Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Coming Up For Air 'n' Food

What a day! In the middle of scooting between this job 'n' that, UPS arrived with many of my online Christmas orders. How lucky for Charlie, our regular driver, to have had the day off. His replacement needed a hand-truck, for today's deliveries!

Once I'd opened, checked, approved and hidden Santa's choices, it was back to the kitchen. Pie-time is almost here; it's time to think "crust". Three-for-a-dollar tin pie plates were necessary for variety and transport. It's totally outside of the proverbial box for me to use such flimsy vehicles; so, I decided to pre-bake the dough. I'm quite pleased with the results... though let it be said that we'll call the look "rustic". Aesthetic perfection is clearly lacking on edges. Whatever! Here's my all-time favorite recipe, possibly a repeat on CMI:
2 Cups All-Purpose Unbleached Flour plus 1 Teaspoon Salt, mixed in a bowl
1/2 Cups Crisco (or similar) Oil plus 5 Tablespoons Iced Water, combined
Add liquid to flour and quickly mixed with a fork till combined. That's it for moist, easy-to-handle dough...

Divide and roll between waxed paper till nice and thin. Peel away top paper and invert into pie plate. Then peel away remaining paper. Freeze raw, or...

Using a fork, poke holes in dough and bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes. Cool, stack, cover and freeze. This really only works well for open pies that do not need sealing. However, you can always do a lattice top, using leftover raw dough. Picture 6 is of a baked result taken out of the pan, showing how nicely it set up. Be sure to adjust baking temps and times. For example, pumpkin in an unbaked shell starts in a high oven, unnecessary here. Concentrate more on having the filling set properly. For an incredibly fast fruit pie, filling can be slightly cooked, beforehand... a huge timesaver. 
TO NOTE: This is the way to go! Crusts stay amazingly crisp, even after filling is baked and pies are refrigerated.  Added 12/2