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Friday, July 10, 2009

The Perfect Pie Crust

Wednesday morning of this week I attended a little workshop with several of the ladies in my neighborhood at the church called "The Perfect Pie Crust." It was taught by my friend and neighbor, Terry. She makes the best pies. I have to admit that I have gotten lazy over the years with my pies and have begun buying frozen or refrigerated pie crusts when I do make them because I just never know how my homemade crust will turn out, and am not to sure if it will be worth the time and mess of making it myself. For someone who loves to cook, great pie crust has just never been my "thang."

My pie crust woes are over! THANKS, Terry! What a great little class. I thought I'd share her recipe and all of her great tips in case you are a pie crust making mess like me. Enjoy!

The Perfect Pie Crust -Terry S.
makes about six 9" single pie crusts or 3 double crust pies
(can freeze in baggies for 3-4 months)

6 C. all-purpose flour
Dash of Salt
2 C. shortening (not butter flavored)
1/2 C. butter (firm but not hard)

Mix with pastry blender until pebble like (pea size pebbles) consistency. The smaller the pebbles, the flakier the pie crust.

Then add:
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 C. buttermilk (this is the secret!)

Mix this with a fork until just barely holding together. Then use your hands and 'moosh' (this was Terry's very technical term) together (see photo). Take out a blob about the size and shape of a good sized hamburger bun. That makes about one 9" pie cruise. You should be able to get about 6 of these. Put those that you want to freeze for another time in sandwich size baggies and freeze. Note: frozen dough works great once frozen but is not quite as easy to work with as fresh. If you are using your frozen dough, be sure to thaw it a few hours in the bag before using.

Put a good size piece of wax paper on the counter, sprinkle with flour and add one of your 'hamburger bun blobs.' Sprinkle flour as needed on the dough and roll out into about a 12-14" circle. If you are using a marble rolling pin, be sure to refrigerate it and get it good and cold before using it. Marble pins work best this way. When your crust is rolled out, gently fold it in half and place carefully in your pie tin (Terry likes the glass pyrex pans best). Carefully fold the excess under the edges and then flute.

If you are cooking your pie crust by itself, prick the bottom and sides of your crust with a fork before baking (about once every 2" around the sides and about 8-10 times on the bottom). If you are filling your unbaked crust with filling before baking, do not prick the crust. Also, if you are doing a pie that you bake in the crust, be sure to cover your edges with foil from the beginning, not part way through the cooking process. Cook time on a filled pie crust depends on the recipe you are using for filling (for instance, if you are making a pumpkin pie, the recipe for the filling should tell you how long to bake it in the crust).

Bake unfilled pie crusts at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

We baked some pies in the class and the crust was perfectly flaky and delicious. One of the things I love about this recipe is that it makes so many crusts and the you freeze what you are not using and can easily pull them out of the freezer when you need another crust instead of having to make a whole new batch for every 2 crusts like most recipes. The whole process from beginning to ready to put a crust in the oven took less than 20 minutes. WOO HOO!

Happy Pie Making!


Tammy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I, too have been buying mine as it's easier and you know they turn out. I actually have been buying mine from Marie Callendars. There $4 including the tin, however, I think homemade is so much better.

Can't wait to try them. Thanks again,

kimber said...

Oooohhh, yummy! I can't WAIT to try this. I've NEVER had luck with pie crust. Yay!!

Jamie Harder said...

Honestly, I can NOT believe you didn't make it! You are so talented!!! Keep posting your work on the site and apply again next time!! Your work is just sooo amazing!!

Can you believe I have never ever made a pie?? I don't really like pie *gasp*


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