I've always been picky about piecrust, remembering my grandmother's flaky crusts, and I've always made my own from scratch--flour, Crisco, salt, and iced vodka (a recent substitute for water in the recipe.)
But after the Shaker Lemon Pie I wrote about recently, I wanted to try that butter-heavy crust again. So I decided to make a chicken pie--the way my grandmother did-- no veggies, just chicken and broth and wonderful pastry.
I mixed up the pastry in the morning so it would have time to chill. Then I checked out my grandmother's recipe and the foundations of my belief were shaken. SHAKEN, I tell you!
My beloved grandmother used pre-made pastry dough. Pilsbury's New 4 Flaky Pie Crusts, to be exact. "It comes in a flat package with four sticks (just like butter,)" she wrote.
I knew that in her later years, her biscuits had come out of a can (and were never as good as her scratch biscuits) but her pie crust?
Reeling with the shock, I decided to go for a walk. I took along a glove and a plastic bag, thinking to pick some stinging nettles to enliven a meal.
Which I did. And blanched them to take away the stinging part.
Then I made the chicken pie. At some point, realizing it was no longer my grandmother's chicken pie anyway, what with the lack of Pilsbury's 4 Flaky Pie Crusts, I decided to layer
some of the blanched nettles in with the chicken.
And it tasted great - the nettles added a very mild flavor--slightly artichoke-ish. The pie scratched three itches -- wanting to make my grandmother's chicken pie, using that great butter crust recipe again, and including foraged nettles for a taste of Spring.