Well…lets see what can I wrote about today…in thinking back, I have read, that you should always write about what you know best…well that is harder than it seems, as that question was…well, what do I know about…again I drew a blank.

I can’t talk about romance…I have been thru two divorces…so that really doesn’t qualify me.

The weather…who really cares!

Money…well I think my creditors might find that one interesting…

Job skills…well, I have had some interesting jobs, started several business…MMMMmmmm
That might be a good one.

You know what I think I will throw caution to the wind and talk about pie crusts…PIE CRUSTS…you are probably thinking…well why not??? After all if a pie crust isn’t flaking and tender…doesn’t matter what you put in your pie…it isn’t a good pie!

Now there are all kinds of pie crusts…you can make them out of cookies, Graham crackers, Ritz cracker…use all different kinds of different flours, use Crisco, lard, shortening, butter..flavorings, salt, no salt, the lists are endless.

But the technique is what I feel, is the most important factor. The rest is just the icing on the cake, parse’.

OK, so the SECRET to good flaking pie crust is not to over work it! It is just that simple…over worked pie crust will be tuff! Get out the hack saw to cut your pie if you over work that crust! And if that doesn’t work get that chain saw out!

Another COOL tip is to use very cold ice water to use as your moistener. I usually put my flavoring in the water and stir well before I add the water to my mixture. I like a sweet crust so I add Splendra { I am diabetic } to the water as well. This is just a personal choice. NOT a must do.

Use your forks {2} or pastry kneader to mix it all together being careful not to over mix, it doesn’t have to be mixed well…just so it sticks together. Roll it out using as least amount of flour to do so…place it in the dish and walla you are ready for the filling.

I do want to mention that strawberry rhubarb is my favorite pie, with apple raisin/currants coming in as second. I use lots of spices and flavoring. That is what will separate your homemade pie from the frozen, store bought pies.

Now there are all kinds of ways to top your pie…you can use just regular crust, make a brown sugar mixture which is what I can a “brown Debbie” covering, make cut outs for around the boarder of your pie…or place them on top, cut strips of crust to make a lattice work. The options are endless. Even for your popovers, quiches, meringues and tarts.

I do suggest for a pie crust topping that you get an egg white, add water to it and brush your top crust with it. This will give it a shinny golden look and then sprinkle it with sugar crystals…go that extra mile and make your pie stand out…

Always fill that pie up with filling. I always make my pies with extra filling. I hate a skinny pie…the bakery police will fine you for a skinny pie! Isn’t that an oxie moron??? LOL
make sure that you have room for the pie to breath with all of that extra filling…I always vent my pies..air needs to escape. Make a nice design if you do…just don’t stab it with a knife.

OK that gives you some general knowledge here is the recipe that I use…after many years I don’t measure…I just make the crust…[you beginners MEASURE!] I do the same with my biscuits.

I have included a recipe for those of you who have to use kitchen gagets…I prefer using my hands and elbow power…but this might be quicker for those of you who have little time to prepare.

I plant my flowers the same way…I don’t use a small garden spade…I just dig in and get dirty! LOL

All Butter Crust for Sweet and Savory Pies (Pâte Brisée) Recipe
This recipe makes 1 pâte brisée crust, enough for one tart. If you are making a pie with a bottom and top crust, double this recipe and form two discs of dough instead of one.
Ingredients
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 to 4 Tbsp ice water, very cold
1= Start by cutting the sticks of butter into 1/2-inch cubes and placing in the freezer for 15 minutes so that they become thoroughly chilled.

dough11.jpg     

Dough is ready to shape into discs.

2= In a food processor {I prefer to use my hands and a pie cutter/kneader}, combine flour, salt, and sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces {I use the bean size…makes your mixture less crumbly}of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.

dough2.jpg        dough32.jpg

3= Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into a discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

4= Remove the crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Gently fold in half. Place on to a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

Now I have one more tip…serve your pie Ala mode, with a dairy topping or a big piece of sharpe, cheddar cheese on top…it will really compliment it!

Well, that is about it…if you have any further questions…contact me…or come over for a piece of pie and some coffee and we will discuss it .

Nothing will make a home smell better then when you are baking, your guests and family will love it! Nothing says “lovin’ ‘cept something from the oven!”

Advertisements