The gift of hospitality sometimes comes with food.
OK, so there are better chefs out there. There are certainly better pastry chefs out there, too. But even though I’m not a pastry chef, I can make a decent piecrust. This is in response to a request for step-by-step instructions on how to make a pie crust.
My pie crust will never win the Bake-off, and truth be told my brother’s pies are probably better than mine, but here’s the recipe my family uses. (I know there are some of you who swear by Crisco pie crusts and lard pie crusts… and that’s great. I use vegetable oil. The End.)
Oil Pie Crust
(originally from Betty Crocker’s “red” cookbook)
1. Blend together the flour, salt and oil so that the mixture looks like small pebbles.
2. Carefully stir in the milk, reserving the last 1-2 Tablespoons. (NOTE: Depending on the relative humidity where you are baking, you may not need all of the milk. Add the last bit a splash at a time.) When the dough forms and holds together and is not yet sticky, don’t add any more liquid.
3. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Dampen the counter top and put a large piece of waxed paper on the counter. (I used two pieces of sandwich wrap because one is not big enough…) The damp countertop keeps the waxed paper from sliding as much when you start rolling out your dough.
4. Press one ball of the pie crust dough onto the waxed paper. Flatten slightly with palm of your hand. Cover with a second piece of waxed paper. Using rolling pin, roll out to desired size.
5. Gently peel back the top layer of waxed paper.
6. Turn dough over onto pie pan, (so that the remaining piece of waxed paper is up), centering it over the pan as best as you can. Slowly peel back the remaining piece of waxed paper and press dough into pan. Trim off extra dough.
7. For a one-crust pie, flute the edges, fill, add toppings and bake.
(This is the pie I made today – a “one crust apple pie” – topping was made of 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup oat bran, mixed together until crumbly and sprinkled over the top.)
8. For a two-crust pie, repeat the rolling process and flip dough onto the top of the pie. Press crusts together. Trim and flute edges. Cut slits in top of pie to allow steam to escape during baking.
Now I know you’re all wondering, “Since most pie crust recipes make enough dough for a two-crust pie, what do you do about the second bit of dough when you are making a one-crust pie?” I’m so glad you asked! 🙂 We make a cinnamon roll.
BONUS RECIPE: Cinnamon Roll
Roll out pie crust dough on a fresh sheet of waxed paper, but this time aim for a more “rectangular blob” than a “round blob” as you roll out the dough. Sprinkle some brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on top and add bits of butter. (This time I only put on about 1 Tablespoon of butter, put on in little dabs.)
Peel cinnamon roll dough off of waxed paper carefully, and roll up jelly-roll style, sealing the ends as you go.
Put into an ungreased pie pan and bake about 15-20 minutes. Crust will be lightly browned and flaky when done. It does not last… 😉
NOTE: Clean up kitchen, paying special attention to the counter tops, particularly since you will have a sheen of vegetable oil on them. Stop cats from fighting over the butter wrapper they found and started cleaning for you. (No, I didn’t give it to them. I’m sure it fell onto the floor by osmosis. Ahem.)
P.S. Henry blogged about this incident. I am inclined to think that there was a conspiracy.