Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's all about The Crust

My sister and I have been using the same crust recipe for many years and whether sweet or savory when you are talkin pie you are talkin crust. So folks, crust isn't easy to make and this crust is very "short" in the making. You work to keep it together to get it in the pie plate but it is sooooooooo worth it. It is flakey like you wouldn't believe. Don't those fresh peaches or that coconut cream deserve a hand made crust?

As a side note, this recipe is from a book called, "American Cooking" which is part of the Time Life "Foods of the World" series, circa 1968. This was a series you subscribed to and once a month you got a cook book in the mail. My sis and I both had the series and you can still find these wonderful books at Used Book Stores and at the Flea. ..MaryEtta I just found a copy on eBay for $2! Annie

Basic Crust for a 2-Crust Pie

2 1/4 C flour

8 T Crisco

4T cold butter

1/2 t salt

6 to 8 T ice water

1. In a large bowl mix flour and salt, cut shortening and butter in cubes and cut into flour with a pastry cutter until the mixture has evenly distributed lumps the size of peas.

2. Add your ice water up to 6 tablespoons and see if the mixute will hold together. Now is when you can add another spoon or 2 if needed.

3. Turn half the dough out on heavily floured counter or board and knead only twice. That's right, only twice! You just wanted to get it in a clump to begin rolling.

4. Use a heavily floured pin, roll in a circle slightly larger then your pie plate.

5. Add your filling, then repeat process for your top crust.

6. Don't forget to crimp the edges and cut a couple of slots in the top if you don't have a "pie bird" to allow steam to escape.

[Note: Have your filling ready and your pie plate handy so you can work quickly, otherwise your dough will dry out and you will be in trouble.]

7. Baking-It depends on what kind of pie you are making as to the temp and time of baking. If you are baking a single crust pie to fill after baking, be sure to prick the crust several times on the bottom and use pie weights so your crust won't puff up during baking. Bake the crust 15- 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until slightly brown. I remove my weights the last 5 minutes so the bottom gets nice and flakey. For a two crust pie bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees or until nice and brown.

Don't be discouraged if you have problems the first few times, it's like learning to ride a bike, one day you just get it and then you get for the rest of your life!

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