Tip #42 from Karen, Pie Maker Extraordinaire: Keep Your [butter] Cool.”

That’s right, folks! Another baking tip from Our Lady of the Pie, Karen Olson, to signal that, yes, Charity Pie Night is This Friday! Read on for this month’s words-o’-wisdom:


It isn’t always easy to remember where things began, particularly as more beginnings happen every day. When it comes to this one trick of pie baking however, I know almost exactly where it began. A little more than a decade ago, Linda Olson (a.k.a. Mom) was gearing up once again for hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner–no small feat, mind you–and what is a mother of three lazy daughters to do with so many tasks at hand? DELEGATE! Who really knows or remembers what was doled out to Lisa and Kim that fateful year, but I happened to tell my mother I would like to take over making the pumpkin pie. And fate sealed itself.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I am supposed to be writing a pie tip in here somewhere and not my small piece of history… so thank you for your patience with my lead-in, and now on to the pointer! It was that day, my mother taught me what her grandmother had taught her: the key to a beautiful and flaky crust is to keep your butter cold! Keeping your butter cold allows for those lovely, little butter pockets in the dough to come together in the mixing process, and once placed in a warm oven, they will expand and create a melt in your mouth crust which would complement any filling your heart desires. I am pretty sure, after 10 plus years of baking, that there is some level of science to this tip, but for me, the proof is in the pie crust.

Now go forth, experiment, and keep it cool Phoenix!


If you’d like to see/smell/taste the evidence, this Friday, February 28th, is Charity Pie Night! The feature charity this month is Arizona Basset Hound Rescue! Click through the Charity Pie Night link for the Facebook event, or visit our website for more details: www.practical-art.com.


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