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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Pie Crust

My daughter requested I post my pie crust recipe. Flaky crust isn't that hard to achieve. It does take some practice and a light touch, though. My favorite pie crust is smashed graham crackers mixed with a bit of sugar and enough butter to make it stick together. Easy, simple, tastes great, but doesn't work for fruit pies.

For those worried about carbs, why are you eating pie in the first place?!?!?! I make my pies with just a top crust anymore because I don't like soggy bottom crust. This way I get the tasty fruit and the flaky crust and it's a lot easier with no soggy bottom to worry about.

Give this a try sometime when you have that bowl of fruit begging to be turned into a tasty pie.

Flaky Pie Crust (makes one 8-9" crust)

1/4 c. shortening
3 T. softened butter
1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 c. flour
2 - 4 T. ice cold water

Mix flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening and butter until it looks like cornmeal or fine bread crumbs. Take your time on this, it's part of the secret to a great crust. Once you've worked in the fats, sprinkle the water over one Tablespoonful at a time. Stir very lightly, just enough to wet the flour. Be careful not to add too much water, you want enough to wet all the flour but not enough to make it soggy. The less you handle the dough at this point, the flakier the crust will be.

Set it aside while you make the filling and put it in the pie tin. Preheat the oven to 400°.

Gather the crust together. Squeeze gently until all the dry bits are mixed in. Roll out between two pieces of waxed paper. Be gentle with the rolling pin. Work the dough as little as you can get away with.

Put the crust over the top of the filling. Press it to the edge of the pie pan and trim off any excess. Cut a few slits in the top to let the steam out. Make it as decorative as you like.

Bake at 400° for 50-65 minutes, depending on the type of fruit filling you use. For rhubarb, see this post. Let the pie cool for about 15 minutes before digging in.

You can bake the scraps for a yummy treat. Line them up in a pie tin and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes, until just golden brown.

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