Giving Thanks Day 18 – Pie

Thanksgiving is coming up in about 5 day. I got my turkey thawing and I’m deep into menu planning mode. Figuring out timing and what ingredients I still need. Like butter … I always need more butter than I think. Of course, part of menu planning is dessert and dessert means PIE. Dont try to short cut yourself and buy that cardboard tasting, rolled up, nonsense you can buy in the store. That dough boy isn’t doing you any favors. This year make your own!!

You aren’t going to need a bunch of fancy gadgets. I have fancy gadgets, but I don’t need them. All you really need is measuring cups, a big bowl, and pie plates. I have used a sturdy glass when I didn’t have a good rolling pin handy.  I have a nifty apple cutter. Love that thing, but you can pare and slice your own apples.

BREATHE!! You can do this and its going to be lovely and delicious.  Let’s start with a recipe. This is my basic recipe. Ain’t nothing fancy going on. I tend not to do a double crust because I like a crumb topping.

All-Butter Pie Crust

Single Crust  –

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into pieces

1/4 cold water

Double Crust –

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into pieces

About 1/2 cup cold water

I do everything by hand. You can use a food processor or an electric mixer. I may try the electric mixer this year to see how it goes or not.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt into a big bowl. Mix it up. I use King Arthur Flour. Remember not all flour is made the same. Take your COLD butter. It needs to be COLD and UNSALTED. Salted will make your crust to salty. I have used salted before and omitted the salt from the dry ingredients but I wouldn’t recommend doing that. I just take the whole stick and cut it into little pieces right over the bowl.

Next take your fingers or a pastry cutter or two forks and smash those butter pieces into the flour. I start with my pastry cutter, but it’s a cheap piece of crap. I end up using my fingers. Your flour will turn from a pretty white into a creamy yellow. It’ll have texture and be crumbly. I should be taking pictures of all this for you.

Next take your COLD water. Why cold I don’t know but it’s what you need.  Start forming a ball.   Those beautiful balls you see on tv or in cookbooks … well I don’t think they exist in real life. I have never been able to make one of those.  Turn it out onto a floured surface and kneed a few times. FEW not 50. You aren’t making bread here. Don’t kill all the goodness in the dough by over mixing.

Flatten your dough into 3/4 inch disc. Take some wax paper and if you have time stick it in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight. If you don’t in the freezer for 20 minutes. I have even done 10 if I was making a quiche or something and needed it quickly.  This dough does firm up pretty quickly so when you get it out to roll give it 5 to 10 minutes to soften up a little.  You can freeze dough up to a month. I am going to make 4 dough disc today. Hard part over with.

Time for some rolling action. Take out the dough. Start a rolling. It doesn’t need to be perfect.  You want a 13 inch circle for a 9 1/2 inch deep pie pan. You can trim up the edges and make it pretty once it’s in the pie pan. You’re going to stick it in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes.  What comes next depends on what kind of pie you are making.

Feel free to ask me a bunch of questions. I might or might not be posting a video. Depends on the cleanliness of the kitchen and the attitudes of the children and if the baby sleeps. I’m flying solo this weekend so that’s a lot of ifs.

Anyhow, I hope you do try making your own pie crusts. It’ll be worth it. Also, cooking if FUN! Don’t make it a chore. Most of all be THANKFUL that pie exists. It’s delicious.

On our list this Thanksgiving —

Apple, pear, cranberry pie with a crumb topping

Chocolate Pumpkin pie

and maybe a Cherry Pie mainly because I really want one.

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