In honour of this year’s very special Pi Day (hey – these numbers won’t line up again for 400 more years!) – here’s one of my favorite recipes for pie crust (from the detective Nero Wolfe’s exquisite chef Fritz Brenner, or more likely their author, Rex Stout.)
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (cold. the colder the better.)
1. Sift flour into a mixing bowl, and make a well in the center
2. Put egg yolks, sugar, salt, and butter in small chunks into the well
3. Using your fingers, work the ingredients into a dough – don’t overwork! You want tiny bits of butter in the dough that haven’t melted yet: it’s what makes the flaky crust.
4. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in foil or waxed paper, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour
5. Divide the dough into halves, roll out one half for the bottom of the pie, and fit into pan. Roll out the other for latticework to top the pie.
6. Assemble into pie form with your favorite filling!
7. Dot the top with butter and brush with milk.