Mmm… Pie Season yet?

It’s always pie season, right? Maybe it’s a tad early for fresh-from-the-garden pie, but the rhubarb and a few starter strawberries are coming on in my neck of the woods. I’m thinking it’s time for pie.

susan dahlem

Of course, there is the age-old issue of making a proper crust. I was lucky enough to learn how to make a crust before I learned that a pie crust involves a fair amount of confidence. A child rarely lacks confidence. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making the exact same crust as featured in my mom’s Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook. Her cherry filling is also a regular at my house.

But if you aren’t confident about your confidence when it comes to making a crust, I know a secret and so does our very own Susan Dahlem (Sister #15). In her Not Quite June Cleaver Bakes a Pie book, she shares the beauties of getting it right with … gasp, shortening.

I’m not a proponent of shortening, so as soon as you get more comfortable with your pie crust skills, I would absolutely replace the shortening with butter … better for you and much tastier! But to get started, try it. Spectrum does make an organic version for the better-for-you part. The difference between butter and shortening is that shortening doesn’t get too soft about the time you’re ready to roll your crust out, so you don’t have the same time crunch—less stress for the beginner.

To help with the worries of getting the crust right, Susan has some delicious recipes for fillings, too. And once you get past the beginner stage, she also has a variety of crusts to try. I’m looking forward to trying my hand at an entirely new crust and filling.


  1. calle says:

    My dear mother taught me at age 4 or 5 how to make pie crust and Crisco was the thing.
    Today I long for a Gluten free, chemical free flaky crust.
    As I love to make Quiche Lorraine, but can’t as we have not found a great homemade gluten free recipe.

    • Megan says:

      I have yet to try a gluten-free crust. Maybe I will have to keep you posted! And yes, the trick is a flaky one. 🙂

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    There is nothing so perfect as a pie with a flaky crust. I too learned to make a crust with Crisco shortening, but switched to butter because the taste is so much better. Right now, blueberries are in season here with U Pick places everywhere. Our household favorite with blueberries are pancakes, but a blueberry pie with the perfect crust might be a close second! It has been awhile since I made a pie, but I do have your Mom’s Idea book so I can revisit the crust recipe. Your rhubarb/strawberry pie sounds wonderful. I vote an enthusiastic YES for one of those soon!!

  3. I’m from the South and its always, always LARD to make a perfect crust, no substitutes ! My step-grandfather was the best baker of anyone I ever knew and ofcourse it was cold water and lard to make a perfect crust for his legendary pecan pie ( with a kick of homemade bourbon ) and various other home-grown fruit pies. He always rolled it out on an old marble table, he said the secret was to keep the dough cool.

    • Megan says:

      Yes, lard is also a very good route to go for a perfectly flaky crust. Susan does make that suggestion. Here’s to a marvelous pie!

  4. Susan says:

    What a SWEET surprise! Thank you for sharing my book! I am working on the next one in the series–Not Quite June Cleaver Bakes a Cake!

    Blessings & Bliss!
    .· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.·´ .·´ -:¦:-Susan
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*

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