When you think of pie, what images and memories are conjured? I have several. In fact beginning with my grandmother and mother, you might say I have quite a “pie” family history! Though I don’t remember first hand, my maternal grandparents owned peach and apple orchards in Koshkonong, Missouri. Through the years, my grandmother made many pies, (mostly fruit), for her family of 11 children. During my childhood, my mother was always making pies and cobblers. My dad had a ridiculously big sweet tooth which she loved catering to! Fruits were usually made into cobblers. When it came to pies, she was known for her coconut cream and chocolate. The creamed pie its with perfect meringue was served for many church potlucks,, funeral dinners, and company meals.
For me, pie is not just about another dessert. I get a nostalgic feeling of simpler times when ingredients came fresh from the farm. It’s about warm summer days of heading to the peach orchards and returning home with bushel baskets of ripe, delicious fruit. It’s berry picking on the hottest day of the year, being pricked with thorns and eaten up with chiggers, but in return, bringing home buckets of blackberries. It’s a trip to the apple orchard on a crisp, fall day with the family to pick apples straight from the tree. It is the smell that emanates from the warm oven as the family comes home for dinner. Homemade pie is more than just dessert. It is a feeling of being cozy, warm, and at home.
Now that peach season is in full swing, I knew it was time to bake a pie. I tried a new recipe for pie crust and I’m certainly glad I did! My husband is something of a pie crust “connoisseur”. In other words, he’s picky about it which is no surprise. He grew up with a mom who has always baked the prettiest pies that I’ve ever seen! Her crust not only tastes great, but she always makes them beautiful with decorative cut out pieces on top or formed into a woven, lattice crust. Since it is my husband’s favorite part of the pie, the verdict here is that he loved this crust! It was perfectly flaky and delicious!
Next time you want to do something homey that makes you feel like a true “Suzy Homemaker”, bake a pie. Your family will be VERY happy that you did!
Ingredients for Crust:
Crust: 9-inch double crust
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup lard, cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 egg-wash on crust under & on top
- Extra sugar for sprinkling on top
Directions for Crust:
Mix the 2 cups of the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder together lightly in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor.
Add the butter and lard chunks and cut into the flour using a pastry cutter or by pulsing the food processor.
The mixture should look like large crumbs and begin to cling together in clumps.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and mix lightly or pulse the processor two or three times.
Do not over mix this flour.
Sprinkle the water over the dough and with hands or a wooden spoon, mix in until dough holds together.
Shape the dough into two discs.
To roll dough, take one of the discs and place between two pieces of parchment paper.
Roll into a circle until the dough is a little larger that your pie plate.
(I am certainly no expert on creating the perfect pie crust. I do know that technique is as important, (and probably more so), than the ingredients. A few tips that I do know: Use super cold butter, lard, & water. Do not over handle the dough. Do not get too much flour in it. If my suggestions still aren’t enough, here is a fantastic site to show you in much more detail with great pictures, too!)
Ingredients for Filling:
- 5 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
Directions for Pie:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line 9-inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts.
In small bowl, break the egg and scramble with a fork.
Brush some of the egg onto the bottom pie crust to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.
Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice, mixing gently.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Pour over the peaches, and mix gently.
Pour into the pie crust, and dot with butter.
Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under.
Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg.
Brush more of the egg over the top crust.
Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.
Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350°F.
Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents.
If the edges brown to fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking.
Cool before serving, preferably with vanilla ice cream!