Thursday, November 5, 2009

Perfect Pie Crust, yes really!


Pies. For the first 15 years of my marriage my pies consisted of pies made with Pillsbury crusts because I just couldn't figure out how to make a good one without having 2 extra people there to help me. The whole "don't knead it too much but knead it enough" and the rolling it onto the rolling pin to get the thing to the pan was more than I could figure out. So I just didn't do it. Cause really, how do you know when it's "too" much?

Then a couple of years ago I decided that I was being ridiculous and surely it couldn't be that hard. I started to try different crust recipes and some were terrible but they gradually got better. Then I had a totally "aha!" moment watching Food Network one day. Roll the crust out inside a gallon bag...you can cut it apart and set an inverted pie dish onto the crust, slide your hand under the whole thing and flip it over. Then peel off the other layer. Oh my gosh a whole world opened up that day. It was the perfect crust! Light and flaky and best of all easy!

So here it is.

Perfect Pie Crust
(3 crusts)
1 ½ c. Crisco
3 c. all purpose flour
1 egg
5 Tbsp cold water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl work Crisco into flour with either a pastry cutter or a couple of knives until it resembles a coarse meal (you can also use your food processor). In a small bowl beat egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour mixture. Add 5 Tbsp cold water, 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough ball into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Using your rolling pin gently flatten the ball into a disc shape that is about ½ inch thick. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. If using immediately chill for about 15-20 minutes).

When you are ready to use the dough take the bag out of the freezer. Place a damp paper towel on the counter and put the bag on top of it (this will help hold it still while you roll). Unseal the bag and roll the dough to the edges of the bag. Measure with your pie dish to make sure it’s rolled out enough. Slit the sides of the bag and peel off the top layer of plastic. Position an inverted pie dish over the dough, slide your hand under the plastic and flip the whole thing right side up. Peel off the remaining plastic; trim and shape.

*If baking prick the bottom with a fork and place a piece of tin foil on top of the crust. Add pie weights or dried beans to hold it down and bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove weight and foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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