I never got to meet my grandmother. I’ve only seen a handful of her photographs, and if there exists any video recording of her in action, it is yet undiscovered. I know she was incredibly stubborn (like me), had striking, wide-set eyes (like my daughter), and was a fantastic cook. What my family has passed down, what I’ve received from her, are her recipes.
In honor of National Pie Day, I’d like to share with you a part of my grandmother, Mary Jo. Here is her sensationally easy recipe for pie crust.
Mary Jo’s Never-Fail Pie Crust
- 4c. flour
- 1 3/4c. vegetable shortening
- dash salt
- 1T. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1T. cider vinegar
- 1/2c. water
Mix together flour, shortening, salt and sugar. Add the egg, vinegar and water. Knead as little as possible. It truly is that easy.
The dough you’ll end up with is very soft, and will require extra flour for rolling it out. The resulting crust is rich and tender, and I like it best for savory dishes like chicken pot pie, where I can lay an extra thick crust over the pan and carve a heart or two on top.
I am quietly grateful every time I use my grandmother’s recipes. There’s so little of her that I have, and re-creating her handiwork brings me a sense of bittersweet appreciation. When I cook, I’m keeping her legacy alive. When my daughters grow up, you can be sure they’ll be cooking with her recipes too.
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