What I do know is that cooking has always been an escape for me. When I am stressed or troubled or tired, taking a few moments to cook something has always focused me and helped me solve my problems.
As time has gone on, cooking has become a way to challenge myself. So in the back of my head I've begun to list the things I want to eventually accomplish as a cook, call it my a culinary bucket list. The list includes things like making biscuits from scratch (check, though I think I really need to keep practicing to be a success at these), beating egg whites to stiff peaks by hand (halfway there!) and making pie.
I've never made pie by myself, though I LOVE pie. That may be my problem, though. I may love pie too much. My standards involving pie are so high and my ability to tolerate my own failures is so low that, until recently, I thought I might implode if I couldn't create a delicious version of my own favorite food.
But in every cook's life there's a moment in which you suck it up and make the damn pie. And that is what I did last night - I made pie crust. And today, after letting the dough chill in the fridge overnight, I will make my very first honest to goodness apple pie with pie dough that I made all by myself and if I screw it up, I have husband who will eat it anyway and pretend to love it.
If you feel like it's time to suck it up and make your own pie, I have collected a vast knowledge of pie tips. Much of the advice contradicts itself since it is coming from a wide variety of sources who have spent many a night crying themselves to sleep after ruining their pie. Luckily for me they didn't implode, but instead got back up the next morning and made pie again, thereby perfecting their recipes for the rest of us to try out. So here's my current base of knowledge. Read them all. Because food bloggers have a knack for being hilarious. And Alton Brown is just awesome, even if I'm not planning to do a shortening and butter pie crust (BUTTER ALL THE WAY!):
- Alton Brown, "Apple Pie," Good Eats (video)
- Smitten Kitchen, "Pie Crust 101," "Pie Crust 102: All butter really flaky pie dough" and "Pie crust 103: Rolling and crimping" (blog posts)
- Pastry Chat, "A pie crust tutorial" (blog post)
- Joy the baker, "How to make pie crust...do it" (blog post)
- The Kitchen Sink, "Open-face fresh blueberry pie" (blog post - scroll all the way through, there are two pastry dough recipes with instructions)
When I have my own experience, I will definitely be sharing with you what I've learned and I hope you will do the same.