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Amazing Pie Crust

I must admit, I love pie. Wait, I love dessert. But pie in someway makes me think there is a healthy side to the indulgence: fresh fruit. The a la mode addition doesn't help the cause, nor do the dollops of whipped cream. Back to reality and food function! The foundation of a good pie is the crust - and here I realize that is the part that I really love - the other is a means to a great crust. A crust that is flaky, holds together and easy to handle. The uses for this crust can be highlighted in chicken potpie, an ultimate comfort food that you can tweak to be your all time favorite. And of course a way to use the fresh fruit harvest that is appearing at Farmer's Markets now.

Amazing Crust for a 9 inch pie pan: double crust

2 cups flour
1/4 quick cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening (I scoop out a serving spoonful that looks like the size of a large egg. This equals 1/3 cup - easier than measuring. Do this twice.)
Ice water. Have a 1/2 cup ready, but you will not use that much.

Measure flour, oatmeal, salt into a bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly. Pour 1/2 of the water on top of dry ingredients. Shake the bowl to help it be absorbed. Add more, shake again. DO NOT over stir the crust. You want it to be 'unworked'. When it holds together, there is enough water - it should not be too sticky - just enough moisture for it to cling to the side of the bowl. The humidity in the air will determine different amounts each time you make crust!

Gather dough into a ball: divide in two, leave one half in the bowl, cover with a damp towel to keep moist, the other half flatten on a floured surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll the flattened dough 2" larger than the pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters; unfold and ease into pie pan.

I would love to hear how you used this crust. If you have additions to it... herbs, cheeses, or whole wheat, let me know! Send a picture - make us all hungry! Cooking up great tastes is a hobby enjoyed worldwide.

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