PIE ARE ROUND, CORNBREAD ARE SQUARE, COBBLER ARE TASTYA good pie starts with a good pie crust. I once complained to my grandmother Dovie Waldrop, who was certainly one of the best pie-makers in Tillman County’s history, that I couldn’t make a decent pie crust. She said, “Bobby Max, that’s because you haven’t made enough pies. When you have made 100 pies, you will be able to make a great pie crust.”
My favorite pie crust recipe is “Dorothy’s Never Fail Pie Crust.” I don’t know who the “Dorothy” is in the title, but bless her heart because it is a great pie crust recipe. The professional chefs I know are puzzled about the inclusion of an egg, but oh well, it works and tastes great and that’s what matters. I found the recipe in a church cookbook I bought for a quarter in a used book store.
Dorothy’s Never Fail Pie Crust
3 cups flour | 1/4 teaspoon salt | 1-1/4 cup butter | 1 beaten egg | 1 tablespoon vinegar | 5 tablespoons water
Mix the flour and salt, add the butter, mix thoroughly. You can mix this in a blender or you could use a mixer. You can use a pastry cutter or a fork or a blender. The point is to thoroughly mix the flour and the butter. Mix the water and the vinegar, add that and the egg, mix together with a fork. Knead a few times. Roll out on a floured board. Manipulate it only as much as necessary, the more you roll it, the tougher it will get. Place the dough between two sheets of wax paper when rolling it out. To put it in pie pan, fold it in half, and then again in quarters, place in baking dish. Then unfold and arrange in pan. If the dough tears, dip your fingers in water and press it back into place, or “patch” with extra pieces of dough. There are as many different recipes for pie crust, this recipe is among the less complicated.
PS. The real secret to a truly delectable flaky pie crust is to use LARD instead of oil or butter or (shudder) hydrogenated shortening. Don’t use the hydrogenated lard found in stores. Find a farmer, get him or her to raise a pig for you, take the pig to a custom butcher, and get your lard that way. That’s what we do.
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potatoes | 2 eggs | 1/2 stick butter | 1/2 cup brown sugar pie crust
Boil sweet potatoes whole until done, peel the skins off (after boiling). Mash with beaten eggs, butter, and brown sugar. Add pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger), pour in unbaked pie crust and bake at 350 degrees until a knife in the center comes out clean (about 45 minutes).
Bob’s Favorite Easy Tasty Cobbler
1 cup flour | 1 cup sugar | 1 stick of butter | 2 tsp baking powder | 1 cup milk | 1 or 2 cans pie filling or canned fruit
Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add milk and melted butter, mix well. Pour batter into baking pan (use a casserole dish). Pour a can of pie filing on top of the batter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes (or until golden brown on top). The batter rises up and covers the fruit as it bakes.
Mulberries are widely grown in Oklahoma and they are the earliest spring fruit. They don’t keep very well, so as soon as you pick them, make mulberry cobbler or jam. Put the mulberries in a pan, cover with water, bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer about 10 minutes. The water will turn dark purple. Mix 1 tablespoonof corn starch with a small amount of water, and add to mulberries and cook until it thickens. (Adjust amount of corn starch based on the amount of water and berries.) Taste, add sugar or honey if necessary.
To make the cobbler, use “Bob’s Favorite Easy Very Tasty Cobbler” recipe.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put some oil in the bottom of the cake pan, smear it around to cover all the surfaces, sprinkle flour on it and shake it around so it coats the pan. Combine in a large bowl:
2 cups sugar | 2 cups flour | 1 tsp baking soda | 1 tsp baking powder |2 tsp cinnamon
In a pan on the stove, heat together:
1/2 C (1 stick) butter | 1/2 C olive oil | 1/4 C powdered unsweetened cocoa | 1 C water
Bring this mixture to a boil, and boil it briefly. Pour it over the dry ingredients, and mix. Add:
1/2 C buttermilk or plain yogurt | 2 eggs | 1 tsp vanilla
Mix all together, pour in greased pan, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes or so. To make frosting, melt:
1/2 C (1 stick) butter | 1/4 C powdered unsweetened cocoa | 6 Tbsp milk
Boil briefly, and add:
1 box or 2 1/2 C powdered sugar | 1 tsp vanilla | 1/2 C chopped nuts
Cool for 10 minutes and frost cake.
WHOLE WHEAT BISCUITS
2 cups certified organic whole wheat flour | 4 teaspoons baking powder | 1 teaspoon salt| 3 tablespoons oil | 1 cup buttermilk, yogurt, or 3/4 cup yogurt cheese mixed with 1/4 cup buttermilk
Combine the dry ingredients, then add the oil and combine until it is thoroughly mixed with the flour. Add the liquid ingredients, mix, and knead a few times. Roll out, cut into biscuits, place in pan with sides touching. Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes (your time may vary depending on the oven, also, the amount of liquid required may vary depending on factors like the amount of moisture in the flour, the humidity, etc. If the dough is too sticky to roll, add more flour.
Whole Wheat Rolls
1 cup buttermilk | 1 cup plain yogurt or yogurt cheese | 1 cup water | 3 tablespoons yeast | 1/3 cup sugar or honey | 3 eggs | 1 cup mashed potatoes | 1 teaspoon salt | 1/2 cup olive oil
Place 1 cup of warm (about baby bottle warm) water in pan, add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top of water. Let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast starts to bubble. Add the salt, oil, eggs, the rest of the sugar or honey, and the mashed potatoes. Mix thoroughly. Add 1 cup certified organic whole wheat flour bought from a local farmer. Use a mixer if you have one, or mix it by hand. Add another cup of flour and mix again. Add a third cup of flour and use the mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, until you have a nice dough. Turn the dough out on a board and knead for at least 5 minutes. Place a small amount of oil in the bottom of a bowl. Put the dough in it, swirl it around and then flip it over. Cover it with a cloth and set it in a warm place to rise – for about an hour. Pat it down and let it rise for another 30 minutes or an hour. Roll into rolls (about golf-ball size) or form into loaves. Let rise again for about 30 minutes. (You can adjust rising times if you are in a hurry or have to delay the baking.) Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes until done. Eat with home-made peach jam.