Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the chill in the air, the holidays just around the corner, and the nostalgia that comes with memories of my grandmother cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Back then, my grandmother started preparing a few weeks in advance. She’d start by bringing out the special serving dishes, plates and table linens she only used for Holiday meals. The grocery shopping started a week before, then the cooking and all those great smells. My grandmother was home all the time, so for her, Thanksgiving prep was a joy. She had the time to make sure everything was exactly the way she wanted it. I don’t recall any stress, she just hummed along from one task to another enjoying the family traditions.
Things have certainly changed since that time in my life!!! Rich, my husband, is the better cook in our family. I don’t have the time to fuss the way my grandmother did. The stuffing isn’t as moist as I’d like. The gravy has lumps. You get the picture. One tradition that has stuck is making pies. Even better is that my daughter Liv loves making pies with me. We all know homemade crust is everything. In fact, we have the BEST recipe for pie crust from Magnolia Bakery located on the Upper West Side of NYC. They are known for incredible pies and cupcakes. No matter how busy we are, Liv and I spend Wednesday making pecan, pumpkin and apple pies.
I love that this tradition has remained so important to us and what’s not to love about being with your family and eating delicious homemade pies together. In that spirit, here is our favorite pie crust recipe below.
Magnolia Baker Famous Pie Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled or frozen
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled or frozen
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water
Make the crust:
Combine flour, salt, and sugar and mix well. Working quickly, cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes.
Add butter to flour. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, break up the chunks of butter until
the cubes are the size of large peas. Add shortening and break up any pieces. Drizzle ice
water into mixture and mix until just combined. Dough should come together when pressed,
but still feel shaggy. If necessary, add an additional tablespoon of ice water and repeat until
dough comes together.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Press dough together (don't knead) and be sure to
stop handling the dough before the butter heats and it appears shiny. Divide the dough in
half, flatten each half into a flat disk and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30
Once dough has cooled, turn out onto a floured surface. Use a heavy rolling pin to whack
the dough into a wide, flat circle. If the dough appears to be cracking at the edges, stop and
wait for it to warm up. Roll out dough in a circular shape until it's about 13 inches around.
Gently fold into quarters and place in a 9 inch pie dish. Unfold and press into the pan with
your fingertips, taking care not to stretch the dough. Roll out the top crust in the same
manner and refrigerate both crusts while preparing the filling.
While we’re on the subject of Thanksgiving, if you’re like me you’re running up for a quick shower right before your guests arrive. You stare into your closet wondering what comfortable and stylish outfit will work for the day. Below I have some Thanksgiving holiday looks to share with you. Breath deeply and soak in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
I design my collection for real women leading real lives. We all want to look relevant and current, but in our own way, reflecting our own sense of self and style. While I’m guilty of pouring over the latest fashion magazines, I’m often thinking, “Who wears that?”. I aim to enhance your style, not dictate it.