Recipe: Making Pie Crust!

Pie crust is easy to make. It has few ingredients, but there is some finesse involved in making a light, flaky pie crust.

There are no special tools needed, but a pastry cutter is nice (You can use a whisk instead, or your bare hands).

This is the pie crust recipe that I use. I know it by heart and I make it frequently. It’s great for sweet pies like pumpkin, or savory meat pies like chicken pot pie (that recipe is coming later this week).

This recipe makes 1 pie crust for an 8 or 9-inch pie plate, if you need two (top and bottom), double it.

Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon AP Flour
  • 1/3 cup shortening OR unsalted butter -It needs to be cold butter or room temp shortening. This part is SUPER IMPORTANT.
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water (You may need an extra tablespoon or so if the weather is very dry).

 

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add flour and fat.
  2. Using a whisk, pastry cutter, or your hands, mix flour and fat until incorporated into little (pea-sized or smaller) pieces.
  3. Slowly add water and combine to form a large dough ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This will help ensure that your crust is flaky.
  4. Flour a clean, flat surface, and roll the dough out into a large circle. Do not over roll it or manhandle the dough- this will make it heavy and flat.
  5. If you are making a bottom crust, press it into a pie plate, and trim the edges.
  6. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times to keep it from bubbling.
  7. If you are making a pie that will be filled and baked again like pumpkin or quiche, bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely before filling and baking a second time.
  8. If you will be using the pie crust as a top only (no bottom crust), once the crust is rolled out, fill your baking dish with whatever you are cooking, top it with the uncooked crust, pierce it a few times (to vent the steam), and bake per the directions of the recipe.

Substitutions:

If you are vegan, use shortening. Do not use spread/oleo/margarine.  They contain water and will make your crust turn out funky. Butter flavored shortening is great.

If you are gluten free, use 1 for 1 AP flour.

Talk Back: What kind of pie do you like?

Summer Veggie & Goat Cheese Tart

PICT0097.JPGI was talking about this really amazing dish with my mom the other day, and I realized that I had not posted the recipe!

I can’t find the original recipe for this, but I was driving around the week before Independence Day, and I was listening to NPR when this recipe was discussed.

I made this tart for our 4th of July celebration, and it was gone almost instantly! I didn’t even get a photo of it after it came out of the oven.

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This recipe is great with veggies fresh from the garden!

 

Oh man was it good! It’s easy to make, and you can substitute any veggies that you have in your kitchen (or garden).

Easy Summer Veggie & Goat Cheese Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust (make it from scratch or use a mix like this one)
  • 1 4-oz. package of goat cheese, your choice of variety (I used garlic and herb) at room temperature
  • 2 medium-size RIPE tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into thin coins
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, and pre-heat over to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll out pie crust, and smooth out into a circle.
  3. Spread goat cheese in an even layer in the middle of the pie crust. Leave about 2 inches around the edges.
  4. Layer veggies over goat cheese.
  5. Fold up sides of pie crust to cover veggies- leave about a 2-inch opening in the top (see photo below).
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees or until pie crust is toasty brown.
  7. Cut into 6-8 wedges and serve. It’s yummy hot or at room temperature, but it won’t be around long enough to get cold!