Foolproof Pie Crust for Thanksgiving

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Broccoli, Leek and Cheddar Pies nourished us as we prepared our Sugary Pies

Broccoli, Leek and Cheddar Pies nourished us as we prepared our Sugary Pies

Prep 15 mins  Bake 10+ mins   Eat 25+ mins

Thanksgiving without pie would be like…well Christmas without Santa Claus.  The two belong together.  So on November 3, we baked pies in preparation for the Thanksgiving Feast, giving everyone a chance to learn flaky pie crust secrets from the so-called experts, Carol and Patricia.

Teams present their creations

Teams present their creations

Teams came together for an evening of creativity as Lynne from Cook and Be Merry documented our evening with her beautiful photographs.   Everyone baked their own personal pie to take home. They had their choice of baking a Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake, a Banana or Coconut Cream Pie, a Caramel Apple Nut Pie, a Chocolate Chess Pie or a Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie.  We all had a delightful time and the results were amazing!

Raw pies 11-11While we were carefully mixing our dough together, our dinner was baking in the oven.  The wafts of the cheddar crust from our Broccoli, Leek and Cheddar pies were making us all very hungry for some dinner.

Demonstration of Pie Dough using the Cuisinart

Demonstration of Pie Dough using the Cuisinart

Our lesson included everyone making the Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust and rolling it out.

Carol demonstrating her Grandmother's Foolproof Pie Crust recipe

Carol demonstrating her Grandmother’s Foolproof Pie Crust recipe

We learned about blind baking a crust (Baking a pie without a filling).  You can add a barrier or sealer to prevent a soggy bottom crust by brushing it with egg white or by lining the crust with jam, cookie crumbs, nuts (in the Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake) or Chocolate (as we did in the Banana Cream Pie). The results were glorious!

Shanna and Jessica showing off their Banana Cream Pies

Shanna and Jessica showing off their Banana Cream Pies

 

Lynne showing off her unbaked Caramel Apple Nut Pie

Lynne showing off her unbaked Caramel Apple Nut Pie

Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie made by Nancy, Amelia and Marie

Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie made by Nancy, Amelia and Marie

Broccoli, Leek and Cheddar Pie photographed by Lynn

Broccoli, Leek and Cheddar Pie photographed by Lynn

While we  baked our pies, we dined on our savory Broccoli Leek and Cheddar Pie, which totally hit the spot!

Patricia with Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Patricia with Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

For dessert, we enjoyed the Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake still warm from the oven.  This year I will be departing from the basic pumpkin pie and serving a few of these winners to my guests!

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Foolproof Pie Crust

This recipe makes 4 crusts for 9″ pies.  It will make 2 double crust pies or 4 single crust pies.  The vinegar adds elasticity to the crust for easier handling.  You can freeze the dough by placing each disk of dough in a ziploc freezer bag.  Unthaw in refrigerator or on the counter for about 20 minutes before using.  Do not bring to room temperature, keep it chilled until you roll out your pie dough.

4 cups flour
1  Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
1  cup margarine or butter
1  cup shortening
1 Tbs vinegar
1 Egg beaten
1/2 cup ice water (ice cube in water)

Procedure
1. Mix 3 dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl or in Cuisinart bowl.

2. Add shortening and margarine to the dry ingredients and cut the fat into the flour mixture with 2 knives or if mixing in Cuisinart, pulse a few time until fine crumbs form.

3. Combine egg and vinegar into ice water and pour over the pastry mixture.

4. Mix ingredients together with a fork (or pulse a few times in the Cuisinart) until the mixture forms into a ball.  If it is too sticky, add a little more flour in order to handle the dough.

5. Separate pastry dough into 4 pieces.  Wrap in wax or plastic wrap.  Flatten each ball into a disc and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

6. When ready, place on floured surface and roll out to a size that is 1″ larger than your pie plate.  Bake according to the directions in your pie recipe.

7.  To Blind Bake a pie (Bake a Piecrust without filling), heat oven to 375°.  Line the empty piecrust with foil or parchment paper. Fill it with about a cup dried beans or rice or pie weights to keep the dough from shrinking and the sides collapsing in as it bakes.  Bake until the the crust is lightly browned and starting to set…about 10 minutes.  Remove the foil lining with the beans, etc. from the crust.  For a partially baked (par-baked) pie-crust, add your filling and follow recipe for completing the baking.  For a fully baked piecrust, lightly prick the bottom of the pie with a fork and return the piecrust to the oven until it is evenly browned – about another 10 minutes (depends on the size of your pie).  Do not overbake, as the crust may crack.  Remove from the oven, cool and add your filling.

Click on the frog to see more Thanksgiving recipes from the Food Bloggers of Los Angeles.



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