie, I'm going to work my way through some pie books until I get it absolutely right. And I may blog about it, in the most blantantly copying way (that girl had a bestselling book and a Nora Ephron movie, all I want is perfect pie crust.) Right now I am using Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott, and started with her lard recipe and a buttermilk pie.

A friend commented on Facebook "Must be something to do with leftover holiday provisions. Or so said Mrs. McGuiver when she made the same yesterday." And well, yes. There was the larger part of a quart of buttermilk in the fridge about to hit its expiry date, so buttermilk pie it is.

Never made it before. Have made all sorts of chess pies, most especially my Chocolate Chess Pie, but hadn't tried buttermilk before.

I will note that either a) I didn't roll the crust out thin enough or b) the recipe needs expanding a bit, but I didn't get enough crust along the top to make it purty and fluted, so it looks rather ragged. But I picked a wee bit off the edge and it tastes divine!

So I'm going to do some math (argh) and increase the recipe about 25% before next weekend, when I'll try again with a different filling. But for now, here's the Buttermilk pie as it cools:

*And thanks to my friend Melissa, who says "Two Knives and Some Fat" would make an awesome book title." Or, at least a good one for a blog post to get started, anyway. Thanks Melissa!