Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist: Baking the Perfect Pie Crust

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I love your questions!  From my chicken pot pie post here Mari C. posted this question on my Facebook page: “Do you only use Pillsbury pie crust or can you recommend a recipe for a homemade pie crust?”  Great question Mari.  I just happen to have a resident expert available for this.

bhg-cookbookNo, I don’t make my own pie crust.  I have but, frankly, I get the results I want from Pillsbury with much more ease.  However, my bestie makes THE BEST pie crust.  Her mother, Evelyn, used the recipe from the trusty red and white book we all recognize Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook.  I own the 9th edition printed from 1981.  I am sure many of you, or your mothers, have an even older edition.

Last spring during one of our girlfriend get-away weekends, I asked Bestie to bring all of her pie crust ingredients because I wanted her to teach me how she makes her crust so we could make a video.  Here’s the world premiere of “Me-Oh-Pie Cherry Pie” (edited by Garrett H.)

I love the zippy music.  Makes me want to whip up pies all day long.

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all ingredients assembled

Here are Julie’s “top three tips” for making the best pie crust…

Don’t play with the dough too much.  It will be tough.  Get in there, get the job done and put it in your pie plate.

Use more flour than you think you need to roll it out so the dough doesn’t stick to your surface when you try to move it to your pie plate.

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Don’t be afraid to be “edgy.”  Be creative with making the edges of the pie crust.  See that pile of extra dough?  Create leaves or something extra for the top of your dough.

 

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Here are a few tips from the cookbook:

The “secret” of pastry making is to measure your ingredients accurately. Spoon your dry ingredients into your measuring cup and level off the top with a metal flat edge of a knife.  Never just scoop your flour using the actual measuring cup.  You will end up with way too much flour.

When rolling out pastry roll from the center to the edge with light, even strokes.

To prevent excess browning on the edge of the piecrust, I use a metal pie shield like this one.

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Here’s the recipe for the crust:

1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp of salt

1/3 cup shortening

3-4 TBL of cold water

In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt.  Cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork.  Push to the side of the bowl.  Repeat till all is moistened.  Form dough into a ball.  On a lightly floured surface flatten dough with hands.  Roll dough from center to edge, forming a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Wrap pastry around a rolling pin. Unroll onto a 9-inch pie plate being careful not to stretch pastry.  Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate; fold under extra pastry.  Make a fluted, rope-shaped or scalloped edge.  Bake 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes until golden.  Note:  Depending on whether you need a pre-baked crust, you will need to prick the bottom and sides with the tines of a fork.

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If I opened a restaurant it would be called the “Me-Oh-My Pie House” and we would serve Julie’s Cherry Heaven.

I have another “Ask Mrs. Twist” coming from Christina in Arizona.  Stay tuned.  If you have a question you would like answered, be sure to “like” my Facebook page and post your question there.

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