Posts Tagged ‘pie crust’

Seasonal Petulance

November 26, 2014

This time of year I sink into my own slough of despair, and revel in seasonal petulance. The holidays are too crowded, too commercial, too costly. Whine, whine, whine. I guess the universe got sick of listening to me kvetch, because – try as I might to be grouchy – I have been surrounded by kindness and love. “Self,” I said, “get over yourself.”

A pie crust in waiting

A pie crust in waiting

The first thing I decided to do was give myself permission to celebrate all the holidays in order. Thanksgiving comes first, and I am extraordinarily thankful for my grandmother’s never-fail pie crust recipe.

Original Recipe

2 cups flour

1 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons vinegar

4 teaspoons cold water

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Sift dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter. Gradually add the egg and vinegar. Pour water over dough and mix.

My Version

2 cups flour

1 cup butter

1 egg, beaten with 3 teaspoons vinegar (cider or sweet balsamic for a sweet pie, white wine for a savory pie)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Put the butter and flour into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles corn flour. Add baking powder and salt; pulse a couple of times. Add egg/vinegar mixture. Blend until smooth. You will need to heavily flour the board and pin when rolling out the dough.

The start of my personal, private Advent calendar

The start of my personal, private Advent calendar

Next comes Advent, which for me means the little calendars with numbered boxes and chocolate prizes. The bad news is this year I missed out on my favorite one – they sold out before I even put it on the shopping list. The good news is, I made my own version with all those mint tins I’ve been saving, and some leftover holiday trims.

Lani Longshore Christmas ornaments

Next comes the Ceremony of the Tree. My daughter has decorated the tree for years, but she won’t be home until spring. I was all set to skip the tree, when I remembered the new ornaments a friend gave me. My daughter has her own favorite ornaments, so this year I’ll put up my new ones and some of the older ones that have been buried at the bottom of the storage box.

Lani Longshore Christmas card

I don’t write the Christmas letter until Christmas day. The cards get sent out sometime between Boxing Day and Epiphany. This tradition stays.

Lani Longshore Christmas fabric

Last is the Time of Forgetting. This is the celebration of discovering you’re a day late and a present short. It’s not the best tradition, but it’s one with a long history in my house. I guess it stays, too.

May your season of holidays – whichever ones you celebrate – be joyous.

Luck and wisdom!

Pecan Pie and Where It Took Me

July 11, 2012

July 12 is Pecan Pie Day. As made-up holidays go, this is a good one. I gathered the ingredients for the crust (more on that later), then remembered my collection of warm, buttery, nutty embellishments:

A quick search of the cutting table unearthed an orphaned block and scraps from a civil war reproduction line:

I added a few more fabrics (some from the piles on the table, some from the brown drawer, all fat quarters or less), made more blocks, turned them into half-square triangles, and came up with a classic four patch configuration:

Then I put it on point:

My husband wandered close enough to the studio for me to grab him and show off this latest creation. He said it was very nice but since it wasn’t round he couldn’t quite see the pie. Eureka! Instead of making another wall hanging that would sit in another pile, I decided to make a round quilt to decorate the table:

This let me use a fat quarter that I believe was slipped in my bag at The Cotton Cupboard as a surprise bonus (thank you, thank you!), as well as the orphaned block and various scraps. In addition, I will use some packaged bias binding that I inherited and I will probably use more of my beads than I originally expected as I plan to put a beaded fringe around the edge.

Now for the rest of the story on the pie crust. I was visiting family in the Austin area (which is why I went to The Cotton Cupboard – quilt stores top my list of any must-see sights when I’m traveling) and on the flight home I gave my pie crust recipe to a woman sitting in my row. As I was listing the ingredients I remembered a variation I had made substituting coconut oil for butter. My recipe also uses vinegar and I remembered I have a killer vanilla-infused balsamic. Naturally, when I decided to make something for Pecan Pie Day, this is what I started with:

And this is what I ended with:

In case you want to experiment, here is my pie crust recipe – with variations:

The recipe as it was given to me:

2 cups flour

1 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons vinegar

4 teaspoons cold water

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Sift dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter. Gradually add the egg, vinegar, and water. Pour water over dough and mix.

My standard variation:

2 cups flour

1 cup butter

1 egg, beaten with 3 teaspoons vinegar (straight or flavored balsamic is fabulous)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Put the butter and flour into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles corn flour. Add baking powder and salt; pulse a couple of times. Add egg/vinegar mixture. Blend until smooth. You will need to heavily flour the board and pin when rolling out the dough.

Variation with coconut oil:

2 – 3 cups flour

1 cup coconut oil

1 egg, beaten with 3 teaspoons vinegar (cider for a sweet pie, white wine for a savory pie)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Put the oil (which is a solid at room temperature) and 2 cups of flour into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles corn flour. Add baking powder and salt; pulse a couple of times. Add egg/vinegar mixture. Blend until smooth, adding more flour as necessary to firm up the dough. Form into a smooth ball and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Check consistency, adding more flour if necessary (or a little water if the dough is too dry).