At the MMHF, Singing and Making Pie Crust (at the same time)




“Nobody should ever use a store-bought pie crust,” Leslie Berkelhammer says.

For Berkelhammer, the store-bought piecrust is a culinary scourge, one which she hopes to wipe out at this weekend’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival.

To prove that “making pie crust is as easy as pie,” during her cooking demo on Sunday, Berkelhammer will make a crust while singing the Star-Spangled Banner.

“It just came to me,” says Berkelhammer of the idea.

Berkelhammer is a child neuropsychologist by trade (currently looking for a job), who also studied at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.

An enthusiastic baker since childhood, she says she thinks nothing of stopping everything to devote two hours to baking a complicated dessert.

But, she stresses that the pie crust is not among those complicated desserts, saying that the fuss about super-chilled butter and special tools is unnecessary.

“I just dump it all together and use my fingers and a rolling pin,” she says.

To prep for the singing part of the demo, Berkelhammer has been pouring over YouTube videos of Star-Spangled Banner performances — among them, those of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. (“I’m not at that level,” she says.) She’ll be handing out sheets with her crust recipes as well as lyrics to the song, hoping to encourage an audience sing-along.

She will be sticking to the first verse of the five-verse song, however.

“Have you read all the lyrics?” she asks. “It’s pretty bloody.”

Leslie Berkelhammer’s pie crust demo is Sunday, September 5th, at 1 p.m.

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