Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Life/Love of Pie

The Life Love of Pie
January 2013 Edition

I've been in the mood of late to bake a pie and
a dinner invitation for tomorrow gave me the  push
I needed to make one.
I love homemade pies and I remember my mom
making at least 6 pies every Saturday night.
I can still hear the clicking sound as she skillfully cut
the excess dough off the edges of the pie plates
as she whirled them in a circle.

Mom always used pure lard that was rendered
from the pig fat during the annual 
Spring butchering "party".
I purchase my pure lard from a local butcher shop.
It makes the best pie dough.
Store bought lard has additives such as 
Butylated Hydroxyanisole - BHA and
Butylated Hydroxytoluene - BHT
preservatives - who needs that!
Pure lard is simple to make and is totally natural.
My mom used it for lots of her cooking and baking!

Antique Lard Press made by one of my Great Grandpa's
This was always used during the Spring Butchering Days!

My favourite pie dough recipe is:
3 Cups flour
1 Cup pure lard
1 tsp. salt
Mix until flour resembles crumble
1 Egg - beaten
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1/3 Cup cold water
Mix together and stir into flour mixture until the 
dough holds together.  If too wet to handle it can be chilled for a bit.
Roll out on floured surface with floured rolling pin.
This recipe makes enough dough for 3 pie shells and one pie lid.

Mom had her own special pie lid pattern!
It aways had a round hole in the centre with
reeds on either side of the "sun", water beneath
the reeds and several birds flying in the sky. Or
at least that's how I remember it.  She used the end of a rounded fork handle to create the design. How I wish I had taken better note of it or taken a picture.  Here is my recreation done as best I could.  I once asked my aunt if this is how Grandma made her pie lids and she remembered the design as being with 3 reeds and no hole in the middle.  I guess this was my mom's adaptation of her mother's pattern?  I don't know for sure but I still use this pattern and like it.

Well, now that the pie dough is made,
I'll pop 2 shells and the lid into the freezer
for future pies.
What kind of pie shall I make for tomorrow???

There are some apples in the crisper that really 
should be used up - so dutch apple pie it is!

The dutch apple pie recipe that I usually use comes from
The Mennonite Community Cookbook
and it is always good!

Dutch Apple Pie:
3 Cups peeled and sliced apples
1 Cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. top milk (light cream)
Combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter to make a crumble mixture.
Place sliced apples into unbaked pie shell.  Sprinkle with the crumble mixture.  Drizzle with cream.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until apples are soft and a rich syrup has formed.

This pie is always served with thick slices
of sharp aged cheddar cheese!

Till next time.....thinking about what kind of pie to make for the February 2013 edition!
BTW have you seen the movie - The Life of Pi???  Loved it.


  1. No, I have not seen that movie. Nor have I seen such pretty pie tops. Haven't seen anyone willing to confess that she uses good old-fashioned lard for her cooking either. you make doughnuts? Nothing better than lard for that. Course, I don't know a thing about all natural lard. John was raised on a pig farm so I think he may know something about it. ☺ Thanks for the does sound delicious and a lot like my favorite apple pie recipe. Mine does not look as fine as yours, however.

  2. My first and favorite cookbook! I used it to make Toll House Cookies today! I will have to try the pie recipe soon.

  3. What a scrumptious post, Rosella. With one wave of your magic rolling pin you made us drool, shared Dutch Apple Pie, AND paid homage to your amazing family. You, please pass the cheese. ;-)

  4. It looks yummy! Love the pattern. That's one thing my mom didn't bake growing up so I've been intimidated about making my own.

  5. Pie...yes...that's our favorite...When we have birthdays we have pies...So this next month someone is turning 65...I think I will make his favorite pie. I had never seen that kind of decor on a pie lid. That is so creative.
    I have not seen the movie...sounds good. I will bake a pie and bring it along.

  6. I love a good pie, but I'm not the best crust maker. Your pie looked delicious! Maybe it's because I've never used lard. Good luck on your family picture book. We have been pleased with Lulu and once you use them they send coupons for future books.

  7. I haven't seen the movie - but I've baked lots of pies! Last weekend I made a pie and the guests asked, rather incredulously, if the pie crust was home made. They were shocked when I said it was - they said that they didn't know that people still made their own. Well, in my world they do!

    1. So funny about whether people still make homemade pies!!! Wow they do in my world too thank goodness!

  8. Rosella, I wish we could find good lard here. I'll have to ask Lepp's if they render the lard from their butchering.
    I smiled that you used a dinner invitation to make a pie. I'm debating between bringing pie or cake for our dinner invitation tomorrow.
    Your pie decor looks wonderful.

  9. I have not seen the movie, but loved the book! Your pie lid is amazing!!! Love the design...and love that you are carrying on a tradition from your mom. I have finally found a source for local lard...and I have some in my freezer waiting for my next pie :)

  10. Rosella, I love your pie lid. When I make my tourtiere, usually over the holiday season, I always make a "festive, winter scene" on the lid. For some reason I never do when I make a pie. You have inspired me again, my friend. I also have never tried lard :(.....I must give it a try :)I will have to check around and see if I can get some in town. Nan

    1. Oh Nancy - I haven't made tourtiere in years! That is sooo good! I have often used the Tenderflake Lard but it just isn't quite the same as the pure stuff. Try asking some of the meat vendors at the Farmers Market if you go?

  11. I can tell that is a good pie curst recipe! Have to try that apple pie sometime.Looks amazing!

  12. I just came to check out the recipe for your pie and noticed you do not have butter listed, but have flour twice. Is one of them supposed to be butter?
    I'd love to try this pie.

    1. Anneliese - sorry about that! You are right it should read 4 Tbsp. butter and 3 Tbsp. flour. I have corrected the recipe - so glad you caught that!
      Hope it turns out for you.


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