This recipes comes to us from our retired chef, Chris Smith, a pastry wizard.

Basic Plain Pie Crust Pastry

Sift into a mixing bowl:
2 cups pastry flour or 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flower
1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening (I use 1/3 cup lard and 1/3 cup butter)

Mix (cut in) with a pastry blender, a blending fork or two knives (one in each hand) until the mixture is in even bits, about the size of peas.

Place in a cup:
1/3 cup ice water

Sprinkle water over the flour by tablespoons, stirring the flour with a fork until just enough has been added so that you can pat the dough lightly into a ball (flours vary so you may not need all the water). Handle the dough as little as possible and do not knead it.

Wrap the dough in plastic film and chill. Makes enough for a 9-inch two crust pie.

Vanilla Cream Pie Filling
Mix in a double boiler top:
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Stir in:
3 cups whole milk

Cook 15 minutes over hot water, stirring constantly until thick.

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

Cook 3 minutes.

2 Tablespoons butter


1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add ½ cup coconut
Fill pie.

Sprinkle the top of the finished pie with coconut, plain or toasted.