Our local living history site had a pie contest in conjunction with their 1860s County Fair. This summer we’ve gone a number of times, but this was the first time that we’ve done anything other than tour the grounds. My Mom and I entered – me with a squash pie and she with an apple pie. With the entry fee you received a vintage recipe and a stainless steel baking pan.
At first it seemed like it would be fairly easy. On look at the recipe made it clear that wasn’t going to be the case. Never to fear, my trusty vintage cookbooks came in handy. My copy of “The Settlement Cookbook” had an almost identical pie crust recipe with the added bonus of far more specific directions. Our first attempt? Not so easy with my Mom’s whole wheat pastry flour. The kicker? In spite of the whole wheat flour it was wonderfully flaky. Our second attempt? Easy peasy. The result? Two second place ribbons – one for apple pie and one for squash pie.
In my heart I won first place. The pie that beat mine was made by a woman who works as an interpreter at the location. This pie crust is hands down the best one I’ve ever tasted. It’s literally just about foolproof. Enough so, at least, to make me wonder why the process isn’t more widely used. I’ll try to remember to share the recipe soon – in time for all those apple and pumpkin pies I hope.