I made it a point to buy all new, fresh ingredients (flour, sugar, shortening, butter) so that my crust would be as awesome as E's crust. That's why I invited her over afterall, so she could teach me how to make the awesome crust she made at our last cookout. We worked from 3-6 p.m. and made three pies, a blueberry (which we had after dinner) and an apple and a peach/blackberry for tonight's progressive dinner.
I followed her instructions perfectly. She checked the dough and the ingredients as I added them. Everything was done according to the recipe. The dough was crumbly and coarse like the instructions said it should be. We cooked it for the first 15 minutes at the higher temp, then dropped the temperature. Check. We did everything the way the recipe said and just the way E did it last time.
We washed, cut and prepared all the fruit fillings according to the directions. We used tapioca starch for the blueberry filling because E said that made them just the right balance between juicy and creamy.
The dough rolled out just fine. We did have some difficulty getting the dough off the rolling mat and into the pie pan. The bottom crust wasn't too hard to manage because even if it tore or fell apart, you could put it in the pan and mold it with your fingers to the form of the pan. The top crust was much harder, so the crust on our blueberry pie was lumpy and misshapen. That was okay though. It didn't have to look pretty as long as the pie was tasty. So we cut into the blueberry pie after dinner while it was still warm and put some vanilla ice cream with it. We ate on the screened front porch. As I came out I asked how the pie was. Everyone said the filling was awesome. I said that's great, but how's the pie crust? I was hoping it was a light, flaky, buttery goodness. My friend, A, said, "it's a little sandy." I said, "what? What do you mean sandy?" She replied, "well, it's a little gritty. Taste it." It was. It was like tasting a mouthful of flour. For some reason, the pie crust ingredients didn't blend together, and in fact, it didn't taste like the pie crust baked all the way.
Since we now knew the first pie crust didn't do well and the other two pies were in the oven, we watched these ones even more to make sure they baked all the way. They never did. Here's the apple pie. I tried to do a cutout diamond flower shaped top. You can kinda see it here. The top of the pie cooked, but when you looked through the glass side of the pie pan you could see the rest of the crust was a pale white where it hadn't cooked.
Here's the peach/blackberry pie. I tried to do a lattice top crust on this one. This one was like the other two, the top cooked but not the sides and bottom, plus none of it cooked all the way through. So even though it looked well done on top, if you pinched a bit of the dark brown crust, it would dissintegrate into a floury, uncooked mess. We couldn't figure out what went wrong. We did everything according to the recipe and we made sure the heat was right on the oven. We left the last two pies in at least a half hour longer trying to get the crusts to cook, but they never did. So today I made new pies, with ready made crusts and crumbled tops. I also got a "thaw and serve" freezer pie as a back-up in case these last two pies didn't do well either. Oh well. I did try.