A Pool Hall Where They All Hang

I don’t know what you’re scared of, but I’m a-scared of pie crust. Pie crust is my Achilles Heel, my bete noir, the monster under my bed. Who knows how these things get started? When I was a teenager, I baked apples in glittering, sugary crusts and skipped on my merry way, but somewhere along the line, I tripped over my own feet and fell face first into a twenty-year pie crust phobia. Let me tell you two somethings about that:

1. That is a real shame: just about any half-assed breakfast, lunch or dinner becomes 100% less half-assed when baked into a decent tender, flaky crust and that includes sushi;
2. Oh. My. God. What could be more uncool than a PIE CRUST PHOBIA?

Buy in bulk. Bake bigger pies.

I don’t eat much in the way of white flour. Pete doesn’t use it when he bakes bread. I looked around for whole wheat pie crust recipes before stumbling in the health food store on organic whole wheat pastry flour. Oh yes. I went there. Pie crust is frightening, but bags are not. Turns out if you hand the right person a small but silly amount of money you too can take home a monster.

Yesterday, I measured out some pastry flour, cut in butter and hydrated the whole mess with cold water, but because I can’t follow a recipe to save my life I also added lemon peel and ground ginger. The dough rested in my fridge for half an hour, then I made a tart out of fruit we’d jarred. After baking, I glazed the tart with lemon squash jam. Pete and I sampled slices of the tart dressed with homemade yogurt mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar. It was okay, but I don’t like tarts.

Sweet potato pies disguised as pie-shaped things.

Tonight, I rolled the second ball of dough, cut it into six pieces, rolled and cut circles. I stuffed them with leftover sweet potatoes mixed with egg, cinnamon, ginger and fresh nutmeg, buttered the outside and sprinkled chunky sugar crystals over top. While I have at least temporarily conquered my fear of pie crust and banished nightmares of broken pie crusts past, I have – alas – not become a better photographer. This picture sucks. The little pie things are both humble and pretty, but in this image they appear to be having their own personal earthquakes – or I am.

Many actions have unintended consequences. I want to make things in pie crusts, even things I don’t actually want to eat. But I could and then what? And after that?

2 responses to “A Pool Hall Where They All Hang

  1. I confess, I don’t actually like pie crust. I cheat and buy the pre-made crusts. For a quiche or a pumpkin pie, I skip the crust entirely, because I’m the only one in the house who eats those. For the apple pies I’ve made this fall, it’s cheating on the crust, and no guilt for me, when I’ve bought the apples direct from the local orchard. It’s all a balancing act of happy.

  2. Pillsbury sells a frozen nine inch pie crust and you can’t make better so give in and buy it because it comes out very good every time. I’m not talking about shells in aluminum pie pans. Pillsbury has a rolled out top and bottom that you lay in your own pie pan and on top of the filling or whatever you want to do with it. I’ve been eating them for years, Pillsbury does good here. Mrs DBK’s family swears buy them and they are good. CAUTION: I have had better, but those were all homemade and very few people ever get that good at pie crust. It’s a lifetime’s work. Buy the Pillsbury.

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