Can I tell you something?
I used to be afraid of homemade pie crust.
I had two reasons.
- My mom always ranted about what a hassle it was, and how store bought is just as good without ALL that hard work.
- My boyfriend's mom (my Mama Maria) is, like, the queen of pie. Her pie crust is spoken of in reverent tones. So, you know, intimidating.
For my birthday, Mama Maria got me (in addition to a lovely apron) the new edition of The Betty Crocker Cookbook. Until that point I hadn't even bothered to look for a pie crust recipe, because I knew only hers would do. However, she informed me her recipe was in that book-yay!
Fast forward a month (because I got my present early) to Thanksgiving. I was making 3 pumpkin pies for myself (and, I thought, Brandon) and some mini apple pies for Michael (recipe coming soon!). Well, first of all--when I found the recipe for the mini apple pies, it had the crust recipe for it too, and it had a way for me to make it with a food processor, and it was all butter (no shortening-thank God! I hate shortening. I don't have any and I don't want to get any.) So I was pretty excited about that, actually. But, for the pumpkin pies, I had decided to do what my mom did and just buy Pillsbury pre-made crusts.
Baking day came. Everything was ready. I had just mixed up the pumpkin filling. Then I took out the crusts and....realized they were the wrong kind. My mom's instructions hadn't been quite specific enough. So, I was stuck with these two pre-made pie crusts that were in their own little tins (thusly needing no pie plate) and were FAR too small for the amount of filling. I knew I'd need at least one more pie. So-I did what I had to do. I looked in the Betty Crocker Cookbook-but, unfortunately, there was no pie crust recipe that didn't have at least some shortening. I googled, in search for an all-butter pie crust recipe I could use. And I found one. And I used the food processor method I had read about for the mini apple pies to make it super easy! In the end-my oops was a happy HAPPY accident! With that extra pie crust, the filling filled all three pies up PERFECTLY. And after baking it was obvious which pie was the prettiest (and after tasting it was obvious which pie was the tastiest).
But there was one more hurdle. Michael's the one who likes fruit pies. He's the one who, more often than not, would be wanting the pies that had this sort of crust. Would it compare to his mom's?
Answer=Yes! He proclaimed the crust was just as good!
Yay! I don't have to use shortening!
And neither do you--use this recipe. Because, seriously, with the food processor method, I don't know what my mom was talking about. This is in no way difficult, and it is definitely worth it!
(Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2,Week 11 Parts 1 and 2, Week 12 Part 1 and 2 and Week 14 Parts 1 and 2)
Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust
Very slightly adapted from Food For My Family
Makes 2, 9 inch. pie crusts (enough for 1 two crusted pie or 2 one crusted pies :P)
Note: The colder the ingredients for pie crust-the better. Keeping flour, butter, milk, and water as cold as possible is advisable--the colder the ingredients, the more delightfully flaky the pie crust. Something about butter forming little packets. Anyway-this is also another good reason not to over handle the dough-your body heat will mess with the whole cold thing. More reason to use a food processor! :)Ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour (I've also made this using half whole wheat flour)
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar (omit if making a savory pie--such as Just Chicken Pot Pie)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup very cold, unsalted butter-cut into very small pieces (or you can grate frozen butter)
- 2-6 tbsp. ice cold water (if there's ice in it-awesome...just don't let the ice get into the pie. Only the water)
Preparation: (I'm only posting the food processor method. Check out Food For My Family on how to make this without one).
- Put all dry ingredients into food processor. Pulse a few seconds to combine.
- Add butter to food processor and pulse until the pieces of butter are larger than pea sized.
- Add a small bit of water at a time, pulse until crumbs are just moistened and beginning to stick together.
- Take the dough out and form 2 equal discs. Wrap each in parchment paper or plastic wrap and let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (I don't recommend letting it stay there overnight, however, mine got dry when I tried it once.)
- Roll out dough (each disc separately) on lightly floured surface. Transfer to a pie plate and bake according to directions.
...I still have to master the art of making crusts look fancy. There's still time. :)