I am a pie girl. I would choose pie over cake any day, even if the cake were from Costco or a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake. That is how much I love pie. It can be a fruit pie, cream pie, custard pie, but I don’t cotton to meringues or a la modes. I am a pie purist. Not only do I pick pie as dessert of choice to eat, I love to make pies.
When I was married, I would make pies at my spouse’s request. I ended up having some specialties, and one summer was devoted to perfecting his favorite. Actually, that was the Summer of the Sugar Cream Pie. The venture was a flop. I never could find a recipe that was authentic, though I had a great time trying several, and out of the three best, we did find one that was very, very close.
Last winter when I was at the farm, I found a Hoosier Cookbook at my sister’s which, low and behold, had a 160 year-old Sugar Cream Pie recipe. Sugar Cream Pie is a central Indiana favorite, and sells in the Marsh’s Food Stores’ freezer sections. One of my brothers here pays another brother who lives in Indiana to send him some of those every year. People, this recipe was a real find. It isn’t a mystery what is in this pie…sugar and cream; the heavy kind used for whipping. Now, I am not sure why it was so hard to find the exact method before.
Some of my favorite adult memories involve pie baking. I used to do that with my grandkids (my husband’s, but that is a technicality) when they were little, and I taught them as young wives to fill my “pie baking shoes” for the holiday dinners. My Australian boys who visit once a year wanted to learn to bake pies, so now we knock out a variety each time they are with me. I wish for pie baking to be one of my legacies.
Here is my Never Fail Pie Crust recipe, and it never fails if you measure correctly and follow the directions carefully:
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ t salt
2/3 cups oil (I use Canola or Olive)
1/3 cup hot tap water
Mix with a fork. Roll between 2 sheets of wax paper. Makes a double crust.
The last two days I made four Sugar Cream Pies and a Blueberry Pie. Mom wrapped the Sugar Creams in foil, put them in the freezer, and promised she’d share with my pie-loving brother. It makes me happy to know that they will think of me when they eat these pies. I’ll be back to make more. Promise.