Dear Friends:

I’ve been getting a lot of letters from my readers asking why I didn’t include Aunt Polly’s secret pie-crust recipe in the book, PIE.  The truth is… I was afraid to!  People are VERY particular about the kind of piecrust they like. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone by including a recipe that wouldn’t live up to their expectations.  So I decided to let my readers imagine Polly’s piecrust exactly the way they would want it to taste.  I must also gently point out that PIE is a work of fiction, which means that Aunt Polly and her piecrust are also fictional. But the letters keep pouring in so I’ve decided to start collecting non-fiction pie-crust recipes, and posting them here.  If you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share with the world, please send it to me at


Happy baking,






From Michele Stuart, of Michele’s Pies in Westport, CT. **

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

¾ plus 2 TBS Crisco, cold

5 TBS ice-cold water

½ cup heavy cream*


In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  Add the Crisco to the flour mixture.  Either with a pastry blender or with your fingertips, mix the ingredients together with an up-and-down chopping motion until the dough forms course, pea-size crumbs.  Note: I prefer the old-fashioned finger option, but take care not to overhandle the dough, because it will become difficult to work with –when dough is overhandled, the Crisco becomes too incorporated.  In the perfect pie, the Crisco will have a marbleized look, and you will actually be able to see Crisco swirls within the uncooked dough.

Add the ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, delicately incorporating each tablespoon into the flour mixture before you add the next.  You may have to use 1 more or 1 less tablespoon of water than the amount recommended, depending upon the humidity in your kitchen at the time of baking.  You will know you have added just the right amount of water when the dough forms a ball that easily holds together.

Wrap the ball of dough with plastic and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.


*( If you are using a top crust and want it to be nice and golden brown, Michele suggests that you brush it with heavy cream before baking.)


(**I had the pleasure of doing a presentation with Michele at the Westport Library recently.  She really knows her pie!  Check out her website:  and for more great recipes and a detailed description of how to roll out a piecrust look for her book:  PERFECT PIES published by Ballantine Books.)








Want to try something fun?  Try making somet mini pies in jars. Learn about it here:




    • says

      Thanks so much for pointing out that I needed to clarify about the cream! The cream is for brushing the unbaked pie crust with once it’s been rolled out and filled to ensure a golden brown top crust.SW

    • says

      Yes, the peach skin trick does work If you are an adult – use boiling water for best results, but if you are a kid, stick to hot tap water unless there is an adult around to help you with it. SW

  1. Emilie says

    Hi Sarah! Last month I finished reading your book PIE and I have to say it was amazing! Our 6th grade class is doing a book club and one of our choices is So Can’t wait to read it!

  2. Annonomus says

    I bought your book PIE once, but then lost it. I want to make your Sour Cherry Pie for thanksgiving tomarrow. Could you please tell me the recxipie from the book?

  3. Alana says

    Hi! I loved the book pie so much! Right now I am doing a book report on it for my 6th grade class. I also made a quilt about the book. In each square of the quilt is a picture that my grandmother and I handmade out of cloth about the book. For example, in one square there is a picture of Lardo, and in another there is a picture of ripe Haven peaches. I hope to send a picture of it soon. I was also wondering, do you love to make pies just like Polly? Thanks for writing a such a great book, it has inspired me to write more, I hope to write a book like yours someday. Thanks it has really changed my life.

  4. Brook says

    I just wanted to thank you so very much for writing the book PIE. It is one of the best books that have ever had the pleasure of reading. If my grade 6 class does a book report this year, I will definitely be reading this book again! I also have a question for you, Mrs.Weeks, what is your favorite kind of pie? Mine is lemon meringue. Also, did you know that your book PIE has been nominated for the Langley Book of The Year, I should know, for I live in Langley, B.C.! That’s how I found your book, PIE.

    • says

      Hi Brook- thanks for your message. I’m DELIGHTED to hear that PIE is on the Langley Book of the Year list. How cool is that???? I don’t really have a favorite pie – I like almost all of pies except banana cream (yech!) and pecan. Have a great holiday! SW

  5. Ruby Hamilton says

    I just finished reading your book for the second time! I love this book so much. I was so mad when I learned your book was on the 3-5 grade division of Oregon battle of Books, and not the 6-8 grade division. Whenever I read the end of your book for some reason it makes me cry. I’ve only cried in really well written books. Even if you don’t ever read this it’s okay. I just want you to know that I absolutely love your book, and I would immediately recommend it to anyone who wants a good book to read. At the end I just wanted more. You have really inspired me.
    Thank You, Ruby Hamilton

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