It's The Butter, Baby
For years I fumbled my pie crusts. No matter what I did, they turned out bitter. And finally I realized, since the basic recipe for pie crust is flour, butter, salt and ice water, the problem had to be the salt. And if you lose the salt, the butter better be magic.
My search for the perfect butter was on. Unsalted was a no-brainer. I started with the local organic brands. They were okay, but the end results weren’t broad and rich enough to carry the whole world with them, which is what pie crust is supposed to do, right?
Then I decided to go international. First, the French butters. Maybe my expectations were a little unrealistic, it wouldn’t be the first time, but they all seemed kind of elastic. Temperamental. Fine for a finicky croissant but not the pie pal I was searching for. Irish butters were closer, but not indecently rich enough. And beneath the surface cream, I detected angst. So maybe what I was really looking for were the right kind of cows. Because if it’s not in the cows, it’s not going to be in the pie crust. And then I thought, just stop thinking and go see if they have anything new at Whole Foods.
And like all the right stuff you end up finding that was probably there all along, in the butter fridge across from the milk, on the second to the top shelf, which I was not going to be able to reach without opening the fridge door and standing on the bottom ledge, were these silver foil packages with a bold font that said Lurpak. Danish butter. Of course, Danish cows were the perfect match. Calm, creamy, and totally at peace with who they are. Lurpak Blue was salted but the Red, the package with the red wave on the bottom said Unsalted. And the one red package they had left was just sitting there, waiting for me to climb the shelf and get it.
So about those unrealistic expectations? Lurpak Red and my pie crusts have been living happily ever after.