Tuesday, August 11, 2009

mom will be proud

I pulled out the vodka at 8:30 this morning. And yet, I know my mom will be proud of me.

Pook asked if I'd make a vidalia onion pie for dinner yesterday. While no mother in her right mind should turn down a child asking for a vegetarian dinner, I did, because I couldn't find a pie crust in the freezer. In comparison to my pie crust method, my mom is one of the best at making them. My dad may have married her for that flaky pie crust. Fortunately CD isn't picky as long as he's fed.

I used to use the excuse that my kitchen counters are tile. Really, you cannot roll pie dough on a counter with grout lines. I'd tried Christmas cookies there and had poor results. I tried the kitchen table, which even if I dig all the art and mail off from it and clean it, is still awkward because of the low height. I tried rolling it on a cookie sheet. I tried to keep the cookie sheet from slipping with all sorts of methods. I got a stiff plastic pie dough sheet that was just for the purpose. Nothing worked and the grocery store crusts just became the norm.

Not too long ago, CD's mom regifted to us a marble slab and matching rolling pin which he had given her years ago. They're pretty. But not used. But one excuse was gone. Still, though, pie crust is a pain. The ones I have made haven't been terribly successful. Similar to our search for the perfect biscuit recipe, CD and I have found that everyone has the same recipe for these foods. Until now.

The show, America's Test Kitchen, caught my eye with a blueberry pie recipe. (Having three gallons of hand picked, organic blueberries in my freezer has made the word blueberry an eye catcher.) They called the crust a foolproof pie dough. My mother had mentioned this method before, but watching it convinced me it was an option. Still, I was hesitant.

This morning, not having any other ideas for dinner, I decided it was as good a day as any to attempt the vidalia pie, crust and all.. Without reading the full directions, I vaguely remembered that it was supposed to rest in the fridge for a while, and I decided to make it this morning. I pulled down flour, salt and sugar, found the rancid Crisco and threw it out, decided Smart Balance and butter would work fine, and then the magic ingredient-- vodka.

The crust is happy in the fridge right now. I'll see what the verdict is tonight and add an addendum here.

I thought the crust was too buttery; it baked up hard and crunchy, and somewhat greasy. Still, Bug declared it better than our usual storebought, which I must remind myself, he often breaks off and skips. I'll give it anther try. Mom, you might need to pay us a visit so we can practice together. I do think vodka might be a good trick.


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