Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Easy-As-Pie Crust

from Mrs. Steve Stratton

2 C flour, unsifted
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 C. shortening
Ice water (1/4 to 1/3 C.)

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry fork (to size of small peas). Sprinkle with ice water. Work clumps together with fork. Knead clumps into a ball. Makes 1 double-crust 9 inch pie.

Helpful pie making hints:

--try to keep the dough cool.
--The less you work with it, the better the crust. Don't over-knead it
--I saw a pastry chef on television who said that using a fruit juice, like apple juice, instead of water helps. The sugars in the juice help make a better gluten. I haven't tried this, but I think it would also add flavor to the crust. Just make sure to put ice in it before putting it in the dough.
--I've found that pie crusts are pretty forgiving. If it doesn't roll out perfectly, or doesn't look perfect, it still will usually taste good. :)
--As an added touch, try making cutouts from the extra dough. You can cut out small leaves, or use a cookie cutter to cut out small hearts. Use a little water or egg white to adhere the cut out to the pie top.
--Brush the top crust with some egg white mixed with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

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