from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook
One of my earliest childhood memories is of standing on a stool, in front of the kitchen counter, watching my mother make a pie crust from scratch. She could sculpt the crust on the rim of the pie plate like Picasso, and she’d always break off little pieces and let me taste it. The raw dough was delicious. (It still is.)
Sadly, my mother soon stopped baking pies. She always said her mother could whip up a pie crust with virtually no effort at all, so perhaps my mother felt that she simply couldn’t compete with Grandma’s pies. Whatever the reason, her homemade pies virtually disappeared from the family menu, and, on those rare occasions when she did bake a pie, she used the frozen pie shells.
Fast forward. I’m testing recipes for my historic cookbook, Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, and the time had come for to try making my own pie crust from scratch. I’d never done it before, but they say certain genes skip a generation. I soon discovered that making pie crust from scratch isn’t rocket science. All you need is flour, baking powder, shortening, and a little water. Having the right tools helps too. I bought a pastry cutter at Walmart, and that investment of a few dollars really paid off because it makes blending in the shortening a snap.
Victory Pie Crust is used in many of the historic recipes in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. And one other historic note. The word, “victory,” was a significant part of the lexicon during World War II. It was a moral booster that was used everywhere.
VICTORY PIE CRUST
- 1 1/4 cups sifted flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 or 4 tablespoons cold shortening
- 3 or 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water*
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Cut shortening into small pieces; add to flour and cut in until mixture is almost as fine as meal. Make small well in flour mixture. Turn 1 tablespoon ice water in this and mix quickly and lightly with surrounding flour only until a small ball of dough is formed. Do not over mix. Repeat this way, mixing all of the flour in separate portions. Then press portions together lightly but firmly into one dough. Makes enough pastry for 9-inch pie shell. Double recipe for pastry for two-crust pie.
*Use only 3 tablespoons ice water with 4 tablespoons shortening; use 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water with 3 tablespoons shortening.
Note: If the crust should come out too dry and crumbly simply add small amounts of water until the mixture has a more doughy consistency.