It’s no secret I’m a lover of pie and the baking of it. I dedicated a whole post to it here: For the Love of Pie (Crust)
So why another post about pie, you may ask? Because it’s that time of year! And w
ell, I must share with you the recipe I use when I need to make many pies at once. Like for Thanksgiving. And Christmas. Because I pulled it out today and I’m so glad I did.
Now it’s really no surprise that I was relegated with the pie responsibility for two different Thanksgivings this year, what with my love of pie (the baking of and the eating of). I’m making seven pies and, wanting to get started, decided today was the day. The weather outside was miserable on this old hilltop farm. The wind was blowing flurries and biting cold. We went to church and got home as quick as possible to change into comfort clothes and settle inside amongst the warm heat of the coal stove. Joe, working on clearing a large (LARGE) patch of burdock had stayed home from church to get that done with the excavator we rented from a friend. A quick check with him when we got home confirmed that he’d be at it for quite some time more. So I left him to it, checked on the goats and treated them to extra hay, fed the kids lunch, cleaned up lunch, changed a diaper or two, started a load of laundry, answered a million questions spewed from curious little mouths, put the baby down for a nap, and tied my red checkered apron on to get to the business of pie baking.
When I make several pies at a time, or even when I want to be able to put a bunch of pie crusts in the freezer, I use the recipe below which makes approximately 12 pie crusts. It only takes about 10 minutes and how nice is it to have pie crusts in the freezer to pull out? It cuts the work of pie-making literally in half when you’ve got the dough already made. Here’s the recipe I use when I’m making a lot:
1- 5lb bag of flour
3 lbs of lard or Crisco (the regular size Crisco tin is 3lb, so that’s easy- no measuring. Today I used lard though)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
21/2-3 cups water
Wash your hands and prepare to get dirty 🙂
-Dump your flour and sugar and salt into a large bowl -Mix with your fingers -Cut in shortening and mix with your hands until well distributed -Slowly add water (and mix) one cup at a time, until the consistency is right. If you can't get past the "ick" factor of mixing with your hands, cutting through it with 2 butter knives (in a scissor- like fashion) gives equally satisfactory results. -Divide into softball sized rounds for 12 pie crusts. -Roll out on a floured surface to use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. The rounds can be flattened before wrapping for ease of storage in the freezer.
This particular dough rolls out so easily! I can’t remember where I got this recipe, but it’s a good one.
I finished half the Thanksgiving pies today. The kitchen smells so good and the kids *almost had me talked into eating one tonight! Almost. Tomorrow, we’ll roll up our sleeves and continue on with one of our favorites- Apple Berry. The kids love helping with the Apple Corer Slicer Peeler. If you don’t have one yet, I assure you it’s worth it. You can get them anywhere. Here’s one I found on Amazon on the off chance you don’t own one yet;
Johnny Apple Peeler by VICTORIO VKP1010, Cast Iron, Suction Base
I stayed inside all afternoon in my warm kitchen while Joe was outside until dark. He abandoned the excavator after a couple hours as it wasn’t doing a great job uprooting the burdock. Instead he spent the remainder of the afternoon shoveling them out one by one and raking them into big piles to be burned. Hard work. Especially in this weather.
Is it wrong to admit that I was envious of his time spent outside working? When he came in and smelled of earth and cold, I wanted to too. I wanted to throw off my apron and race outside and feel alive. Because as much as I do love the art of homemaking, pie baking and such, what I really cherish these days are the times spent working towards the improvement of this land that’s become almost a part of me. Getting dirt on my hands and my jeans, feeling the wind in my face, watching toil turn slowly into progress. And then to come inside feeling work worn and weary, but satisfied at the raw physical-ness of it all.
But someone has to tend the children and bake the pies.
I have it pretty good. To stand in my humble yet adequate kitchen and have my healthy hands in an ample bowl of pie dough, while surrounded by busy little humans, healthy and vigorous. A strong man to work by my side in this life. I am privileged. #Hashtag blessed.
But lately, (or maybe it’s been always) my soul’s needed that wind and the rain and the sunshine and the dirt. All of it. And God.
Anyway, I digress. This bulk pie crust recipe is da bomb. Especially around the holidays. Try it.
Do you have a favorite bulk recipe to share? I’m always looking for more 🙂