Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pie Crust

Up until a few months ago, I scoffed at the crazy people who would do a pie crust from scratch. What? Why would you DO that when you can go BUY one at the Kroger just as easy? That's just crazy.

And then I found this recipe in the September 2008 Better Homes and Gardens, and it all made sense. Yet another recipe I follow to the letter.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
Cold water

  1. In medium bowl, stir together all-purpose flour and salt.
  2. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size (or smaller).
  3. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon cold water over part of the flour mixture; gently toss with a fork to mix.
  4. Push moistened pastry to side of bowl.
  5. Repeat moistening four mixture, using 1 Tablespoon of water at a time, until all of the four mixture is moistened.
  6. Form dough into a ball.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten pastry.
  8. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter, lightly dusting with flour as needed.
  9. To lie pie in plate, wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll into a 9-inch pie plate or pan. Ease into pie plate without stretching the dough. Trim edges of crust to 1/2 inch beyond pie plate. Flute edge as desired.

Notes from personal experience:

If you're going to use this crust for a dessert pie, add about 1/4-1/3 cup powdered sugar to each crust you're making (1/2-2/3 cup for a double crust recipe), according to how sweet you want the crust to be. It's basically a short bread recipe.

Cook this pie crust just like you would a storebought one. If you're pre-cooking the crust for a pudding- or cream-filled pie, don't forget to prick the crust with a fork to vent. And if you use a double-crust recipe, be sure to cut holes in the top to vent.

  1. For a single-crust cold dessert pie, bake at 450 degrees covered in a double-layer of tin foil for 8 minutes, then take foil off and bake for 4-6 more minutes, until golden brown.
  2. For a double-crust or other recipe, follow the recipe instructions.

You can double this recipe in the same bowl and just take out what you need, when you need it. It's homemade, so it's not supposed to look perfect.

Latticing a pie is a lot easier than you think it is. Pie dough is strong, and if it breaks, you can hide the break under a lattice. Once you have the bottom crust and filling in the pie and the top crust rolled out to a 12 inch circle, take a knife and slice the crust in about 1 - 1 1/2 inch wide strips. Work from one end of the crust with short strips to the other, with short strips.

  1. Take your first piece, and lay it along one side of the pie.
  2. Take up the piece next to it, slightly longer, and lay it perpindicularly (sp? at a 90 degree angle) with the corner on top of the first piece.
  3. Take up the third, slightly longer, piece. Lay it parallel to the first piece and pick up the second piece to allow it to go underneath.
  4. And so on and so forth.
  5. You kind of have to hold your mouth just right to do it the first time, but it gets easier with practice.
  6. Another benefit to a latticed pie is if you forget liquid (like I did with the chicken broth on the chicken pot pie), you can just pour it into the lattice holes.

I put all the pictures at the bottom so it wouldn't be a hassle to follow the recipe instructions:

2. Using a pastry blender or fork, mix flour, salt, optional sugar, and shortening until pea sized or smaller.

3. Sprinkle water and toss, then push to the side of the bowl.
Roll out to about 12-inch diameter.

Wrap pastry around rolling pin.

And transfer to pie plate.

I'm still not great at edging - I bet you can do better than I can.

Prick bottom with a fork.



Katy Agnew said...

So pretty! Now get in the kitchen and make me a pie... :)


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