Aunt Emma's Never Fail Pie Crust

3 c sifted flour
1 1/4 c Shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp vinegar

Cut shortening into flour and salt.
Combine egg, water, and vinegar in a separate bowl.
Pour liquid into flour mixture all at once. Blend with spoon until flour is all moistened.
It can be re-rolled without toughening. Will keep in refrigerator for two weeks or divide into balls enough for one pie and wrap in Saran wrap and freeze indefinitely.

Makes 2 crusts

Friday, October 14, 2011

Believing in Blini

Well I didn't, but I do now.

Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche. WHAT??  For the love of Merlot. I never made blini in my life, let alone buy smoked salmon.  That is, uncooked salmon, meant to be eaten- uncooked.  Time to get on with it. <smile>

In Around My French Table Dorie explains how you can buy the popular blini at the equivalent of 7-Eleven, small convenience stores, in France. There they are, in the refrigerator cases, right along with the smoked salmon.  Can you picture these items in the 7-Eleven where you live?  Maybe things have changed. I can't tell you the last time I was inside a 7-Eleven.

The French version of blini (as opposed to the Russian) includes buckwheat flour, offering a nutty flavor and brown color. What I was surprised to learn is that blini are simply pancakes made with yeast as the leavening.

The batter rises for 60 -90 minutes into a beautiful, bubbling mass that smells heavenly.

After that, whisk the batter, stir in beaten eggs, and proceed as you would making any pancake. I had a little trouble making them turn out pretty, but they tasted delicious.

Even my taster was skeptical about the smoked salmon, but darned if this recipe didn't surprise us both.  Rich, tasty and a pleasant combination of flavors.  This would make great brunch fare, but only for my more gastro-adventurous friends and family. You know who you are... 

My fellow Doristas do this every week, cook together from Dorie's book, and post our blogs on the website:  Take a peek if you're interested.


  1. This was a new one for me as well and I was happy to learn that they aren't really any more difficult to make than pancakes. Happy to hear that you are your skeptical taster enjoyed them.

  2. I had a really difficult time making them pretty too. The first ones I cooked I tried containing them within a round biscuit cooker but it was a mess. Glad to see you enjoyed them!

  3. I think sometimes, some foods just don't want to be pretty. Food can be stubborn like that.
    Glad this one ended up being a hit!

  4. Glad to hear you liked them. Great post!

  5. We loved these at my house. Even my little kids devoured the smoked salmon!

  6. I think that irregular can be pretty - the taste is what's important, though!