Unsliced Lemon Meringue Pie
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My Mom used to make the best pies of any I’ve had before or since. Lemon meringue was one brother’s favorite. I liked her cherry pies, and had the lump to show for it one day when I fell off the top of a ladder, picking cherries from the tree in our back yard.

At Thanksgiving, she made pumpkin and mince meat. Our local Safeway, the only place we found mincemeat, says they sell fewer and fewer jars every year. I suppose it once really was made of meat, but now is apples, raisins, and spices.

Making pie filling is pretty straightforward. Just follow the recipe. But, pie crusts. My Mom made the flakiest, tenderest pie crusts. And, I’ve never been able to duplicate them. The frozen ones come close, so I finally gave up in favor of buying something that was no worse than what I could make.

By the time I realized how uniquely-wonderful my Mom’s pie crusts were, it had been years since she’d made pies. I asked her to show me how she’d done it and she waved me off with, “Oh, it’s easy. Just mix everything together. Form it into a ball. Roll it out. Don’t work it too hard. It’s easy.”

Well, for her, maybe. She’d done it for years. I’d once imagined she learned the skill at her mother’s knee, but, as an adult I’d learned her mother had had even less patience than she in teaching her own children, so now suppose that she learned it at her grandmother’s knee.

This year, plunging back into the pie crust fray, I took baby steps, first buying a pie crust mix. Then, as the mix did not have enough for both a single crust pumpkin pie and a double-crust mincemeat pie, I dove into the homemade crust arena again with a recipe from The New York Times Cookbook, substituting butter for the Crisco shortening they called for and that my mother had used. The homemade crust was better than the grocery-store mix. But, still not as flaky and tender as Mom’s. I miss her still.

Hope you had a family-filled Thanksgiving.

If you have a can’t fail, tenderer than anyone has ever tasted pie crust recipe or technique, please tell me.

This post was linked to Grand Social at grandmasbriefs.com

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