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Pie Essentials

For Mama's pies, we stuck with the same flaky crust recipe and delicious crumble topping! Adapted from America's Test Kitchens, the pie crust is relatively easy. The crumble topping was adapted from the Eckert's Orchard apple pie recipe and has been a favorite at our house for years!

Pie Crust

6.25 oz all-purpose flour

1 Tb sugar

3/4 tsp salt

4 Tb shortening

6 Tb butter, cold, cut into 1" chunks

3-4 Tb cold water

Combine dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. With a pastry cutter or two steak knives, cut shortening in until chunks are about pea-sized. Cut cold butter in as well, leaving chunks about the size of lima beans. It's okay if they're a little on the big side. Cut in water, adding the extra tablespoon if the mix is too dry (the way to tell if the mix is just right is it will hold its shape if you squeeze it in your hand).

Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick (or big enough to fit your pie pan). To keep it from sticking, lift crust and turn 90 degrees every three to four rolls.

Crumble Topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

dash of salt

1/3 cup butter, cold

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Cover your favorite pie and bake as directed.

NOTE: This crumble doesn't do well with blueberry or cherry pies. If your pie filling is especially wet and sloppy, be careful not to overfill (3/4 full of pie filling is a safe amount) as it will overflow during the baking process.

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