But you can call it Chapel Pie


or Apfel-kirschen if you like. I will tell you a secret about my pie crust. I use a vegetable shortening: earth balance, vegan buttery sticks (kind of one of those health-food-freak products – which I am one, a health food freak. A lot of my friends would drop the ‘health food’ prefix, and just leave it at ‘freak’, and be satisfied that I had been described accurately, with an economy of words). But it’s a good product.
So is Spectrum Organic vegetable shortening. Both of them are trans-fat free. and one is strictly palm flower oil, and the other is a mixture of vegetable oils – olive, palm, canola, etc) Never ever eat stuff with cottonseed oil!!!!!
Cotton is grown as a fiber-producing plant, not a food source, and therefore the Dept of Ag, and Food and Drug do NOT oversee the chemicals that are applied to this crop. So you can be eating insecticides that would not be applied to agricultural food operations, large or small. Also cottonseed oil is structurally one of the oils that are truly bad for your body -monosaturated, I think.

However, speaking about pie crust, I do use about a tablespoon of lard sometimes, and sometimes I use all butter. Depends on what kind of pie I’m making, or if it’s a special occasion, or if you can’t really make the pastry any way except for all-real butter. I have used beef tallow for pie crust- some regional English and colonial American recipes call for it- and it’s alright. I think you kind of have to have a taste for it though.

Years ago I never brushed pie crust with any kind of glaze- but I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now- generally a beaten egg with a little water or cream mixed in. And I have moved over to the column of people who will dust the unbaked crust with a little sugar. I never used to, but now I kind of like it. I like using refined sugar as little as possible, but I’m using it at home now for the first time in years- I like to get the organic stuff, and it is finally starting to come down in price.

The other secret I have about fruit pies (I’m sort of embarrassed to say this): instead of plain cornstarch or flour or tapioca as a thickener, I use Bird’s Custard Powder. There, I said it. And I’m not ashamed. It gives a flavor that’s hard to identify.