It has a basic pie crust recipe that uses butter. Cathy, the SIL, says the best crusts are made with lard. She grew up on a farm in southeastern Ohio, and her pie crusts are the BEST in my opinion, so she probably is right, but I wasn’t interested in going out to find lard. So I went with butter.
It also has a recipe for an apple pie that I decided to use, with one modification and that is I didn’t use the orange flavoring. I like oranges, but didn’t want it in the pie.
And it was delish. I think it could be flakier, but it had good flavor. The apples were just red delicious, with some experiementing I could find that blend of apples for the right tartness. But it is a hit! Bob says I am hired.
Here is what I see as the fundamental differences between baking and cooking: chemistry. With baking, the recipe is everything. Someone has done the work to figure out the right amount of this and that and how long to cook it etc. If you don’t follow that recipe, you are probably doomed. With cooking, you can improvise all over the place and while you may not get exactly what the recipe described as the end result, you still get something edible and good. You would think that baking by the recipe would be some how comforting, it is not. What if you don’t use unbleached flour? I don’t need the pressure from an activity that is in theory supposed to be enjoyable.
Oh well, I will make more pies and will get better at it with practice, as with most things.