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How to Make a Pie

The most difficult thing about pie making, has to be in the crust. The choice of lard or shortening is often a personal one of the baker, as is the manner in which the dough is mixed, with a fork, or by hand.

A standard pie crust recipe would be to take two cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cut in one cup of shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives. Blend until you have a mixture the size of large peas.

Beat together, 3/4 cup of water, one egg, and two teaspoons of white vinegar. Pour as evenly as possible over the flour and shortening, then mix with a fork until it is completely moistened. This is where some people prefer to do the blending by hand.

Divide in half, and knead very slightly, then turn the ball of dough out on a floured surface and flatten it into a four inch circle. Dust your rolling pin with flour, then begin working the dough from the center outwards, using smooth, even strokes.

To transfer the dough from the counter or board to the pie plate, lift one edge with a spatula, and lay it carefully over the rolling pin, then loosely roll it up, move your pin over the plate, and unroll it right into the pan. Use fingers to gently press down into the plate. Once the dough is flat against the surface, you can take a butter knife and work around the rim, cutting off the excess.

If this is a single crust pie, you can flute the crust now, or wait until the filling is added and do it after the top crust is on. Two crust pies need to have the layers pinched together, and fluting accomplished this while giving it the "professional" look. Just place your thumbs side by side, pointing in the center of the plate, press down, and move them together, creating a ridge between the two thumbs. Move over one thumbprint and repeat until whole crust is done.

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