Flour sifters are an important part of baking–today, and in the Victorian Era. Would you be surprised to learn the first flour sifter was patented by an American? See a timeline of Victorian-era advertisements for sifters and flour sieves, flour bins (canisters or extraordinary sizes) with built-in sieves, patents for early sifters and sieve holders, and a perspective of price. The advertising, alone, sheds light on why 19th century cooks were persuaded to purchase and use these devices.
Many reasons contribute to our immigrant ancestors’ penchant for pie-baking. Simple, honest, historic ingredients. Traditions of European countries. Affordability. And many more.
I had the superior benefit of a mother-in-law who’s a skilled baker and taught me the mysteries of pie crust nearly thirty years ago. I’ve slowly refined my methods, skills, and comprehension of how to make the best pastry. While researching and writing The Drifter’s Proposal I stumbled across a vintage pie crust recipe that fully changed everything I’d previously believed about pie crust.
OK… not quite everything. But this recipe impressed me. It’s flaky, tender, easy to work with, and yields a spectacular taste and presentation.