Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pie time!

Pie crust used to be my baking nemesis. I tried many different recipes over the past 9 years of being married. Baking is supposed to be in my blood but some how I just couldn't get pie crust perfected. I ended up with thin crispy over baked crust, to thick flaky chewy crust and everything in between. Granted I still have not mastered rolling it out in a circle or crimping the edges. After years of trying recipe after recipe and even after using my grandmas recipe, I finally called grandma in 2009 (5 years after I started wanting to learn how to cook and bake). I'm so glad to have gotten her exact recipe and instructions.
Alright get your food processor ready! This recipe makes 2 double crusts (2 bottom crusts and 2 top crusts).

Grandma's Pie Crust

4 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 2/3 cups Shortening
1 Egg
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Vinegar
1/2 cup Ice Water

Pulse together flour, salt and shortening until fine crumbs form. Beat egg, sugar, vinegar then add to the flour mixture. Pulse a few times and gradually stream in cold water (do not add the ice) until dough starts to clump.When you pinch a little bit of the dough together and it sticks together then its ready, if its still crumbly add a little bit more water a tablespoon at a time. *too much water will make the crust tough*

Dump the mixture onto a clean worksurface (or plastic wrap), press the crumbs into a mound, and divide into 4ths. Press each section into a mound and wrap in plastic wrap and flatten down into a disc. Place in the refrigerator for an hour or until ready to roll out.

Let the dough sit out for about 10 minutes before you start to roll it out. Roll it out 1/8 inch thick to fit pie plate. Trim the edge of the crust leaving 1/2 inch over hang. You can crimp it between your fingers or if your crimp challenged like me you can just roll the edge under without the crimp.

Prick the sides and bottom with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up or shrinking then bake it at 425 for 10-12 minutes, then fill it with your favorite pudding and serve.


Another quick crust I found in my pie crust quest..that I did not write down where I found the recipe at.
Use the same method as Grandmas's crust.

Butter Crust

1 1/4 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup butter, diced and chilled (freeze for at least an hour)
1/4 cup ice Water

2 1/2 cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 cup butter, diced and chilled (freeze for at least an hour)
1/2 cup ice Water


Now that you've made your homemade crust please do not fill it with anything instant or not homemade so here is my absolute best recipe for chocolate pudding! Perfect For Pie! This recipe came from a former co-workers mom.

Chocolate Pudding

3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2 1/2 cups Milk
4 Egg Yolks (save the whites for Meringue)
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

Combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. (hang in there, all that stirring and standing will be worth it) Reduce heat. Cook and stir 2 minutes (set a timer!) Beat egg yolks with fork. gradually stir about 1 cup filling into the yolks. Return to the pan, bring to gentle boil. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add chocolate chips and butter (you can add up to 2 cups of chocolate and it will turn out richer). Stir until smooth. Spoon into pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and cool. Top with whipped topping or meringue.


Meringue recipe from Alton Brown: Good Eats on food network is fantastic for use on top of this chocolate pie.


4 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

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