This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
The making of pastry is a rock on which many housewives stumble. There are several reasons for this; probably the most pertinent is that most women feel that the making of pie, or anything allied to it, is a very difficult task, success being given to only a chosen few. Another reason is because this fearful, heavy mental attitude retards the hand, and, therefore, makes the touch heavy; successful pastry cannot be made if the process is drawn out, or if it is mussed over. A great deal has been said about the necessity for chilling all the utensils, using ice water, etc., but when we remember what delicious pies we have frequently eaten, which were made by old-fashioned cooks who heeded neither cold nor measurement in particular, we can see that this argument does not hold good. Any woman, given a good recipe, and working quickly, can make a delicious pie, provided she understands the baking. Pastry flour gives the best results.
Pastry enough for two or three bakings may be made at a time, rolled up, dusted with a little flour, and set in a cool place in a covered utensil until needed. Or, if desired, several extra patty shells may be baked at once, stored in a tin box, and kept a week or two before using; re-heating will make them as delicious as when freshly made. This is an especially good plan to follow during the berry season, when a strawberry or raspberry tart may be made in a. few minutes if the shell is ready.