Pie Crust: to process or not to process

Confession: I do not own a food processor. This only really becomes a major problem when baking, which does not happen in my household more than a couple times a year.

Enter Thanksgiving morning 2010 (aka yesterday) when I was faced with the task of baking two pies. My plan was to make an avocado pie and an apple pie. The avocado pie only requires a simple crust, like pat-in-the-pan or graham cracker so the double crust for the apple felt doable. Alas the avocados were not ripe and slight hysteria ensued. Braving the supermarket did not seem like an option because if one were to fight the crowds, one may as well buy pre-made pies, and this would not do as I had committed to homemade pies damnit! We were all saved when my brother-in-law discovered a bag of frozen blueberries under the half-eaten wontons in the freezer.

But now I was faced with making four crusts. With no food processor. And upon further inspection, no shortening. Google came to the rescue with this all butter crust recipe. Now, if you have never made pie crust by hand you should know that all this butter has to be “cut in” to the dry ingredients with some sort of hand tool, I use a sturdy and trusty fork. This must be done quickly as well so as not to allow the butter to melt. Fifteen minutes later and a blister on my right index finger all that dang butter was cut in.

After mixing the filling ingredients it was time to roll out the dough. With ease the dough submitted under my granite rolling pin and the result was beautiful, thick, golden dough draped generously over each pie. I can’t help but think that my admiration of these glorious pies was exponentially increased by cutting all that butter in by hand and feeling that dough come together between my fingers.

So I’ll admit it, these did not turn out to be the best tasting pies on the planet, but they sure looked good and I think I’ll hold off on buying that food processor after all.

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