Thread: Punkin Pie
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:20 AM   #5
wyo_rose
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Geez, I type these big ol' long replies and they don't even post. I have to type them again and they never sound as good the 2nd time. Here goes again:

PIE CRUST:

3 cups flour
1 cup COLD shortening (or lard)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups COLD water or so (depending on humidity, flour moisture, etc...)

Mix salt into flour. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, 2 butter knives cutting across each other (or a fork - in a pinch) until the flour mixture is the texture of cornmeal.

Sprinkle on half the water, and mix lightly with a fork. Add water a little at a time and mix lightly until the dough can be formed together in a ball. If it's a little crumbly, break it apart and mix in a tablespoon or two more of water. You want the dough to hold together well, but not be sticky.

Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and let it rest in the freezer for 15 minutes to use right away, or the fridge for up to 4 hours.

This recipe makes 2 large crusts or 3 smaller ones. Divide the dough in halfs or thirds. Form into a hamburger patty shape. Sprinkle an ample amount of flour on the rolling surface, the top of the dough, and on the rolling pin.

Roll up and down, then side to side, then in opposite diagonals. Flip the dough over, redistributing the flour on the rolling surface, the top of the dough and on the rolling pin.

Roll out from the center to each direction and to the diagonals. You want to roll it out to a thickness somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4", and large enough to cover your pie pan with an overhang.

Fold it in half. If any parts are sticking to the rolling surface, you can loosen it with a spatula or a large knife. Fold it in quarters, then transfer to the pie pan, matching the center and unfolding. Press it into the pan and patch and holes, tears or cracks.

For a double crust pie: trim the edge even with the edge of the pie pan and moisten with a little water on your fingertips. Pour in the filling and top with a 2nd crust trimmed with a 1" overhang. Moisten the underside of the overhang and tuck it under the edge of the bottom crust.

Go around the outside, pinching the two crusts together and making pleats, folds, ruffles, or just a nice wavy edge on the crust. Cut a few slits to let steam escape and bake as directed by the recipe.

For a single crust pie: trim to the 1" overhang, moisten the underside, fold under and pinch the edge together, making folds or ruffles as above.

For a baked pie shell for a banana cream or whatever: Prick the pie crust all over with a fork and bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes until golden. Or don't prick it and fill it with dry beans and bake a little longer. Just don't try to cook those beans later.

The tip for flaky crust is to keep everything COLD. The little fat granules are coated with flour and you don't want them to melt together into one blob.

Glass pie pans cook hotter than metal ones, so reduce the heat by 25 degrees.

You can brush an egg wash over the top of a double crust pie for a nice shine (1 egg yolk beaten with a couple tablespoons of milk or cream).

Some people like to roll their crust out on floured waxed paper (or parchment paper), or even between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Then place the pie pan upside down on the crust, flip it over, and peel off the waxed paper.

If you have a food processor, mix the dough as above, just drizzling in the water until the dough forms a ball on it's own.

You can substitute butter for half the shortening. Don't be scared to use lard. It's better for you than using shortening with trans-fats. If you do use shortening, I suggest using the Trans-Fat Free Crisco in the green can.

If the rim of the crust is getting too brown and the pie isn't done, cover the edges with tin foil.

Leftover pie dough can be sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and baked for a nice treat for the cook.

If you're short on time or pie pans, just get the frozen pie crusts already in a pan.
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