Connie MooreNovember and December are serious pie months. Some feel that rolling out pie pastry is like rolling out the red carpet for a dignitary. Either an expert is hired or the job is outsourced to the red carpet specialists. In pie terms, that would be Marie Callender or Pillsbury Refrigerated pie crusts.

Another way of looking at the job of pie pastry is to compare it to a simple carpentry project. You need tools, but not too many — hammer, measuring tape, saw. You need ingredients — wood, nails or screws and perhaps some glue.

The pie pastry or dough is the basis for your project. Your tools: rolling pin, fork or pastry blender, pie plate. Your ingredients: flour, shortening, salt, water and something to go in the pie.

pie pastry tools

Getting to be comfortable with your tools is a must. A carpenter knows how much force to put behind his hammer. He knows how much pressure to put on the saw. That knowledge only comes with continued use. Same with pie tools. After some time at pie baking, one knows how much pressure to use on the pin, how much force to use for the fork or blender to cut the shortening in just enough.

A good example of this is found in the Perrysburg Journal, Ohio, of 1915. Reported from Joplin, Missouri, is a pie story of huge magnitude. Seems Annie Dean, then 63 years old, laid claim to the title of champion pie baker of the southwest.

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