Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fantabulous Food! Homemade Pie Crust

This is one that sounds much more difficult than it actually is. I had always just purchased frozen pie crust (even my southern cooking from scratch Grandmother relies on the Mrs. Field's crusts), but I wanted to make a pie for my sister's birthday at the last minute and I had no pre-made crusts. Luckily, my husband had bought me the Our Best Bites cookbook for my birthday and it had a quick and easy crust recipe in it and I already had all the ingredients :)

Pie Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp butter-flavored shortening
  • ice water (about 1/4 cup)
1. Combine flour and salt in a medium sized bowl.
2. Chop shortening into small cubes and add to flour mixture.
Using two butter knives or a pastry blender, literally cut the shortening into the flour until it is in pea-sized pieces 
- the knives were taking a long time, so I grabbed m widely spread whisk. Make sure the whisk is large and spread apart or else it will become very clumped and not fun to try to clean out.

3. Sprinkle the water onto the flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Do not mix the water in - you want to just moisten the flour. The point is to handle the dough as little as possible. The less you mess with it, the more flaky and delicious it will be.
I just used a rubber spatula and shifted the dough clumps around in the bowl so all the dough could be moistened.
4. When you have the dough moistened, lightly press it together in to a ball. At this point, you can either wrap it in plastic wrap until you're ready to use it, or you can continue on.
5. To roll out the dough, lightly flour your surface and rolling pin.
Start from the middle of the dough and roll it outwards in all directions to create a circular shape. You want it to be about 1/8" thick.
6. When it is your desired thickness, just wrap the dough over your rolling pin to transfer it into your pie pan.
If you are like me and didn't use enough flour on the counter, take a thin spatula and carefully scrape along as you peel the flour off the surface to keep it from breaking. This dough actually was pretty elastic, but it's always easier if you take any precaution to eliminate the possibility of it breaking.
7. Lightly press your dough down in the corners of the pan. Then, prepare your edges however you would like. I just turned my dough under itself and lightly pressed it together with my fingers. You could also go around the edge and press it with a fork to give a ribbed edge.
8. Before you pour your filling in, you should pierce the bottom with a fork a few times to aerate the dough. This will keep the dough from bubbling up and it will stay pretty.
9. Now fill your pie with whatever filling you want and back according to the filling's directions. If you need to pre-bake the crust, bake it at 450° F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
If you are baking a pie that needs a crusted top, like an apple pie, just double the dough recipe and split it in half before you roll it out, then just roll them out separately for the top and bottom.

So, now that you've seen my pictures, I will confess - this was my first pie crust! I have to say, it doesn't look too bad :) So, this recipe really is as easy as the Our Best Bites ladies claim. Hopefully this recipe helps you during the delicious fruit season we have right now :) There are lots of good deals on peaches and berries going on now and any of them would make a delicious pie!

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