In September of 2005, I couldn’t have laid my hands on any of the five pie plates in this picture. I didn’t even own two of them at that time. I didn’t make pie so why would I need a pie plate? Then my husband asked me to make pie, “Like my mama does with the homemade crust.” Are you kidding me? I barely cook, don’t bake, and you want me to make a PIE from SCRATCH?!
My dad always said, “Cain’t never did nothin’ but starve to death in a cornfield,” so I don’t like to say I can’t do something. I asked my mother-in-law to email me idiot-proof, step-by-step instructions on her chocolate and coconut pies. I asked her to be sure to not assume I knew a single thing about baking a pie. Because I didn’t.
I get the email and read thru to see what questions I have and then plan my attack. I waited until I was home alone, because I didn’t want any “assistance” or supervision. My first attempt at the crust went well. When the instructions called for using a pastry cutter, I had to research what it was because I had no idea. I get the pie crust rolled out to the correct thickness and ready to move to the pie plate and I realize I have no idea how to do that. After several tries and no small amount of cussing and flour on the floor, I get the crust into the pie plate. I then poked holes in it with a fork and baked it, watching it like a hawk, lest I burn it.
Now for the filling. I began with chocolate as it was my favorite. Instructions said to cook the mixture until it began to bubble and then start a timer and cook it for three minutes. I started the timer at the first bubble sighting. Once the time was up and the last two ingredients added, I poured the yummy chocolate pie filling into the previously baked crust. “Success!” I think. “I can do this!” Until the chocolate never set up. It was pudding in a pie crust.
Thirteen years later, I have perfected my technique for transport of the crust from dough board to pie plate and don’t even need a timer to cook the filling anymore. I’ve since made lemon ice box pie and apple pie, and the kids and I attempted homemade fried pies (hand pies), I’ve even branched out to quiche. The next thing I attempt will be a made-from-scratch cheesecake. Not a big deal for more adventurous cooks, but huge for me. “Just read the recipe and try it!” I think. All because my husband wanted pie like his mama made.
By Carri Scott