Chicken Coop Chatter©
Though modern pie crust recipes call for well chilled shortening or oil, and call for ice water when making a flaky crust, the pioneers would not have had access to ice or refrigeration. My purpose was to create an authentic pie crust with few ingredients, no modern mixing utensils, using just what the pioneers would have had available. I pressed the pie crust into an 8" cast iron skillet, and *half-baked* it. If you've read many old recipes, you know that measurements were not exact. A good reason may be that they did not have all the measuring devices we have today, so they likely scooped and pinched and guesstimated approximate portions. Those that were on the prairie, probably did not dig through their supplies to locate more than the essentials, so a fist full of flour or sugar or lard (about a cup), would have been a method of measurement. Or lard the size of a walnut (about 1 Tablespoon). Water or liquids would have been poured from a vessel or ladle and guesstimated as 1/4 cup or what they needed to mix the batter and dough. I confess, I loosely measured on purpose, however I did give you the more exact measurements rather than leave you guessing. For the purpose of self-reliance, try making the crust without the modern equipment. It may not turn out the same, but it's a practice in how to do even a pie crust with limited supplies and equipment. No rolling pin, no measuring devices and no powered mixers.
Makes enough for a double crust pie or two single pie crusts
2 1/2 Cups flour (not sifted)
2 pinches salt (about 1 tsp.)
2 pinches sugar (about 1 tsp)
3/4 cup Butter (or Lard)
1/4 cup water (or as needed)
With your hands, mix the flour, salt and sugar to incorporate. Add the butter (this is solid butter but not refrigerator chilled). Toss the butter/lard in the flour to coat. Work the flour and butter/lard until it resembles small peas, with a few larger pieces of the butter/lard unworked. Check the consistency of the dough by grasping in your hand to make sure it holds together. Add water (not chilled, just tap water) a little at a time until the dough is workable. Divide in half and press into an 8 inch cast iron skillet, working the dough up the sides as high as you can. Work the center of the dough as thin as possible and make sure to press the dough into the round edge of the bottom of the pan so it is not too thick. Prick the dough with fork tines round the edges and the center. Bake at 400 degrees about 10 minutes. The crust is not fully baked. Pioneers would call this *half-baked*.
Fill with your favorite pie filling or try my version of Pioneer Vinegar Pie at the following link. http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/pioneer-vinegar-pie-and-crust
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