The fact that I am a terrible pie crust cook is not my secret....what I have not copped to until now is that I usually use ready-made Pillsbury pie crusts. You know, or maybe you don't, the kind that comes in a circle, already flat, ready to fill. I want to be on the record about fibbing though...when I use these crusts I do not claim they are homemade, but if no one asks....
I feel like I have come to this desperate act somewhat honestly. I say "somewhat" because my maternal grandma Nancy was a tremendous pastry chef and I should have inherited her pie crust genes, but I didn't. Where I learned about "The Dough Boy" option was through a friend of my parents, Meryl Hodgson, who is an amazing cook and always makes fabulous pies. (She has been bringing us a pie at the holidays each year for a couple decades as a thank you gift for her husband storing his fishing boat in our barn. ) Her pies are stupendous, especially the crust. After several years of pie envy, I asked her for her crust recipe. She gave me a box of Pillsbury ready-made pie crusts. I was blown away...I was also sold. No more struggling with gloppy dough, or crusts that when rolled out look like single-celled organisms with many legs, or crusts collapse during cooking.
Just to show you, below is a great, quick and simple apple pie recipe. The recipe is from a Martha Stewart Quick Cooks Cookbook and the dough is from Pillsbury. It took me 15 minutes to put together.
1 pie crust
4 apples, I used gala and granny smiths, peeled, cored and thinly sliced.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 pinches each of mace and nutmeg
2 tsp butter
Mix the apples with the sugar and spices. Roll out the pie crust to be a bit wider than when it comes out of the box. Place the crust in the middle of a baking sheet. Pour the apples onto the middle of the crust and fold edges over onto the apples. Dot with butter.
Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, or until it is brown. This pie will make your house smell like all the best things about Autumn ...and maybe remind you of a wonderful grandmother too.