Mary Krystinak of Mary’s Wholesome Living was on hand to teach us the basics. Starting from the bottom up, with the flakiest of crusts, her trick to getting just the right texture involves something special.
“We put vodka in the crust, so it doesn’t taste like vodka, but it quickly evaporates adding to the airiness of the crust,” said Krystinak.
And there’s no butter in this beauty of a crust. What binds it together is something with a lot more heft.
“I went to Iowa where some of my kids went to school, met with some Amish folks and bought lots of their pure lard. And with the lard, it causes the crust to get these beautiful little pockets of air and fluff up.”
As for what goes inside, one of Mary’s favorites is the apple pie, her secret here is using a variety of flavors.
“I do a combination of granny smiths, gala and honey crisps, so you have some firm apples, some sweet and some tart, so it adds some complexity to the filling.”
Regardless of the filling, going fresh for your ingredients will always give it that extra bit of homemade taste. And baking with your buddies can make the time spent waiting for that perfect pie to pop out pass a little more quickly.
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