Does Sifting the Flour/Dry Ingredients Really Make a Difference?

I'll admit right up front, I'm not a baker. A bag of flour usually lasts from Christmas to Christmas (as in cookies). But occasionally I am pressed into baking and I always get annoyed when a recipe calls for me to sift the flour or all dry ingredients together. Today I am making four buttermilk pies for a party. It calls for 3 Tablespoons of flour and a pinch of salt per pie, that I am to sift. I'll tell you right now, I didn't. It's a messy process with no discernible effect, that I can tell. This is a tiny bit of flour in a very liquidy pie filling. Even in other pastries where it is a major component, it gets all squished and compacted by the beaters anyway, doesn't it?

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