It has been a long time since I have made homemade pie with homemade pie crust. Sometime between college and raising four children I got into the habit of using frozen pie crusts or just buying the pies from a favorite restaurant. This week I was inspired to try my hand at making homemade pie from scratch like my mother used to do.
My mom was known for her pies, and I have strong memories of watching her blend the shortening with the flour and salt, then carefully sprinkling on the water and gently pulling together the dough. We loved to use the dough scraps to make “cookies”, topping them with cinnamon and sugar. What a treat to taste those freshly baked pie crust cookies right out of the oven!
I received a wonderful package from Cabot Cooperative Creamery and King Arthur last week. Together they are sponsoring a #QuicheFeast promotion, using Cabot cheeses and King Arthur flour. When I saw the recipe card they included for pie crust, I knew I needed to start baking pies again. I’m thinking that if I could just make a pie crust every day for about a week, the old knack should come right back.
The King Arthur pie crust recipe calls for both shortening and butter. When I checked the shortening in my fridge I discovered that the “best by” date was in 2013! Oops! So I had to wait until I could buy some fresh shortening before I could begin my pie crust challenge. When I stopped at a grocery store known for health foods I was astounded to learn that they don’t even sell vegetable shortening! In fact, when I asked about shortening the clerk was quick to point out that they would never sell it, and that I should be using coconut oil instead. Coconut oil in pie crust? He claimed that it could be done and inferred that it might be too tricky for me to do if I had never used coconut oil before. Ha! So I made another stop at the conventional grocery store and bought shortening in little tubs with the measurement markings on the side, called Crisco Baking Sticks. Yay! No more messy measuring of shortening!
This first crust didn’t roll out as easily as I wanted it to. Next time I’ll have a little spray bottle of water so I can spritz the dry spots around the edges of the dough before it goes into the fridge to chill. As my mom says, pie crust isn’t hard to do, it just takes practice!
When I was first married I made a pumpkin pie for my husband and he told me it didn’t taste like the pumpkin pies his mother made. I tasted his mother’s pie and agreed that it was different. I finally worked up the courage to ask her why her pies were different. She smiled and confessed that she didn’t like ginger, so she would omit it from the recipe and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla instead. No wonder that pie had a different taste than the pumpkin pies I knew! I tried making them without the ginger, but I really do enjoy that ginger flavor, so now I add a little vanilla in her memory.
Pumpkin pie is one of the very easiest pies to make. If you have been wishing that you could make homemade pie, I can recommend trying this pumpkin pie recipe first! You can start with a store-bought frozen pie crust if you want to make it extra fast and easy. This is one recipe that children could easy master, so include your family in the fun!
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can 15 oz. pure pumpkin
- 1 can 12 fluid oz. evaporated milk
- 1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
- whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
- Mix the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl.
- Stir the sugar/spices into the beaten eggs.
- Stir in the pumpkin.
- Gradually stir in the evaporated milk until the color of the pie filling is consistent.
- Pour the filling into the pie shell.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool.
- Serve at room temperature or refrigerate.
- Top with whipped cream as desired.
What shall I make tomorrow? I think I’ll try a quiche next!
Do you have a pie crust recipe that is your favorite? I’d love to hear about it!
Both Cabot and King Arthur are wonderful places to visit in Vermont! Here are links to my latest visits!