I have many fond memories of my mom standing in the kitchen, dishtowel slung over her shoulder, dutifully rolling pie crust. She always said the crust was the best part of any pie, and that store bought simply couldn't compare. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen my mom use a store-bought crust.

Her pie crust recipe is a simple one, passed down from generation to generation.

Mom's Pie Crust Recipe:
1/2 cup ice water
1 cup shortening
2 cups flour

Directions:
Put ice in water and let it sit until very cold. Strain the ice from the water when ready to use, and discard ice.
Cut flour into shortening using two knives or a fork. (Mom says you want the combination to look like "little rocks".)
Add half of the water, and mix until smooth. Continue adding water until manageable consistency. (You will be adding flour when you roll it, so you don't want it to be too dry to start.)
Chill the dough for at least an hour.
Turn out on to floured surface when ready to roll out.


And now for pie filling...
This is the best part about pie, in my opinion. It can be whatever you want it to be. (Though don't try apple-jalapeno. I did that once, and trust me, you want to learn from my mistakes.)

Going with a classic like Blueberry is always a safe, tasty option. Here's my favorite Blueberry Pie recipe:

Blueberry Pie:
(Makes one 9-inch pie)

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. butter

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Prepare your pie crust.
3. Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon; mix with berries. Turn into pastry-lined pan; sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter.
4. Cover with top crust--which has seals in it; seal and flute edges.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in the crust.


If you're not a fan of blueberry pie, but you're looking for something that is actually in-season on Alaska's pi-day, then look no further than apple.

Classic Apple Pie:
(Makes one 9-inch pie)

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Dash of salt
6 cups thinly sliced, pared apples
2 Tbsp. butter

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Prepare your pie crust.
3. Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; mix with apples. Turn into pastry-lined pan; dot with butter.
4. Cover with top crust--which has seals in it; seal and flute edges.
5. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in the crust.