Sylvia’s Secret Pie Crust Recipe

rolled out pie crust dough
Rolled out pie crust dough


Sylvia shares her secret ingredient to making homemade pie crusts unfailingly flaky and light:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (Sylvia’s secret ingredient)
1 cup shortening, chilled
4, 5, or more Tablespoons ice water

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 4-5 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a teaspoonful at a time until the dough comes together.

Gently gather dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 20 minutes before rolling. Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate and finish your pie according to directions. For a baked shell: bake in the preheated oven approximately 8 minutes or until just turning golden around edges. Makes 2 pie crusts.

Sultana Raisin Pie

a pie made with raisins
Sultana Raisin Pie

2 c. golden raisins
2 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 tbsp. butter
Pie crust pastry

To make crust:
I use store-bought crusts (comes 2 in a box) and I roll out one to fit a 9-inch pie plate. I roll it thinner that the average crust so I will have scraps with which to make decorative leaves on the top. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Make bottom crust, prick, and bake 5 minutes. Meanwhile make strips or decorative leaves with remaining pieces and set aside. Save the second crust, it will keep indefinitely if refrigerated.

Combine raisins and water. Boil 5 minutes. Blend sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Add to raisin mixture and cook about 1 minute, stirring until clear. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar or lemon juice and butter. Cool slightly. Pour into pie shell and decorate with pastry leaves. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: For a truly old-fashioned raisin pie, make this with dark raisins and and add a top crust (if you do this, don’t pre-bake the bottom crust).

Canned Salmon Burgers

a salmon pattie
Canned Salmon Burgers


1 can (14.75 oz.) canned pink salmon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 c. fine, dry bread crumbs
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. Rosemary, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
Optional addition: 1/3 cup Swiss cheese, finely diced

Drain salmon and flake with a fork. Bones and skin are completely edible, but you may choose to pick out the large pieces. Mix together all ingredients, shape into 5 patties, and pan fry in olive oil until lightly browned on both sides. Serve on toasted hamburger buns or simply as patties with a vegetable side. I wish I could remember for certain, but I believe I first saw a recipe like this on the back of a can of salmon, or even tuna? I wish I could be sure.

Molasses Crinkles

brown cookies with cracks on top
Molasses Crinkles

A new family favorite: I got this recipe last week from someone and can’t remember who to give credit and say how great they are. The recipe is flawless and the best cookies ever.

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Cream sugar and butter, then add the rest of the ingredients. Roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in granulated sugar. Don’t press down. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Don’t over bake.