Last week I was invited to attend a “Friends Thanksgiving”, and asked to make a dessert. I’ve always wanted to delve into the art of pie making but never had a good excuse, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. And of course, being a faithful employee of the Whole Grains Council, I figured while I was taking on the piecrust adventure, I might as well make it a whole grain one. I decided to make a blueberry pie, because they’re my favorite, and I chose the recipe for “Blueberry Pie with a Twist”, on the King Arthur Flour website. And so, the adventure began!

First, it turns out you can’t use plain old whole wheat flour for a pie crust (who knew?), you have to have whole grain pastry flour. So locating the correct flour was my first adventure – I had to hunt through several grocery stores before finally finding the right thing – Arrowhead Mills (a Whole Grains Council member!) Organic Whole Grain Pastry Flour, which I found at Whole Foods. Proper flour in hand, I gathered up the rest of the ingredients – frozen blueberries, red wine (oh yes!), butter, sugars, and spices. I even bought my first rolling pin – a pretty one with red handles. The next part of my adventure was sifting through all the advice offered by my coworkers, friends, and family. It seems everyone has a theory about what makes the best piecrust, and they’re all different. Keep the butter as cold as possible, use shortening instead of butter, use your hands to mix the dough, whatever you do DON’T use your hands – my mind was spinning! I decided the one person whose opinion in these matters was the most important to me was my mom, and I wished she could be in the kitchen with me, guiding my every move. So I did the next best thing – I got her on Skype, and put my laptop on the kitchen counter!

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With the help of my mom via webcam, I successfully crafted a piecrust – using my hands just a bit, but not too much – rolled it out, and put in the filling. It was a bit tricky, but overall it went off without a hitch. And after it came out of the oven, I have to say, I was quite impressed – it didn’t look exactly picture perfect, but it looked pretty darn good! I brought it to dinner on Saturday, and the reviews were very positive – my first successful pie! My baking confidence has reached a new high, and I will definitely be making this one again! For the full recipe, go to the King Arthur Flour Company website  – another wonderful Whole Grains Council member, with some fantastic recipes.

- Molli

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