Finding Thyme to Cook

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pie crust for dummies. . . cindi!!!

Pie Crust has always been a challenge for me!!!  Just too much is involved and too much can go wrong!!!

Here is an excerpt from some a pie crust recipe:

Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready.

If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.

Who wants tough dough?

and another…

If you want an extra flaky crust, shmoosh the dough mixture into the table top with the heel of the palm of your hand a few times.

This will help flatten the butter into layers between the flour which will help the resulting crust be flaky.

You can easily skip this step if you want.

So does that mean if you skip the step, you won’t have flaky crust?

and another…

How do you keep those butter pieces visible? You keep them cold.

If they get warm — even a little warm — they get soft, and if they get soft before they hit the oven, they have less of an ability to make the dough flaky.

Do everything in your power to keep them cold.

Cube the butter and re-refrigerate it, mix your flour and sugar and salt and refrigerate that bowl too.

If you’re rolling that dough out and it tears and sticks and you must start again?

Really?  “start again” – no thank you!!!

It’s just too daunting and intimidating.

I have tried over the years to make a good pie, especially since my husband loves pie, but never could.  Then my best friend came to the rescue.  She is a phenomenal baker and she knows my limitations with baking.  One year she gave me one of the best birthday presents ever.   A one on one class at my home with Penny from Penny’s Pies –  a life changing experience.  At first I thought it would be weird having someone come over to your house to teach you to make a pie, but whatever.  So one evening, while my husband and son were at the MLB All Star Game and I knew they would be gone for a very long time, I reluctantly scheduled Penny to came over to teach me how to make crust.   So very glad I did – it was incredible — she actually had a non-intimidating way to make a perfect crust every time, without using cold butter!!!  Now, crimping is a different story, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of that with practice.  We had such a fun evening.  We made a quiche (which we ate), a blueberry pie (which my husband and I ate the next day) and a blind pie shell (which I used to make a cream pie).  I now can make pie crust whenever I want with no problem.  When you peruse the ingredients, you will get to peanut oil and shudder.  Don’t!!!  It works!!!  I don’t know how or why, but it makes an incredibly easy pie crust that is incredibly tender and flaky WITHOUT having to keep the butter cold!!!  It is a miracle!!!

This is for a nine inch deep dish pie plate (Emile Henry)
•    2 ½ (11 ½ oz) unbleached All-Purpose flour
•    2 tablespoons (½ oz) cake flour
•    pinch of salt

completely whisk the above ingredients together before adding liquids

•    2/3 cup peanut oil
•    1/3 cup whole milk

•    2 -3 tablespoons heaving cream – to brush on dough for glaze

Use a small stainless steel mixing bowl (1.5 quarts with tall sides).

Measure out the flours and salt into the bowl (best way is to weigh the dry ingredients).

Whisk the dry ingredients. Pour on the oil and the milk in that order.

Cut the ingredients together with an ordinary dinner knife, making “X’s” across the center and

turning the flour up from underneath by scraping the sides of the bowl as you turn.

This may take about 10 strokes.  DO NOT OVER MIX.  Dough should resemble coarse oatmeal.

Place one piece of wax paper, about 14 inches long, on working surface.

Turn the dough out onto the center of the wax paper and scrape the bowl clean.

Using your fingers, gently roll the dough around so that the liquid absorbs any pockets of dry flour.

Do not knead or over-work the dough, the dough should just hold its form.

Push the dough into a loaf-shaped mound.

Turn loaf over on wax paper. If there is dry flour remaining, simply fold it in.

Using the knife, divide the dough in half and shape two balls.

Place one ball, wrapped in wax paper back in bowl (or wrap and freeze for later use if you don’t need it).

Place the other ball in the center of the wax paper, flatten the dough slightly so you have a level top surface and cover with another piece of was paper.

Roll out the dough into a circle, about 2 inches beyond the edge of the pie dish – approximately 13″.

Always roll dough out with a rolling pin starting from the center of the circle, changing direction as needed – not back and forth.

Peel off the top layer of paper.

Grasp the edge of the wax paper with both hands and left it straight up and place evenly, dough side down, either in your pie dish (if you are making a pie) or over your filling.


 Carefully peel off the wax paper Cover filling with top crust using the same method as above.

Trim the edges about ½ inch from the edge of the pie dish.

Cut vent slots and brush on heavy cream to glaze, but do not brush the cream on the fluted edges.

Bake according to directions of your pie.  Check to see if edges are too well done and wrap the edges so they don’t burn.

print recipe


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One thought on “pie crust for dummies. . . cindi!!!

  1. Pingback: chicken pot pie « Finding Thyme to Cook

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