Since you’re starting out early in your Thanksgiving planning, maybe this is the year you will make your own pie crust.
In the past you may have been too intimidated at the prospect. I get that. But it’s a lot simpler than you think.
Judy Marcus, who writes Sugar Buzz Chicago, went to listen to Paula Haney of Hoosier Mama’s Pie Company talk recently about how to make a dandy pie crust. Read the great advice here; it’s everything you need to make your own. (One thing just about everyone does when first attempting pie crust is overwork the dough. You’ll be so tempted to do this: don’t!)
Haney has a very accessible book on the subject: “The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie” (Agate Publishing, $29.95). It’s filled with yummy seasonal pie recipes, helpful advice and little tidbits of history and trivia about pies. Pick it up if you’re interested in being a better pie baker.
Here’s a link to Leite’s Culinaria for Haney’s recipe of her All-Butter Pie Dough. Don’t be put off by the instruction. Haney is thorough so her fans can be successful at creating their own pie crusts. It’s just seven ingredients, and that’s including cold water and the cooking spray. (Notice that the temperature of ingredients is very important when it comes to creating pie crust dough. Pay attention to that advice.) You can do this!
BUT, if you’d rather Haney and Hoosier Mama make the pies for you, it’s time to order. You can do that here. Don’t dally if that’s your choice. Once their stores reach their limit, that’s it. (There’s only so much oven and storage space.) Even if you’re going somewhere other than Hoosier Mama, order now so you aren’t turned away later because capacity has been reached.
And now, a trip down memory lane: when I was food editor at the Sun-Times, I worked with both Judy Marcus and David Leite, creator of Leite’s Culinaria. They’re both true foodies and their love for food comes through in their writing. (I even remember David’s first piece: it recommended videotaping your mom or grandma making the family’s traditional recipes. Still a great idea!) And the Food section did many a story with the incredible Paula Haney. (She was game for creating pies for a story we ran on having wedding pies instead of cakes, if I remember right.)
OK, the old lady’s reminiscing is over. Time for you to start thinking about your Thanksgiving pie(s).
Note: I know I said this was going to run on Wednesday (11/4), but I had a timely piece I had to get in first.
PHOTO: DAVID STEPHENSON~SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO