One of the first things I ever baked myself was a deep-dish peach pie. I was probably 12 or so, and I think I got some help from my grandma. I was pretty disappointed with the outcome, not because it tasted bad, but because I hadn’t realized deep-dish meant no bottom crust. I know some people eat pie for the fruit, but I’m willing to wager that most of us put up with mushy and/or artificially gooey filling as a vehicle for flaky, buttery pastry crust. However, I blame my real fascination with pie crust on Martha Stewart.
For the past ten years, I have been holding on to a copy of Martha Stewart Living because it contained one of my favorite recipes for a pate brisee or all butter pie crust. In her Pie Crust 101 feature, Martha (or her team of magical food styling elves) crafted some of the most amazing crusts I had ever seen - purple mincemeat peeking through a hundred tiny little holes, apples steaming under a bed of carefully sculpted autumn leaves, and cherries topped with perfectly symmetrical lattice work. It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to be Martha. And, like Martha, I started making pate brisee pie crusts, by hand. Read the rest of this entry �