Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Pie Crust! ...and the blueberry pie it holds
So it seems that everyone I know has an opinion about pie crust. Either you don't make it, because it appears to be out of your league, or you do make it and you have a recipe you swear by and usually it involves shortening and vinegar. Most people who use shortening say it makes the dough easier to handle. Sorry, but I'm gonna have to disspell the myths. There are exceptions, but usually, the simplest recipe is the best recipe and in this case, it's true. Give this a try and tell me if this crust doesn't taste better and take less sweat and tears than your average pie crust recipe. Incidentally, it's all natural too, because butter doesn't have all of those nasty hydrogenated oils. :)
This recipe is adapted from the New Betty Crocker Cookbook's two crust recipe. You can halve it if you need only one crust.
2/3 c. plus 1T. butter
2 c. flour (bread flour works best)
1/2 t. salt
4-6 T. cold water
extra flour for rolling
First, add flour and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir. Then, cut up the sticks of butter into little cubes with a butter knife. Add to the flour mix and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. Keep at it until the mixture looks like small crumbs. (A pastry cutter is basically just a handle with metal hoops attached. If you don't have one, you can criss cross two knives to accomplish the same thing.)
Next, add the cold water one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each addition. When the mixture pulls cleanly away from the bowl, you've got enough water. Pick the dough up into your hands and press it into two round discs. If it's dry and crumbly still, add more water before separating.
Roll each disc out on a generously floured surface until it's about 1/8" thick, or about 2-3 inches wider than the pie pan you will put it in. Remember to flour your rolling pin and the top of the dough, so it doesn't get too sticky. This is really easy to work with, so you shouldn't have any trouble with it falling apart if you've floured well.
Next, gently fold the rolled dough into quarters and place it in the pie plate with the point at roughly the center of the plate. Unfold the dough into the plate and trim the dough to be hang over the edge by about 1/2-1" to make for easy sealing later.
Roll out the second crust the same way, still being careful to flour generously and let it rest while you prep the filling*.
*Blueberry Pie Recipe from Betty Crocker
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. ground cinnamon, opt.
6 c. blueberries (fresh is best)
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. butter
Heat oven to 425 and mix first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter.
Then, fold the second crust into quarters and place it on top of the filling and first crust. Trim edges so the crust is only a tad bit longer than the bottom crust. Fold the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and press gently together to seal the edge. Do this around the edge of the pie until it's completely sealed. Cut some slits into the top crust to vent the pie. Then, if you really feel ambitious you can flute the edge, which will wow your friends and fam with little effort on your part. Check out the picture if you want to see and easy way to do it.
Put some foil or crust covers around the edge and pop it into the oven. It should be done in about 35-45 minutes. If you can wait, let it cool off before cutting into it. We usually settle for runny pie and eat it when it's hot, but if you wait, it should set and keep it's shape nicely when you cut it. Enjoy!!