Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lesson in Pie Making

I can't believe that it is only a week until Thanksgiving! What happened to November?? Life sometimes just takes you by the arm and whirls you around.
 In honor of all the holiday festivities I have put together a tutorial on pie making. Get out your supplies, grab a sister, daughter or friend and crank up the Christmas music! Let the baking begin!!

The hardest part of making a pie? The crust!
I have decided to share my method of making pie crust. I don't want to boast, but everyone says I make a mean pie! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, maybe this will inspire you. I like to make my pies the day before, as it doesn't usually work for pies and turkey to compete in the oven. Besides you want the pies to be completely cooled, no melting whipped cream! 

Perfect Pie Crust
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups flour
dash of salt
About 1/3 cup cold water 
(depending on your weather, you might need more or less) 
Makes one top and bottom crust or two open faced pies.

1. Measure flour and salt into bowl. Add shortening and cut into flour in pea sized pieces.
*Tip* Pie crust works on the principle of melting shortening or butter creating steam, thus making flaky layers. Shortening or butter does not have to be mixed into the flour in teeny tiny pieces.

2.Add butter in chunks....

....Cut into flour in flake size pieces.

*Tip*You will know your crust is rightly proportioned when a handful of your mixture sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand and then crumbles apart again.

3. Start with half your amount of water, then add more in small amounts if needed. Depending on your weather and the humidity level, you could use more or less.

 For the perfect amount, you should have a little flour left on the bottom. It should form a ball but still look craggy.

4.Turn dough out on lightly floured surface.
*Tip*Flour your surface sparingly. I little goes a long way. Too much can reduce the flour to shortening ratio and ruin your crust.
5. Knead gently three times. Really more of just squeezing the dough together and rolling.
*Tip* If you tend to have warm hands, touch the dough as little as possible. Maybe even run them under cold water before you handle it.

6.Divide dough in half and roll one section out 1/8 inch thick.
*Tip*When rolling crust only a slight pressure is needed. Don't mash your dough.

Your dough should have faint swirls of shortening and butter in it.

7.When dough is thin enough place in greased pie plate.

 8. Trim dough with sharp knife.

 9. Pleat edges.

 10. Refrigerate until ready to fill and bake.
*Tip*Refrigerate your crust a few minutes before going into the oven. I usually make the crust, fit it in the pie plate and put it in the refrigerator. Then make the filling.

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 egg
1 1/2 cups pumpkin (16oz can)
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 1/8 cups evaporated milk

 Pouring in the filling.
 Making leaves to decorate the top.
Ready for the oven!

 Making a lattice top.

Sealing the strips.

Fresh out of the oven


  1. Oh this looks so yummy! I am excited try it out! We have a brand new oven just hooked up. I think I might need to get some tart panda to make small pies

  2. Hehehehe my phone auto corrected! tart pans not a tart panda!

  3. This lesson is so good for me because I have no idea how to bake pies, it's true...every time I've baked pies in the past, they turn out horrible, but I am more than sure that with your pie making lesson I'll win the pie making winner ribbon.

  4. Oh, Kade! Tart pans sound fun! Exciting, a new oven!

    Good Luck on pie baking! I hope some of my tips help you. Let me know how it goes.