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Life of pie: 3 months elbow deep into flour, butter, conquers fear of pastry dough

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Pies always made me nervous. Didn’t matter if they were deep-dish or mile-high. And you could call them whatever: quiche, tart or galette. It’s the crust and the making of it that always stopped me cold. I would avoid recipes calling for pie dough, or I’d scurry shamed-faced to the frozen food aisle of the local supermarket to buy ready-made.

The fear stemmed, I think, from all those highfalutin pronouncements about how one can gauge not only the mettle of a cook but also the moral character by the flakiness of his or her crusts. I was scared of being found out as a flour-dusted Dorian Gray.

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