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Tips and recipes to celebrate National Pie Day

Today the people at the Pie Council have chosen today — January 23 — as national pie day. 

This first pies were developed by the Egyptians who wrapped honey inside oats, wheat, rye or barley. The Romans later realized that pies were the perfect travel food and took goat-cheese and honey pies along with them as they built their empire. The first fruit pie appeared around 1500 with Queen Elizabeth I, and thanks to the Pilgrims who brought their recipes to the New World, pies made with berries and pumpkin have become an American staple.

But everyone knows that the key to a good pie is the crust.   Here are some tips to make sure your crust flaky and delicious every time.

Keep things cold

If the crust gets too warm it will soften and be unable to hold its shape.  After it is mixed together, take saran wrap, push the dough into a flat disk and refrigerate for an hour or more before making your pie.

Turn the dough while rolling it out

When rolling out the dough use a well-floured work surface with a well-floured rolling pin. As you roll turn the dough 90 degrees so it rolls out even and doesn’t stick to your surface.  But be careful not to use too much flour or it will dry out and fall apart.

Keep it even 

When rolling out the dough, start in the middle and roll out and away from yourself.  Pick up the rolling pin to start from the center again.  And uniform crust across the entire circle of dough ensures even cooking.

Protect the crust

Sometimes your crust can burn and your pie isn’t even cooked.  The simple solution is to make a collar from aluminum foil. Just take a piece of foil approximately 2 feet long and fold in thirds lengthwise. Wrap foil around the pie and fold slightly over the top to protect your crust and take it off when you pie is 15 minutes away from being completed.