Thursday, July 20, 2017


I woke up with a burst of energy this morning.  I'm not sure why - it could be I had to use the morning to prep for daughter's birthday dinner tomorrow (I ALWAYS prep the day before for ANYTHING) or it could be these beauties PH brought home yesterday.
 It's true I gush about Michigan strawberries when the season arrives each spring but really, there is nothing like taking the first bite of the first locally grown peach.  Even better if you took it off the tree yourself.  These are not quite ready for hand eating - tomorrow for sure.  I couldn't wait. 
 This book has been getting a lot of publicity lately, maybe it's that pie season is here, and I was really glad to see it in the library.  Truth be told I'll end up buying this one.  Not because I can't improvise a pie, but because it's really a beautiful book and filled with good advice.  One of the things that had my attention is the crust.   Now, I've never feared pie crust like so many do and I have always been a vegetable shorting  crust person.  It's what my grandma used and I just did what she did.  Never have I used lard in a crust.

This author recommends her primary crust as a leaf lard and butter crust.  Lard and butter! How can that be a bad thing?  But leaf lard?  I kept reading and she specifically says to go to the butcher and ask for "leaf lard, not fat back."  Sadly, the butcher here isn't really very cooperative and I was curious about this lard thing so I went to good ol' Amazon and voila!  there is was!  Leaf lard is the lard that surrounds a pig's kidney, it's not fat back, the lard that is part of bacon.  The author tells how to render it but thankfully, the brand I bought is rendered and ready to use.
 I thought there was a lot of fat in this crust recipe in relation to the flour,  one whole stick (8 tablespoons) of butter and another 8 of lard to 2.5 cups of flour.  It was really hard to get it all worked in but I do know butter pockets are generally a good thing so I left these.
 I decided against a full peach pie because I'd eat it and didn't want to eat a whole pie.  PH would help but WE don't need to eat a whole pie.  Hand pies, another feature in the book solved that dilema and we are planning on seeing Friends Marge and Harry for dinner tonight so I'll take some of these along for them.

 Gorgeous little beauties! I made two sizes to use as much as possible of the dough without re-rolling.
 The kitchen smells like sweet peaches and these are such cute little rustic pies.
 OF COURSE one needed to be tasted.  This is, after all, an experiment in lard vs. shortening.  I can say this crust is tender, flaky, almost a little short bready but not quite.  As a lifelong shortening user I can definitely taste and feel the difference. 
If you've gotten this far in this post here are some Dresdens I'm fiddling around with while sitting on the front porch in the evenings.  So far there are five done, they go together fast.  They're big.  Friends Jan and Marilyn think I'll have enough for a whole quilt.  This is another attempt at using the scraps that I am sick of moving from one place to another, one container to the next.  I am absolutely determined to clear out the scraps.  Some of these fabrics go back to the 70's when my mom showed a couple of friends and I how to make a prairie point circle pillow.  Time to go! Some are going into strip blocks, some are here and I showed the bindings I made a couple of weeks ago. 


  1. Oh, my, I never knew that about lard. I'm old enough to remember when we cooked everything with lard. I bet your pies were fantastic! BTW, love your new header! I have to get out and see that in pejrson.

  2. Oh a proper ripe poor is amazing.... Had to find these days.... Nice Dresdans.....

  3. your love scrap busting dresdens...those pies look absolutely delish! wish I could taste one...yum

  4. I am admiring your industry, peach pies and Dresden's all going around and around! Climbing out of a winter here, feeling like staying under blankets just a bit longer. Once I have moved I will vow to tackle my scraps also....until then, I will just have to keep filling those moving boxes with all my stash!

  5. I forgot peaches at the market this week! These look delish ... but you know me and pie crusts :(