Each time I’ve stopped by for a slice of their delectable berry pie, I’ve asked if proprietor, Jan Gunn, would consider sharing her recipe for publication. Each time my request has been politely rebuffed with a smile or “Nice try” by the server as I wrote in a previous post. But on this visit, I was fortunate to be introduced to Ms. Gunn herself. And this time, I succeeded – kind of.
After gushing about the taste and tenderness of the crust on my Whidbey Triple Berry Pie, I asked again. At first, Ms. Gunn hesitated. Then with a shrug of her shoulders replied: “Oh, why not?”
To be fair, her initial hesitation in sharing the recipe wasn’t from lack of generosity or even proprietary interest. After reaching for a well-worn copy of Joy of Cooking, she explained: “We turn out 800 pies a week so I have to think about the ingredient proportions to give you for fewer pies than that.”
We played around with the ratios a bit – “Maybe 2 cups unbleached pastry flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup butter . . . ” But Jan’s most significant revelation for me came next: “We don’t use shortening. We use 100% pure coconut oil.” Aha! Now we were getting somewhere.
“Oh, and then add 2 – 4 tablespoons water.”
Thanks to Jan, the next time I’m in the mood to make a pie, I now have a trail to follow. I’ll reach for my own Joy of Cooking, noodle with the ingredient ratios a bit, then jump right in. But whether I go for a berry, seasonal or savory pie – cherry, apple, pumpkin, peach or meat – I can only hope my crust comes close to the exceptional creations at Whidbey Pie Cafe.
What’s your no-fail pie crust recipe, wanderboomers? Please share with us here.
Still hungry? Check out these wanderblogger posts on Wanderfood Wednesday: