Over 25,000 smiles
According to some sources, April Fools' Day began when the Christian world adopted the new Gregorian calendar, which shifted the start of the New Year from spring to January 1. Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo (or, they chose to remain traditionalists). Many folks, particularly those who lived out in the country, were left unaware of the change. So, they kept right on celebrating New Year's on April 1st. These uninformed (or unchanging) April celebrators were called "fools" who would believe anything. And April Fools' Day--a day devoted to tricking people into believing that something false is true--began!
Read more at: April Fools' Day: Origin and History — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html#ixzz1IHnT8Eqi
Now, all fooling aside, I really do have a great recipe for you to try. No joke! Looking through my cookbooks, it was no surprise that many recipe "tricks" have been incorporated to make the "perfect flaky pie crust." This recipe is no different, but I promise, it works and really does deliver great, flaky crust.
Before we start mixing the crust, let me share with you one of my favorite April Fool's Day memories. First, understand that I love April Fool's Day. It's just a lighthearted time when we can all have FUN and enJOY the day having a laugh or two. It's always a challenge to think of things that will "fool" friends and family. I've been known to move my husband's vehicle to a different parking lot where he works, then when the workday is over, he can't find it. In all my years of playing pranks, I have never topped my friend Barb's "polyester pie." I guess that's why I chose to make a REALLY GOOD pie crust to celebrate today.
We ate dinner out with Barbara and her husband and returned to our house to watch a movie and have dessert. Barbara had baked what I thought was a beautiful lemon meringue pie. The crust looked gorgeous and the meringue was piled high and toasted just right. I couldn't wait. Finally, the movie was over and we headed for the kitchen. I should have suspected something when her husband seemed extra anxious for a piece of pie, and they both insisted that I cut the pie.
With everyone watching, and Barb grinning from ear-to-ear, I got out dessert plates and forks, then placed a knife on the opposite side of the pie to slice it in half. It went through the crust and meringue fairly easily, but caught on something, and I thought, "this is REALLY a thick filling." I kept struggling to pull the knife through the pie. About that time, Barb "lost it" and bent double laughing. She had baked a pie shell, then filled it with weights to make it "feel" like a real pie, then packed it in with polyester fiberfill and topped it with loads of meringue, which she browned carefully to make it look real. She succeeded. I was totally FOOLED!
I'm still wondering what I can do to get her back!
Ok, check out the recipe below and don't forget to copy and paste it to your browser and print or save a copy. (It's not in the cookbook.)
1/4 Cup butter
1/3 Cup lard
1/4 Cup margarine
1/3 Cup shortening
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cups plus 2 Tbs cold water
Using a mixer, cream together butter, lard, margarine and shortening in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, salt and dry milk powder; add to creamed butter mixture and mix briefly. Add all purpose flour and work in with a pastry cutter until blended. Add bread flour and continue to use a pastry cutter to mix slightly. Pour in water and use a spatula to incorporate until mixture sticks together. Separate into two parts and add one Tbs water to each part. Use your hands to work in the water. Form the dough into balls. Divide dough into two or three balls. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out each ball on a floured board. (Hint: Roll all one direction, flip the dough and roll the other direction to even out the circle, then roll an "X" on the dough to make the circle complete. You'll have an almost perfect circle.) Line pie pan with dough being careful not to stretch dough. (Hint: If you set your pie pan on an overturned bowl, it will raise the crust high enough to work well with the edges. Give it a try!) Form a rim all the way around, then flute edges. Trim edges evenly using a knife or the side of your hand. If you plan to fill the crust with a pre-cooked filling (i.e. pudding, creme cheese, and etc. ) use a fork to prick the bottom and sides before baking to keep air bubbles from forming. Do not prick if you will be baking your filling in your pie or making a 2-crust pie.
Bake at 375 until light golden brown. Otherwise, fill unbaked pie shell and bake according to recipe. You may use your extra dough to make a 2-crust pie. Makes 2 to 3 9-inch pie shells.
(Note: I modified this recipe from one in Lion House Bakery's cookbook, page 43. These are available at Amazon at this URL: http://www.amazon.com/Lion-House-Bakery-Brenda-Hopkin/dp/1606411373/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1301687145&sr=1-1 )