Monday, August 11, 2008

Pie Crust!

Those of you who know me well first know that I am not a baker. Homemade cookies generally mean the Toll House break n bake cookies. Secondly you know that pie is up there on my lists of favorite desserts. Even though I am not a baker I bought a beautiful Emile Henry pie plate last Thanksgiving. I used it for apple pie and due to my complete lack on confidence when it comes to baking (and the fact that I had 7 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner) I used the Pillsbury Refrigerated pie crust. I have to say it's quite tasty and if you don't have the time to try to make your own this is a really great alternative. That being said being able to make my own pie crust was something I have always wanted to do, especially since my grandmother always made the best pie crust. I even spent a whole weekend last January trying to do it, four failed attempts later I came to the conclusion that this was something I may never get. But then, this past Sunday I woke up and decided that I was going to try again today. No pressure. One try only. One recipe. If it worked great! If not, I really didn't need to be eating pie anyway (especially since I've been kicking my butt the last 3 weeks at 6am Boot Camp). I found a recipe for No Fail Pie Crust that in name alone seemed like the way to go, plus it had tons of great reviews. See the recipe below:

No Fail Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.
2. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Mix egg, water and vinegar together.
4. Pour into flour all at once and blend with a fork until dough forms a ball.
5. Wrap with plastic and chill in refrigerator.

I chilled in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, mainly because I thought the cooler it was the better. But also because the part that always screwed me up in the past was rolling out the dough. I looked a bit online for tips for rolling pie dough and in a few place people suggested rolling between two sheets of wax paper. I, of course, didn't have any wax paper and decided to use Saran Wrap instead. This actually worked! And I have to be honest even one day later I'm still pretty ecstatic that I pulled it off. I will definitely buy wax paper for my next attempt as I have a feeling the transfer to the pie plate will go more smoothly with wax paper.

I filled my pie crust with 6 cups of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries & strawberries), 1 cup of sugar, 4 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Baked it at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and lowered the heat to 350 degrees for 40 more mins. The flavor of the pie is really great, but it is far to loose for my taste. Using such juicy berries I need to experiment either with some more flour or I've read in places that for blueberry pies people often use instant tapioca pudding. More experimentation on pie fillings to come!

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