Our writers' assistant made an apple pie for my birthday (Not just mine, truth be told-- another writer on the show shares the same birthday, only he's ten years younger than me. Jerk.), and it was AMAZING.
And everyone knows, of course, that the secret to a good pie is the crust.
So tonight, we'll be visiting the "Pastry, Pies and Tarts" section of the Woman's Exchange Cook Book:
PASTRY, PIES AND TARTS
Mrs. Roher, who presided over the Cooking School at the World's Fair, said in one of her talks, that to make a good pie, first, above all things, have everything cool, including yourself. Use a good, fine flour and the best of butter, a marble slab for pastry board, and a rolling pin with movable handles. Always use ice water or the very coldest of water. Paste was much improved by keeping over night in a cold place but never allow it to freeze as its lightness is ruined.
Mrs. Roher's talk was not all theory but practice, as she stood before the pastry table, queenly in her manner, working out with hand the ideas and suggestions as she went along, it would seem as if her pastry might become food fit for the gods.
A great improvement is made in pie crust by the addition of about a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder to a quart of flour.
MRS. ROHER'S PUFF PASTE.
One pound of sifted flour, 1 pound of good butter, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 1 teaspoonful of sugar, white of 1 egg, a cup or more of ice water. Scald a large bowl, then fill it with water and let stand until the bowl is cold. Wash the hands in hot soapsuds, then rinse them in cold water, but do not dry them. This prevents the butter from sticking to the hands and bowl. Turn the water out of the bowl, and nearly fill it with ice water, put the butter into it and wash by working it with the hands under the water until it becomes soft and elastic; then put it into a cake, and put it on the ice until wanted. Put the flour on a marble slab or a very large meat plate, make a well in the center of it, and put into this well a lump of the washed butter the size of an egg, the white of the egg, sugar and salt. Now work this with the thumb and two fingers to a paste, add gradually the ice water, and gradually work in the flour. When all is worked in, knead as you would bread for five minutes, then cut the paste into halves, roll out each half into a sheet, quickly break the butter into bits, and lay it over one sheet; dredge it thickly with flour; cover with the other sheet, pound lightly with the rolling-pin; roll from you into a long, thin sheet; now fold in first the sides, then the ends; turn the paste around so that the fold will run to and from you. Now roll from you again, fold as before, place it on a tin pie dish and stand it away on the ice for fifteen minutes, then roll and fold twice again, and again stand on the ice. Do this until you have rolled it eight times. Let it stand on the ice over night, and it is ready for use.
"... have everything cool, including yourself."
Best line in the whole book.