Did you hear me complain about a lot of rain last month .. well the weather has changed so much, that I might soon complain about the lack of rain. We’ve entered dry season ..actually my favorite part of the year. Sun and breeze from early in the morning gives me almost super natural power and energy. However irrigating plants takes up a big part of my day …And so many other things to do outside..that I find it hard to take some time for my blog.However this week’s picture challenge finally got my blogging attention back.. story.. well let me tell you the story behind mine..
Originally from Germany I wasn’t used to eat a lot of pie. It was more cakes, layered cakes and other pastries we were used to. So I had my first pie after moving to Centralamerica. And then some more while visiting the USA. Many more in fact with all kinds of fillings: Lemon meringue pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pudding pie with coconut flakes, all kinds of berry pies and the list could go on.
At some point I started thinking hmm looks pretty simple, I’m sure I can make pie too! They were selling pumpkin pie for US $7 at the next local store.. And I had gotten free pumpkins and thought: okay.. I’ll make them myself for a lot cheaper! But: it wasn’t as easy as it looked. My first attempt was almost like rubber..nothing flaky,crispy. I tried many more times .. I don’t give up so easy 😉But it would always turn out either like rubber – or tough to bite. Nothing to be proud of.
I asked many people for their recipes. But somehow when I tried it at home it never was the same. Two years ago we had some friends over to pick berries. And to get sorrel Hibiscus. To show their appreciation they sent us two pies filled with what they had harvested: one with mulberry- berry filling and one hibiscus. It was scrumptious! When I asked the lady for her pie crust recipe, she didn’t even have one! It’s so simple, she said: just a little bit of this and some of that.. Again when I tried: total failure…
My pie crust attempts would usually end in my kids just eating off the filling, me overhearing remarks like: “actually the filling is yummy, but I don’t like that doughy stuff”. .Well at least the chickens had a feast ; according to their body language I was still the star cook of the day. Which made me feel a tiny little bit better.
Thanksgiving came and we were invited at some friends.. they prepared their traditional Thanksgiving dinner right in the middle of Belize’s jungle .. And for dessert there was: Apple pie.. I’m going to ask for her recipe .. just that one more time .. maybe hers will do the trick? Turned out she had just bought a pie crust mix at the store .. tasted very salty and was crumbling into pieces. Didn’t look like the solution for my pie-crust problem!
For a couple months we didn’t think about pies at all. Until this week.. our kids got a pumpkin from a farmer in our village.. And also spotted their first, homegrown, almost ripe ones in their very own garden. We should make pumpkin pie again .. I heard them say. NOT with me..I’m out, was my reply. I bet I could make some nice ones, my teenaged daughter announced. There would have been times where I would have said: “okay, I’ll make some”at this point ..just to show her I could still cook and bake better.. but not with pie crusts. I was totally tired of it and done.
And I must leave her that she is a real kitchen wonder! She cooks and bakes with a lot of my recipes .. but whereas I had some failure experiences in her age ; everything she tries is a total success at the very first time.. usually always better than “my” original. My friend calls her the kitchen dynamo.
So the challenge was up. She was going to bake a nice, crispy, flaky pie crust .. And of course her kitchen magic would do the trick! This is the story behind our picture. Every picture tells its story ..And if the picture would come without a story, we’re making up our own – in our mind- aren’t we?
So at this point I want to share her recipe .. she watched probably which of my failed attempts was closest to how it should be .. The magic she does I can’t explain though. 😉
PIE CRUST RECIPE:
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 3 to 6 Tablespoons ice-cold water
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 4 to 8 tablespoons ice-cold water
- Blend flour and salt. Cut shortening into the flower mixture using a fork. Stir in enough water, with the fork until the dough holds together.
- Squeeze a marble sized little ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together don’t add more. If it still crumbles add more, by the tablespoons until dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball.
- Shape dough into a ball size for single pie crust. For double pie crust divide in two. Flatten them into a disk. REFRIGERATE!
- It maybe refrigerated for about a week before using. Chilling the dough will result in flaky crusts. Bake pies in preheated ovens – cold pies baked in hot ovens have flakier crusts.
Even though I’m recommending the refrigerating here and I do believe it plays a role in my daughter’s success .. I have eaten some of the most delicious pies at Old Order Mennonite communities; that totally live without electricity and refrigeration. I wonder what their magic is?? And na.. I’m not going to go there to ask for their recipe 😉