Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wonderful Thanks Giving Recipes and How To's
I thought Thanksgiving  being just around the corner I would start posting some wonderful recipes, I have so many and I know many younger women will be looking for new recipes to try. I think this first on will be on how to make a good and flaky pie crust, that is such an accomplishment when we learn how to, and it does not look like a jig saw puzzle, so I will list that first, then give you a few recipes for today, and daily or every other day until Thanksgiving.
Perfect Pie Crusts

The Basic Four

There are just four basic ingredients in a pie crust: flour, fat, water, and salt.
From there, you can come up with all kinds of tasty variations just by altering your basic ingredients, as long as you stick to the ratio of three parts flour, two parts fat, and one part liquid.

3-2-1 Dough

Flour: For a tender crust, choose a low-protein flour. Pastry flour, with a protein content of about 8-10%, ranks between all-purpose flour and cake flour. All-purpose flour works just fine for pie crusts, while cake flour might lack enough protein to form a workable, elastic dough.

Depending upon your tastes and the recipe, you can substitute nut flours (almond flour or hazelnut flour) or whole wheat pastry flour for part of the mixture.

If you're a novice crust-maker, start with a plain all-purpose or pastry flour dough

Fat: Flaky crusts can be made from a variety of fats: butter, lard, shortening, duck fat, vegetable oil, or nut oils.

Crusts made with all butter are very flavorful, though they are generally not quite as flaky as crusts made with shortening or lard.

Vegetable shortening pie doughs are easier to work with and hold their shape better than all-butter crusts, but the flavor won't be as rich.

Lard produces the flakiest crust, but processed lard can have a chemical aftertaste. Some butchers or farmers' market stands might sell fresh rendered lard.

Some of the best pie crusts are made with a combination of fats: half butter, for flavor, and half shortening or lard, for flakiness.

Fans of crispier crusts use melted butter or oil for the fat, resulting in a mealier dough that bakes up as a fine-textured, crisp crust.

Liquid: Ice water, fruit juices, egg yolks, sour cream, milk or cream add different flavors and textures to your pie crust.

When adding liquid to the flour and fat mixture, it should be ice-cold in order to keep the pieces of fat cool and separate.

Always add liquid a tablespoon at a time, tossing with the flour mixture.

Humidity can affect dough performance, so you might need less liquid than the recipe calls for.

If your dough becomes too wet, you'll need to add more flour to roll out the crust, throwing off your ratio and resulting in a tough crust.

A little bit of acid--vinegar or lemon juice--helps tenderize the dough and prevents it from oxidizing.

Salt: don't forget to add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of your crust.

For a sweeter crust, add a tablespoon or two of confectioners' sugar. Granulated sugar can make the dough sticky and harder to work with.
Other additions: Wheat germ, a pinch of spice, a dash of flavorful liqueur or cold brewed coffee are all good additions to pie crusts.

Butter and lard crust recipes:

No Fail Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix egg, water and vinegar together. Pour into flour all at once and blend with a fork until dough forms a ball.

Wrap with plastic and chill in refrigerator.

Chocolate Pecan Pie


2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, blend together the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, flour, butter, corn syrup and vanilla.

Add the chocolate chips and pecans; mix well and pour into pie crusts.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie


1 pie crust, 
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk


Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie pan brown some what.
In large bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into crust-lined pan.

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F; bake 40 to 50 minutes longer or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Store in refrigerator.


Theresa said...

I must admit although I love making pies, I am intimidated with making my own crusts. I would love to try though. When you say shortening, do you mean the white stuff like Crisco?
Thanks Barbara for thinking of us younger women. :)

Amanda said...

I can't wait to try it!

Sandra said...

the only thing i do with pie is EAT them, no can bake or cook. that pecan pie looks like one i would love to eat.

Aliene said...

Barbara, can I use pumpkin that I put in freezer. How much do I use?
I want to try this recipe.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I have never been able to make a good pie crust and now i know why! I am going to print this out and keep it for reference and I am going to try my hardest to make a delicious pie crust!

Sharon said...

I remember that my mil would make the flakest pie crusts and she said she would only use Lard.
I still use her recipe but I have substituted lard with Crisco.
Thanks for sharing your recipes I want to try the pecan one.
Have a great Wednesday

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks Barbara.... My mother was an excellent cook and baker... I never had her talent... BUT--I love to EAT those pies... YUM..

Barbara said...

Theresa Yes Crisco, is the best in my opinion, nothing ever is ruined from Crisco.
Aliene, yes the fresh pumpkin would be wonderful too sweetie, use the same amount given in this recipe but use the fresh, that the recipe calls for is just like yours in the freezer, but in a can, and I am sure not as fresh, but you see what I am saying.

Dee said...

I am not a baker..but I sure like to eat baked goods. :) I like the way you make the recipe so easy to follow with pictures. I am saving up calories to enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner.

taylormom2six said...

Great post Barbara! I love to bake, making pies is my favorite, I use shortening with a couple of generous sized T. of butter. Pumpkin and blackberry are my favorite pies, yummmm!!!

Psalm 18

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

That's the same pie crust recipe I use ... there's none better, so tender and flakey.