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Pie Crust and Helpers – Oh My

Today was dessert day. I try to make all of my desserts the day before Thanksgiving, so I can have a kitchen bake a thon and not get in the way of all the savory cooking of the main meal. On the menu for T-day 09, is:

2 Pumpkin pies
1 Chocolate pudding pie
1 Apple pie

Yes, I take requests and there are a lot of people requesting. So first off, I wanted to share the pie crust that I use. I am not a baker by nature. I don’t really like sweets and find them uninteresting. I do, however, have a family FULL of sweet lovers, and have had to figure out how to make crust without a mother figure to help me. Here is the recipe I have been using for about 6 or 8 years, it works every time and makes an amazing crust. I leave out the little bit of sweetener for my quiches, freeze these in individual crusts and they even thaw perfectly. Really, you can’t go wrong.

Pie Crust 101
Makes 5 single crusts

4 Cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 lard(use shortning if that is what you have)
1 egg
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 Cup milk

Combine flour, sugar(if using), salt in a deep bowl.
Add lard or shortening and work it in with your fingers, a fork or a pastry cutter, until it is well incorporated. You can tell this step is finished, when the lard is no longer distinguishable from the flour mixture and has become grainy looking. Don’t worry that some of the bits may be almost pea sized. This is still fine.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and add the vinegar and milk. Mix until combined.
Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until workable(meaning there are no pockets of egg throughout). The dough will be moist and lovely at this point. It still needs to be worked a bit before using though.
Dump the entire contents onto a lightly floured surface(I use my trusty Tupperware pastry mat). Fold dough onto itself a few times, until it all comes together evenly. You are not kneading, just working the moisture throughout, so there are no dry pockets. This should take 20 seconds-it doesn’t need much work.

~Do not worry about over kneading. This recipe will NOT get tough with excess  handling~

Shape into a log and divide into 5 even pieces. These are your pie crusts and can be frozen or used right away. That is all there is to it!

On to other news. Josiah (7) and Sebastian (2), both helped me with pies. As you can see from the photo, they chose the long handled tea spoons to scrape out the pumpkin with. I was using all of my willpower to allow them to take f*o*r*e*v*e*r* to scrape out every last bit. The reward was satisfied cooks and a really fun time. Phew..that was hard though. Here is the photo of them helping:

Finally, after all the baking and licking was done, Sebastian was not quite sure why we couldn’t dig right in? He was also almost 2 hours past naptime and emotionally fragile(that is code for a ball of whine).

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope you have a wonderful time and a full belly at the end of the day.

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