June 17, 2013
June 17, 2013
Summer is pie season; pie is one of the best ways to make the most
of summer fruit, whether you bring home berries, peaches or plums
from the farmers’ market. Juicy, flavourful fruits make for wonderful
pies, but their juices make home cooks nervous about a soupy dessert.
(Have no fear – flour or cornstarch can tame the juiciest berry.) Or
for something different, try simple Key lime pie. It takes minutes to
prepare and produces a wonderfully sweet-tart chilled dessert. If
you’re nervous about attempting a pie from scratch, just do it. Making
pastry, filling it, crimping and baking is the very best way to learn –
with a delicious reward at the end.
The two things my grandma taught
me to remember when making pie
were to keep the ingredients cold and
to handle it as gently as possible. This
is her go-to pastry recipe; double the
quantities for a double-crust pie.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup lard, butter, or a combination,
chilled and cut into pieces
1/3–1/2 cup ice-cold water
1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a food
processor, stir together the flour, sugar
and salt. Add the lard and/or butter and
use a fork, pastry blender, wire whisk or
the “pulse” motion of the food processor
to blend the mixture until it resembles
coarse meal, with lumps of fat no
bigger than a pea.
2. Drizzle the minimum amount of water
over the mixture and stir until the dough
comes together, adding a little more a bit
at a time if you need it. Gather the dough
into a ball, flatten it into a disc, wrap it in
plastic and let it rest on the countertop
or in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.
Chill for up to two days or freeze for
up to six months.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, July 2013.