Nearly fifteen years I’ve been trying to learn the art of rolling out homemade pie crust. Fifteen years filled with failure. My mom is a pie artist. She whips out crusts. She used to say, “You’ve gotta hold your mouth right.”
Fifteen years and I know there’s more to it than that.
This summer I got serious. Mom came over many times. Made the dough. Showed me the art. Hovered over me. In the end I watched. She rolled. Held her mouth right.
I tried, but didn’t hold my mouth right. The pie dough goes in the trash. I call Mom and she shows me the process again.
“Maybe it skips a generation,” she said. Her words made me set my jaw. Determined. I still didn’t hold my mouth right. I watched her. She rolled. The dough went in the pie pans, not the garbage.
On Sunday I lined up the ingredients. Took a photo and sent a text to Mom. Pray for me, it said.
Before I even put flour in the bowl, her response lit up my screen: It doesn’t take prayer, just skill.
I knew it translated to: Hold your mouth right.
I began. Followed her recipe. Remembered her tricks. Took a deep breath. Rolled.
Must’ve held my mouth right, because the dough ended up in the pie pans instead of the trash can. I’m still smiling with the knowledge that this little art form didn’t skip a generation. I may never be known for pies like my mom, but I know if I ever need a tangible reminder of her, I’ll be able to hold my mouth right and roll out a homemade pie crust.
Looking for a perfect pie crust? Here’s the recipe.
Flaky Pie Crust
Ruth Ayres (Yep, I’m claiming it since I was able to do it all by myself.)
3 c. Flour
1 1/2 c. Crisco (Mom’s Trick: Buy it in the can, not the sticks.)
1/2 tsp. Salt (Mom leaves this out, but if I put it in, Andy tells me I make the very best pies in the world.)
Mix together with a pastry blender until it looks like tiny pebbles.
Now here’s the tricky part…
Beat 1 egg in a small bowl. Add 5 TBSP. water and 1 tsp. vinegar.
Then pour a little over the flour mixture. Cut it into the mixture with a butter knife. Pour a little more. Cut a little. Pour a little. Cut a little. (Mom’s Trick: Don’t over mix!)
It makes two covered pies. But who wants to roll out a top too? I use it to make three pie shells.
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