Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

May 11, 2014

Ed Hungness: Mother made more than just great pie

I ran up the porch steps, burst through the door and headed for the kitchen, knowing that’s where she’d be.

It was her office, her studio, her laboratory, all in one. It was five o’clock and that was where she always was at five o’clock. Mom was making dinner for her family.

Something smelled good and it was a pie baking in the oven. Pie always was and still is my favorite dessert.

Mom’s pies were always homemade, and made with love. Ready-to-bake piecrusts, neatly rolled up, wrapped in wax-paper and stuffed in a colorful cardboard box were nonexistent. Her pie crusts were made from scratch with basic ingredients like flour, lard, water and a pinch of salt. A woman’s flakey piecrust was like a badge of honor, something in which she took pride. There’s a special reason the crust has always been my favorite part of the pie.

With her wooden, floured rolling pin she rolled the mounds of dough into two circles, both bigger than the pie pan. The first crust was carefully laid into the Pyrex dish to form the bottom of the pie. It was pressed into position to follow the contour of the pan. There was always extra pie dough hanging over the edge of the pan. This was carefully trimmed off with a knife and laid flat on a cookie sheet. The fruit filling was spooned into the baking dish, after which the second crust was added. Again the excess dough was trimmed from the edges and placed on the cookie sheet.

Mom worked her way around the pie crimping the two crusts together along the edges of the pan — like magic — sealing together the edges to prevent the filling from bubbling out while baking. After cutting a few slits in the center to let the steam escape, the pie was gently placed on the middle rack of the preheated oven, and the baking began.

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