The idea of making pie dough by hand can strike fear into the heart of even an experienced home cook. Heck, it used to send me into a panic even after culinary school and many hours logged in a professional kitchen.
But the truth is, making your own pastry is actually very simple and the flaky, buttery payoff is huge. Whether you prefer pumpkin custard, spiced apples, or a decadent chocolate cream for your filling, no store-bought dough is going to do it justice like a pie crust baked from scratch.
So throw on an apron, and soothe yourself with Julia’s warbly sung tips: Work swiftly. Spin the dough around to roll it out in an even circle. Keep the edging a bit thicker so it doesn’t burn or break and try to keep things cool. A marble slab like she uses here might be worth the investment if you find yourself baking frequently — though I’d recommend finding one at Home Depot or placing a quick order on Amazon — you can probably skip her suggestion to search the phone book.
Leave it to Julia to bring it back to basics, reminding us that all you really need for the base of a perfect holiday pie is a calm demeanor, a steady hand, and of course, plenty of butter.