Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm makin' pies

First you have to play this just to get in the mood…

I don't usually make an abundance of pies during the holidays and 4 is about my limit. In the last week though there just seems to be some many excuses for pie that I've made 7 pies and I have 4 more to make this week! I'm getting good at the home made crust. And since a friend requested the recipe and how to, here we go.

This recipe came from one of Justin's high school friends and I've been using it for over 10 years!

Josh's Homemade Pie Crust
(makes double crust)

2 cups flour
dash of salt
1 Tbsp sugar (omit if you are making quiche or anything savory)
2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp butter or shortening or butter (you should really use butter)
4-6 Tbsp ice water (8 Tbsp if you live in the dry West)

Cut the butter or margarine into the flour until it's roughly pea sized crumbles. (I'm a butter kind of girl. I never use shortening for this and never margarine. It's worth the splurge. You are eating pie for crying out loud, it's not worth trying to keep the lbs off! You will cry yourself to sleep thinking on how good it could have been if you'd only used butter. Just trying to save you the drama of disappointment here.)

Fill up a glass with water and some ice cubes. Dip out the water and add to the dry mixture. Toss it until everything is sort of wet and looks like it will stick together. 

The trick is to not over work the dough. All of those crumbs of butter will melt away in the oven and create little air pockets in the crust to make a delicious flakey goodness. 

Work the dough just enough to get it to stick together while you roll it out. A peel is really helpful if you have one, other wise you have to use more flour. Roll it out and then drape it over your rolling pin and transfer to your pie plate. 

Trim the left over so that the dough hangs about 1/2" over the edges. Roll the draping edges under to rest on the edge of the pie plate. Using your thumb and forefinger on your right hand and your forefinger on your left, push your left finger up against your right all the way around to create a zigzag design. If you look closely, it will have a marbled look to it with the pockets of butter in there!

I learned a long time ago that your pie can be elevated from just yum to spectacular with a homemade crust and decorations for the top. Use the left over dough to cut out shapes to place on top of the pie when it's done. They can be baked on a cookie sheet until lightly brown and crispy and then used on top after the pie is finished baking (unless you are using a lot of them for a fruit pie, in which case you can bake them with like a top crust.

Brush the pie crust and the decorations with a little 1/2 & 1/2 and dust with sugar before you put it in the oven.

Bake for 15 min @450 and then 15 min at 350 if you are planning to use it for a cream pie or something that doesn't get baked after filling. Otherwise, just fill it and bake it with your pie. Cover the edges before they get too brown if your filling isn't done when your crust looks finished.

Have fun!