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There are two words when used together can strike fear in the heart of any aspiring cook. Those two words are “Pie Crust”. I had made crusts before and I have always found their preparation to be a daunting experience. My concern is that I will work the dough too much and the crust will be rubbery. This particular crust from The Joy of Cooking is a pate’ brisee, formulated to work with a quiche Lorraine, my dinner choice for last Thursday night. The recipe calls that I work flour into a chilled stick of butter and 3 tablespoons of lard, add water til a dough forms and let it rest chilled for 2 hours. All went well, until I started rolling out the chilled dough. Then my life became filled with questioning and self-doubt. Am I handling it too much? Bearing in mind that the chilled dough is only slightly more pliant than a radial tire, I begin rolling away ever so carefully with the rolling pin. It seemed to be getting thinner and thinner and pretty soon it fit inside the pie plate.  It looks like I am good to go. I put in the bacon, then the cheese, and finally the milk/cream-egg mixture.   Into the oven it goes and pretty soon, Bob’s your Uncle, a lovely quiche all golden brown, is ready for our enjoyment. It turned out quite tasty. Now here’s the irony. The yummy, custard-like, cheesy quiche more than concealed whatever shortcomings the crust may have had. It was certainly flaky, if you scraped off the filling to savor the crust. Then again, only a nosy mother-in-law of a newly-wed bride from a Fifties sitcom would be so anal as to do that.

Pie Crust Verdict: Pass.

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