This one is more of a cook-pamphlet than a cookbook.
Crisco’s Easy-As-Pie was printed in 1954 and is a very simple, unassuming little thing with a 2-color cover and black & white interior. As one might assume from the title, it is a guide to pastry and pie.
The opening spread is titled, “Simple Steps To Perfect Pastry with Crisco’s Easy-As-Pie Sheet”. The “sheet” appears to be a piece of plastic on top of which are placed the flour, salt, water, and Crisco. The corners are then gathered up and the whole thing held like a bag, and then the baker squeezes the bottom of the bag to mix and knead the pastry. Form it into a ball, then open the plastic, roll out the dough and place it in the tin. Voila! No muss, no fuss! And there’s an entrepreneurial home-cook success story behind that sheet.
The back of the pamphlet tells the story of Mrs. Mildred Semple of Wollaston, MA. An avid home cook and baker, she was always experimenting with new ways to create the perfect pie crust. Her breakthrough was the discovery of “magic” plastic (polyethylene) developed during WWII. With this plastic she created her “Easy-As-Pie-Method” using an “Easy-As-Pie Sheet” that eliminated the need for “bowls, blenders, and pastry boards.” She won a baking contest in Boston, patented her Easy-As-Pie sheets, created a business to sell them, and ultimately went into business with Crisco to promote her method to discerning Crisco bakers. In the back of this Crisco booklet there is an order form for Mildred’s sheets, for just 50 cents in coin!
I am inspired.
Though tiny at just twenty pages and measuring 4″ x 5″ it has 24 recipes crammed inside. There are also the simple, fun little drawings that I love in 50’s cookbooks.
This Fudge Topped Pie sounds amazing: a smooth, custard filling topped with fudge? Yeah, I’ll be trying this one soon!
- This recipe is from the Crisco’s Easy As Pie Booklet. The recipe and ingredients are listed below as they appear in the booklet.
Crisco pastry for single crust.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Roll pastry 1/4″ thick. Line pie plate with pastry and trim edge 1/2″ from outside edge of plate. Turn under and flute with fingers or fork.
- Beat eggs lightly, add sugar and salt and blend well. Add milk and vanilla.
- Pour into unbaked pastry shell.
- Bake in a hot oven (425°F) for 10 minutes; lower temperature to 350° F for 25-30 minutes or until custard is firm.
- Cool custard.
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1-oz. square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream ingredients until well blended.
- Place over cooled custard filling.
- Chill before serving.