Friday, April 19, 2013

Perfect Pie Crust || Baby's First Pie

Nine inches of snow fell yesterday, and we are stuck inside again.
Today I decided to make a pie for my son.
It's coconut cream, because that's the recipe my friend Jackie requested.
(Sorry Dad. The one pie you won't eat).

Perfect Pie Crust
(adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook)

One-crust pie (10- inch)

Heat oven to 475 degrees F.

1/2 cup shortening (I use half butter-flavor Crisco and half lard)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 Tb. cold water (place ice in the water, plus 1-2 tsp. vinegar)

Cut shortening into flour and salt until fine and crumbly (a pastry blender works best). 
Sprinkle in ice water, 1 Tb. at a time, until dough starts to come together.
Don't forget the vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar), as this is what makes the pastry so flaky.
Gather pastry into a ball, place on plastic wrap.
Form into a hockey-puck shape, wrap the plastic tightly around pastry, freeze for about 1/2 hour.

Remove pastry from freezer, unwrap.
Place dough on well-floured surface.
Roll to desired thickness. I like my crust very thin, but you'll see what happens to it.....
Roll the pastry around your rolling pin.
Transfer to pie plate (Glass pie plates produce the best crusts. Cheap at thrift stores!).
Smooth into place, and form an edge to flute as you like.
If making a baked pie crust, poke bottom of crust with fork (about 10 times) to release steam.
(If filling and baking a raw crust, do not poke crust).

If you have a nine-inch pie plate, you'll have quite a bit of dough left over. You can either make a tiny pie, or just place the rolled scraps on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar, and bake them. They will be done in about five minutes.

Bake pie shell for 8-10 minutes on top rack.

Cool on cooling rack for best results

 Malachi makes sure I measure out the ice water perfectly.
 It's easy to get a perfect hockey puck if you use the plastic wrap to help form the dough.
 Time out for a hug! 

 I use lots of flour, but still the crust gets a little weird sometimes.

 This rolling pin is only $10 at Crate & Barrel. What a deal.

 I made two crusts today, and the first one turned out perfectly.
The second one stuck to the rolling pin.
Don't re-roll your pastry.
Just patch it in, it will still be the best pie crust you've ever tasted.


Fill your pie with your favorite recipe for pie filling.
Our all-time fave is fresh raspberry, from berries we pick that day, but peanut butter is great too.
Here's the recipe for Coconut Cream Filling: 

2/3 cup sugar
5 T. corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups milk
4 eggs yolks, slightly beaten, in a large bowl 
2 T. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup shredded coconut (or flaked, if you prefer to chew your coconut)

1 cup whipped cream, slightly sweetened

Mix sugar, corn starch and salt in a medium saucepan.
Whisk in milk, stir constantly over medium heat.
Bring to boil, boil one minute.
Ladle half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, pouring it in slowly and stirring or whisking till blended.
Stir the egg mixture back into the mixture in the saucepan.
Bring to boil, stir one minute, remove from heat.
Stir in butter, vanilla, and 1 cup of coconut.

Pour into pie shell.
Cover with plastic wrap so filling doesn't form a crust.
Chill at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap, top with whipped cream, sprinkle with coconut.
(I toasted the coconut first in a skillet).

 He very much wanted to grab the pie.

 Look how flaky that crust is. Hard to catch the tender deliciousness in a photograph. 

 My little photog got the first piece!
Malachi is ready with his two spoons.  

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