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Posts Tagged ‘Two-crust’

I know it’s been a while I since I posted to this blog, but something about summer with a 3-year-old means you just don’t make many pies.  But now that it’s fall and the rains have come back to Seattle, I’m spending more time indoors, and that means more time making pie.

The apples have seemed especially appealing this year, so this afternoon I made an apple pie.  I used the classic recipe from Betty Crocker, and some granny smiths.  In the past, I’ve added a bit of lime juice, and omitted the butter, but this time I followed the recipe exactly as it is written.  I used my deep-dish pie pan and a pie shield, and it turned out lovely.

Then I made an eggnog pie, using the recipe I perfected last year.  I know it’s a bit early for eggnog, but I’ve been craving it ever since the weather turned cold.  Something about rain down here and snow in the mountains just screams EGGNOG.  It also turned out lovely.

For both pies, I used the standard pie crust recipe.  Lately I’ve been using the stick form of butter-flavored Crisco instead of from the big can, and I’ve found that the trick to using the stick stuff is to use more.  Instead of 1/3 of a cup per crust, I use 1/2 a cup.  So, for a 2-crust batch, that’s one stick (the sticks are one cup each), which makes for easy measuring.

Stay tuned–I roasted some pumpkins to make my own puree this year…

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I’ve officially had my first pie crust flop, and of course, it happened on Thanksgiving. I made my Thanksgiving pies over at my mother’s house, where we were having dinner. She had all the crust ingredients I needed: flour, butter-flavored Crisco, salt, water. I mixed them together like I always do, and then attempted to roll out my crusts, but they completely fell apart. It was a total disaster. After two failed attempts at rolling it out, I ended up just mushing the crust for the pumpkin pie into the pan, like I do for a pie in a jar. Only, because it had been rolled out twice already, when it cooked up, it was beyond tough and into the hard-as-a-rock category.

With the apple pie’s crust, I knew from trying to roll out the one for the pumpkin pie that something was horribly wrong, so I added a bunch more shortening and a little more water, hoping that would make it hold together. It still didn’t, so I basically had chunks of crust scattered across the top of the apple pie, instead of a top crust. No, I did not take pictures. What? You got a problem with that? Then make your own ugly pies and start your own pie blog.

Of course, the only people at Thanksgiving were my family (my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, and my parents, and of course J and our son), and they all said how delicious the pies were. My family members are really nice people. Fortunately, I’d brought all my own fillings, so the fillings turned out great.

The next morning, I got back up on the horse again, because I needed to make that blackberry and cream pie for J’s extended family. His cousin Rachel lives nearby, and her parents and sister and niece were in town for the holiday. Rachel’s parents live on a farm, so pie is something they make and eat all the time. I knew I needed to at least not embarrass myself, and hopefully make a pie that they really enjoyed. So I mixed my flour and my salt and my butter-flavored Crisco, and added the water from my sink, and held my breath as I rolled it out…and it was fine. Perfectly normal crust, just like I always make. This was the point where breathed a sigh of relief.

In hindsight, here’s what I think went wrong. I think the flour at my mother’s house wasn’t fresh enough, and I think my dad shouldn’t have kept the Crisco in the fridge. Instead, I should have brought my own flour and Crisco.  I mean, I always say pie crust is easy, and it is, if you have the right ingredients.  If you don’t, though, it’s obviously a complete mess.

Anyway, finishing the story: the blackberry and cream pie turned out awesome, and everyone raved about how good it was. Rachel’s mom said she’d never seen a pie like it, and I said, “Betty Crocker 1950’s cookbook, page 314!” She’s going to look it up.  I also brought them some pies in jars–an assortment of the different flavors I’ve attempted so far, including one blackberry and cream one. J’s sister Mandy had told them about pie in a jar and they were fascinated by the concept and curious to try them out.

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It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I bet you’re wondering, what is the Pieist planning to make this year? Well, it’ll be two tried-and-true classics for me: pumpkin, and apple. I have a big bag of granny smiths in the fridge, and of course J has been hoarding canned pumpkin ever since he learned that there is a shortage. I’ll be taking my pie-making supplies over to my mother’s house and hoping to enlist some family members to help me peel and core the apples, which is my least favorite part of the job.

But what’s more exciting is what I’ll be making for the day after Thanksgiving, when we’re visiting J’s cousin and her family. It’ll be blackberry and cream, which is now J’s favorite and one that he regularly requests. Thank goodness he picked all those blackberries last summer and we have a big bag of frozen ones in the freezer. I use the recipe on Page 314. Something about the cream with the tart berries makes for a really good flavor combination.

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You may remember from my pecan pie post that I invited my friend Anne over to taste it.  Her husband Mike came with her, and since Mike doesn’t do sugar, I decided to make him a mini apple pie with Splenda instead of sugar.  I started with the recipe on page 310 for a 9-inch one-crust pie crust, and rolled it out to the size of a 9-inch pie, but then cut rounds to fit my mini tart pans.  The recipe made enough crust for 3 mini pies.  This worked out pretty well, although I clearly need to work on my technique for making the crusts pretty, because with a mini pie, it really shows when you’re a little sloppy.  Still, I think they’re pretty adorable, even if they are a wee bit ugly.

For the filling, I halved the 8-inch-size recipe for apple pie on page 302, and substituted Splenda for the sugar.  I used a large granny smith apple–one apple was plenty to fill the 3 pies.

Mike declared it delicious, and said that he thought it was just the right amount of apple, that sometimes pie can have too much filling in it.  J felt the opposite–he thought it had too much crust and would have preferred more filling.  I personally am not a huge fan of Splenda’s flavor, but for a sugar-free option, I thought this one was pretty good and not too artificial-sugar-tasting.

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