1 quart flour, before sifting, 1 cupful butter or lard. ¼ teaspoonful salt. 1 level teaspoonful baking-powder. Cold water sufficient to work the dough in shape. Do not touch the paste with the hands until ready to roll out. Chop shortening and flour together with a knife. Have the lard or butter cold as possible. "When well cut together add water gradually, still cutting, until the whole is in form. Be careful, in adding the water, not to allow the dough to become wet in spots. This rule will be sufficient for 2 large pies. Divide in half. Take one piece and use a little more than half for the crust, and roll out, following the directions given at the head of this chapter. Cover the pie dish, glaze if necessary, fill, roll the upper crust a little thinner, cutting several openings in it for the escape of steam, pinch the edges of the two together after trimming neatly with a knife. Proceed in the same manner with the dough for the other pie.
To make the pies still nicer, ¼ of the shortening may be left out, and the pastry intended for the upper crust can be rolled flat, spread with butter or lard, sprinkled with flour, folded together and rolled again, repeating this operation until the shortening is used. This will give a flakey upper crust. Instead of spreading the lard, it may be cut in bits and dotted over the surface; sprinkle with flour and roll as before.
Even less shortening may be used, as the presence of the baking-powder in some degree supplies its place. The powder should be sifted with the flour first of all.
1 pound flour. 1 pound butter. Mix ½ the butter with the flour, quite stiff, using as little cold water as possible. Roll out, cut part of the remaining butter in bits and dot over the paste, dredge well with flour, fold over roll lightly together and set aside in a cool place for a few minutes, then roll them again, put on butter and dredge as before, roll up and then roll out. Repeat this until the butter is gone. Do it quickly and handle as little as possible.
Puff paste is only for upper crusts. Use a plain paste for the under crust. Puff paste will keep a week on ice.
1 pint sifted flour. ½ teaspoonful baking-powder. Sweet cream enough to make a stiff paste. This will make 3 medium-sized pies.
1 pint flour. l egg.
½ small cupful water.
2 heaping tablespoonfuls butter.
Out 1 tablespoonful of the butter up with the flour. Break the egg into a bowl, beat up light, add the water and mix the flour into a stiff dough with this. Take the half desired for the upper crust and spread with part of the butter left, fold together and roll out. Repeat this once more, or until the butter is gone.
Good crusts for plain pies are made with rich milk turned sour, using a half teaspoonful soda to a large cupful of the milk. Still better crusts are made of sour cream sweetened in the same way with soda.
Mealy potatoes boiled in salted water and mixed with the same quantity of flour and wet with sour milk sweetened in the same way with soda, make a good crust.
Equal quantities of Graham flour, white flour and Indian meal. Bub evenly together and wet with very thin sweet cream. Boll thin and bake in an oven as hot as for common pie-crust.
Make a rich pie crust, and line pie tins, or saucers; prick several times with a fork and bake in a quick oven. Put away in a stone jar, or in a bread box, and when needed fill with cranberry sauce, apple sauce or any kind of canned fruit. Heat through in the oven, which may be done by putting the crust in a pie tin. Or make a custard of any kind, put one of the shells in a pie tin, fill with the custard and bake. These are con venient for an emergency.