Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving pie-making help...

Are you intimidated by pie crust? I always used to be, but an easy oil recipe made the difference. With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, I thought maybe people could use some pie-making help. So I decided to re-post some pie-making tips I shared here a couple of years ago.

As I mentioned, my very best advice on pie crust is to use an oil pastry. Here’s my tried and true recipe:

(for a 1-crust pie)

1 1/3 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/3 c. canola oil
3-5 T. milk

Stir together flour and salt in a small to medium. bowl. Measure oil into glass measuring cup, add milk to oil. Pour milk and oil into the flour/salt mixture. Combine with a fork till it forms a nice ball of dough. Take a wet dishcloth and wash off a section of your counter. Lay a large piece of wax paper on the wet area (so it’ll stick). Put the dough on the wax paper and lay another piece of wax paper on top. Roll out the dough to desired size and shape between the 2 pieces of wax paper. This works really well and saves you having to flour the counter!

For a double-crust pie, use the following:

2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup milk

Mix and roll out as above.

I have double or tripled this recipe with no problems. However, I do find that when doubling or tripling, I end up with an extra crust or two, so keep that in mind when figuring how much pastry you’ll need.

Many people think they wouldn’t like a pie crust made with oil. I always use an oil crust for my pies, and they always turn out well. I think an oil pastry is much less finicky than one made with shortening or butter; the dough is much easier to work with. And of course, a crust made with canola oil is healthier, too!

Other pie tips:

When making a double crust pie, after placing the filling in the bottom crust, moisten the rim of the bottom crust with a little cold water. Add your top crust and trim and seal as usual. The cold water helps the two crusts to hold together well.

When making a double-crust fruit pie, brush the top crust with a little cold water or milk, then sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar before baking. Don’t forget to cut some slits for steam to escape! This finish gives a pretty sparkly look to your pie.

A friend of mine always cuts a cookie-cutter shape, like a turkey, for example, out of leftover pastry and bakes it. Then she places it on top of her baked pumpkin pie. This makes a pumpkin pie look so special!

Later today, I hope to post my Thanksgiving menu and the recipes I'll be using. Stay tuned...

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