Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Pie Curst Chronicles: Never Fail Pie Crust #1

I'd like to welcome you to a new feature here at Mommy's Menu. I'm calling it The Pie Curst Chronicles. Why, you ask? Because I make the absolute WORST pie crust on the planet!! I call mine pie curst (cursed--I'm clever, I know) instead of pie crust. You will never find a thicker, drier, more dense and less flaky pie curst than mine. I kid you not!

I consider myself a better than average cook. I improvise, make up some of my own recipes and tweak other people's recipes until they're my own. But I can't, for the life of me make an edible pie.

That being said, I'm determined to figure it out. I'm going to unravel every pie crust secret on the Internet. I refuse to buy another frozen/refrigerated pie shell. At some point, I'm going to get it, even if I have to try every recipe on the planet.  I do realize that making pie crust is a lot like making bread in that it takes a lot of practice, so be watching for my progress a couple of times a month.  Any more than that and it will take a crane to get me up off the couch. :)

So for today's pie, I thought I'd just throw one out there and see how it turns out. This pie dough recipe came from a church cookbook. So here goes! Try not to laugh too hard.

The dough rolled our
Transferring the dough to the pie pan.

In the pie tin
Trim off all but 3/4" of the overhanging

Fold the remaining dough under to
make a nice smooth edge.
Flute the edges of the crust.

Banana Cream pie!
Now that you've seen my first attempt, I'll tell you how it all worked out.  First, I think I put too much water in.  Next time, I'll put it in a tablespoon at a time so the dough doesn't end up being too sticky.  Second, my shortening was a little gooey.  I think it needs to go in the fridge to harden up before I cut it into the pie crust.  That may also help with the flakiness factor.  I also left the crust too thick.  I got two pie shells out of this, but really, I should have made 3.  It was pretty dense.  Its too bad they didn't taste as good as they looked.  But really, flavor wasn't the problem, it was texture.  Thick and dense when it should have been light and flaky.

Never Fail Pie Crust #1
Makes 2-3 single crust pies

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbs. cold water
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

Cut the shortening into the flour and salt using a pastry blender until it is about the size of small peas.  Mix all the liquids together and pour into the flour mixture all at once.  Blend with a fork until the flour is all moistened.  Form into 2 or 3 balls of dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.  Roll out thin.  If making a single crust pie bake the shells at 425° for 10-15 minutes. 

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