Welcome to my hobby! I like to cook from my collection of vintage cookery pamphlets, and using some of them I’m going to lead you through the process of making a pie totally from scratch.
The pie crust is from Easy Home Baking by the Sands, Taylor & Wood Co. (now King Arthur Flour), which I believe was published in about 1938. The “Coronation Peach Pie” recipe is from 12 Pies Husbands Like Best, an “Aunt Jenny’s” recipe booklet published to promote the Spry brand of vegetable shortening in 1952. (This brand is mostly discontinued now.)
Which is not to say that I follow either recipe exactly. As a baker, I have Opinions (one of which is that what most old recipes need is More Flavor). But I’ll tell you exactly what I changed and why, so you can follow the original recipe or my improvisations, as you prefer.
Step 1: Pie Crust Recipe
First major change: I’ve added some metric equivalents. Most Americans still don’t do metric, but I know that lots of (most of the rest of?) the world does. I can only hope I got them right.
Plain Pie Crust for two-crust 9” (23 cm) pie
1½ cups (180 g) sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 teaspoon salt
½ cup (95 g) shortening
4 tablespoons cold water
(1) The original recipe specifies King Arthur Flour. In 1938, it seems, all flour was all-purpose flour, and all King Arthur Flour was (and is) unbleached.
(2) Who the heck owns a 1/3 or 2/3 teaspoon measure??? Well, actually, you can get one – search for “odd size measuring spoons” – but seriously, you can estimate 2/3 with a regular teaspoon measure and it won’t do any harm. Unless you’re really bad at estimating, in which case you might want to go to the trouble of getting those odd sized spoons.
(3) I always use 100% vegetable shortening; the original recipe doesn’t care what kind you use. Butter also works, but I avoid butter due to lactose intolerance issues.
(4) Keep in mind that more than 4 tablespoons of water may be needed if the weather is dry – or less if it’s incredibly humid.
Click “Next” to start the crust-making process!