Happy Monday, sweeties! I hope your weekend was as delicious and full of sugar as mine was.
I reeaally like cookbooks. I have three shelves of them in my living room that my mom collected before I even started baking, and I get a ton of inspiration from looking through them. Sometimes I even go to Barnes and Noble and just sit in the cookbook aisle with a latte, looking through recipes for hours on end. It’s my aspiration to gather a whole library of my favorite cookbooks one day. I’m a little cookbook crazy.
Saturday, I spotted a New York Times cookbook sitting on my shelf, and I thought to myself, “OMG! Maybe it has the famous chocolate chip cookie recipe in it!!!!!!!” I’ve been wanting to make the New York Times chocolate chip cookies for quite a while now, and see how they compare to the Tollhouse recipe I usually use.
So I grabbed it, and gave it a hug, and proceeded to look through every single dessert recipe in the book.
But alas, the famed cookie recipe was not there 😦
However! Something else caught my eye. The pie section.
Yes, Pie: the great and powerful. I’ve never made a real pie before, can you believe it?
I decided it was time. Pie time.
And before you make a pie, you need a pie crust. This had always been the scary part for me, because a homemade pie crust sounded difficult and delicate. But this book saved me. It saved my life. I am now living the Life of Pie.
Because making a crust is so easy!!
Easy as pie, you might say.
According to the book, you can do this two ways: with a food processor, or with a pastry blender. I just used my KitchenAid mixer, honestly.
Mix two cups of flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Slice 2/3 cup shortening or 10 2/3 tablespoons room temperature butter very thin and add it to the flour. Mix on low until the butter has fully incorporated.
The book recommends approximately 1/3 cup water, but add only as much as is needed for the dough to hold together and form a ball. I only needed a few tablespoons.
If you are making a double-crusted pie, split the dough into two portions, with one slightly larger, and reserve the smaller one for a little while. Place the larger portion on a lightly floured board. If making a single-crusted pie, place the whole thing on the board.
Pat the dough in all directions with a lightly floured rolling pin.
Start from the center of the dough, and roll it out in all directions with the rolling pin. Flour the pin and board again as necessary so the dough does not stick together. I turned the dough a few times on the board to roll it from all angles and make it as even as possible. It should be about 1/8 inch thick, or the same thickness all over, and about two inches larger across than the diameter of the pie pan.
This next part is the trickiest, in my opinion. Fold the crust into quarters, and transport it into the pie plate, then unfold it. Be VERY GENTLE. It’s delicate! Then, carefully press the crust to fit the plate. I started from the middle, adjusting dough along the sides of the plate so it fit into the edges of the bottom. Try not to rip the crust, but if you do, paste it back together with a little water.
Once you have fitted the dough to the pie plate, take a knife and trim the edges to remove the excess. I ran the knife along the lip of the pan, cutting the dough hanging over the side.
Save the scraps!!! You can use them later (post coming soon…)!
There are several places you can go from here.
- If you are making a single crust pie, you can fill it as is, or you can bake it if your recipe calls for a prebaked shell. If so, Brush some melted butter or a beaten egg white all over the crust, prick the bottom with a fork in many places, and bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Cool before adding the filling.
- If you are making a double crusted pie, take the scraps from the bottom crust and combine them with the second portion of dough. Roll this out as before. Add your filling to the bottom crust and moisten the rim. Fold the top crust into quarters and cut several gashes to let the steam escape. Place the top crust on the plate and unfold, tucking the edges over and beneath the edges of the other crust. Flute the rim with a fork to seal the crusts tight. Brush melted butter or a beaten egg white all over the top. Bake as stated in the recipe.
I made a single crusted pie. Stay tuned for my first ever pie recipe tomorrow!