There is no doubt about it.
I used to be afraid of crust.
Yep, making my own pie crust was pee-in-my-pants scary. Even before I joined the Over 50 Girls Club.
Was it as scary as fixing fish?
Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
Actually, I was scared of both. But I have overcome. And conquered.
And you can, too.
This is a tasty, flaky pie crust that only takes minutes to prepare. I don’t care WHO you are.
You can do this. Easy peasy. Promise!
But just like my Mountain Man always says (especially when he wants to buy a new/different type of power tool), every job is easier with the right tools!
For years I used a fork and knife to “cut” a.k.a. blend the flour, salt, and shortening. Why did it take me so long to buy one of these?
That’s one of my grandma’s cup towels. She and I (starting at the ripe old age of 5) embroidered more cup towels and pillow cases than Carter has pills. They all got ironed, too, after drying on the line, then sprinkling with water and putting them into a big plastic bag for a while. So did the pillow cases. . . and sheets. Amazing how many memories a little cup towel can conjure.
And, you need some of this:
And one big round bowl.
My three big secrets to perfect pie crust each and every time. No fail. No kidding.
So, here’s the scoop. You know, I’ve never used butter, I’ve always used shortening. I love to cook with butter, just not this time. And, I have no idea where I got the recipe, it’s been too long. So my apologies to my mom, or Crisco, or Betty, or whomever for not giving them credit. Patience is short. Memory is shorter.
Perfect Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup +2Tbsp vegetable shortening
5 Tbsp COLD water (this is sooooooo important)
In a small bowl or glass, put a few ice cubes. Fill with water and set aside.
In a large bowl, put in flour, then salt and stir around a bit.
Add shortening and use pastry cutter to incorporate the shortening with the flour and salt. Continue to “cut” until you have really small, almost uniform in size, little clumps.
Using a measuring spoon, measure 5 tablespoons of ice water into the flour mixture.
You can use a spatula to incorporate the water and flour, but at some point you are going to have to use your hands. Take your jewelry OFF, ladies. You are not Paula who probably has a jeweler off-stage waiting to clean her rings after every show. Besides, if your jewelry isn’t clean to begin with, I don’t want your jeweled hands in my food at all.
Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation.
Now, do NOT over work the dough or it will be tough instead of tender and flaky. Get it to where it is just holding itself together. Kinda like me. Just on the edge of falling apart – but I don’t. And your dough shouldn’t either. There’s a fine line. You’ll know it when you see it.
The dough should be just a teeny, tiny bit tacky. So, get out some of your flour and sprinkle generously on a work surface. Pinch the dough in half, because this recipe makes a double crust. Even if you only need one, go ahead and roll both out. You can sprinkle the other one with cinnamon and sugar, cook at 400 degrees until just brown and then use on top of a bowl of fruit or just have for a little snack with a cold glass of milk. Brings back a few more childhood memories for me.
OK, so now you have floured your work surface, make the dough into a thick small circle with your hands and place in the middle of the work surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. Now, roll into a 1/8″ think circle with your rolling pin.
Fold the dough after rolling it out into half and the half again. Place the “tip” of the quarter in the middle of your pie pan and gently unfold.
Add your filling.
In this case, my filling was what I had on hand.
3 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces
10 large strawberries, sliced
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
1 cup of 1″ diced mango
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. I LOVE the tartness of the rhubarb, but add a little more sugar if you like your pie sweeter. It’s all about you.
Add filling and trim the crusts to the edge of the pie pan. Then pinch or roll the two crusts together, leaving a decorative or plain edge. Your choice. Slice 5 or 6 vents in the top of the pie and sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar over the top of the crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. If the crust starts getting too brown, cover the outside edge with some aluminum foil. I was having to use our toaster oven, so the cooking element was a little close to the edge of the pie.
You see, this is what is going on at our house right now.
New microwave has been installed with small modifications to the cabinet. However, the new double oven (with convection AND bread proofing!) is requiring a tad more work. MM is hard at work getting this done. I’m sooooo excited!
Sorry, I get carried away.
When the pie is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool so that the filling sets up a bit.
Serve with some vanilla ice cream OR my Bailey’s Irish Cream Whipped Topping Stuff.
Yep, this stuff is over the top. And just because you asked so nicely, I’ll share.
Irish Cream Whipped Topping Stuff
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese, softened
2-3 Tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
Incorporate the Mascarpone cheese with the liqueur. In a separate mixing bowl, whipped the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and beat just long enough to incorporate the sugar.
Fold whipped cream into Mascarpone mixture.
Serve over your favorite dessert or berries and garnish with cinnamon, turbinado sugar, or mint leaves.
Just what your soul needs after a long, hot day!
Crusty but tender,
You can purchase high-resolution photos of pictures from this blog and other images here. They make great kitchen decor and gifts. Also, the notecards are great for sharing recipes! More added every week.
Thru The Bugs On My Windshield by V. Suzanne Collier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.txcolliers.smugmug.com/Lifes-Highway.