I’ve written about my teacup before…the one that was given to me by my very first baking mentor, Sadie. No doubt she would never have imagined that this little cup would have lasted over 50 years and become a favorite, if not indispensable part of my baking equipment. Yes, it measures just about the right amount of water for a double crust pie dough, but it is almost like a talisman or good luck charm for me in the kitchen.
Maybe you have something like that, too. Something that calls up the sweet energy of someone or sometime that has been important to you. Sadie was that for me.
Today, I was making dough for lemon tarts. I used my tried and true Art of the Pie Dough. It seems to work for just about everything!
The recipe calls for about 8 Tablespoons of ice-water. And, that is just about how much Sadie’s teacup holds.
I started using the teacup measuring method in earnest after I read the recipe for Plain Pie Crust in The White House Cook Book (1898) by Hugo Ziemann (Steward of the White House) and Mrs. F. L. Gillette, where it mentions using a half a teacupful of cold water.
I thought, “I have a tea cup. I’ll use it to measure my water and see what happens.”
And, whether it’s because it does measure about the right amount, or because I associate it with some of the best days of my childhood, my doughs always seem to turn out better when I use it.