Pie Crust Challenge: Taking Back My Homemade Pie Crust Mojo!



pie crust

Today is Day 3 of my personal pie crust challenge. It has been years since I  made a homemade pie crust  and I was beginning to accept that pie crust was something that I “used to do”.  It just seemed like too much trouble and too messy to do myself. But all of that has changed now!  Today I’ll share some of my pie crust discoveries!

Last week a package arrived from Cabot Cooperative Creamery and King Arthur Flour with a #QuicheFeast promotion for food bloggers.  A fresh bag of King Arthur Flour,  some wonderful Cabot cheese, and some recipe cards with photos of beautiful quiches.

Cabot Cheese and King Arthur Flour When I saw the  photo of the perfect pie crust,  I knew I just had to try to get my pie crust mojo back.   I vowed to make a homemade pie crust every day until I could do it quickly and easily.   And guess what!  Today – on Day 3 – it happened!

Today it took me only 10 minutes to make the dough!  The recipe I used is the King Arthur Classic Single Pie Crust  with both shortening and butter.   In the past three days of practicing making pie crust  I’ve discovered a few tips that make it easier.  Here are my 8 top discoveries:

    1. Use a dough blender with blades like this one from OXO  and have a table knife handy to quickly clean the shortening or butter off the blades as you work it into the flour.
    2. Slice the butter and cut each slice into quarters (quickly while it’s cold) and mix it only until the dough holds together.  It’s okay to have bigger and smaller bits of butter in the dough.  That’s what makes the dough flakey.    If you over-work the butter, the dough will be tough. This doesn’t take very long when you use the dough blender with blades.
    3. Be sure you use ice cold water,  and have a spray bottle of ice water handy just in case it’s dry on the edges when you fold it together.
    4. I love the way King Arthur Flour described using parchment paper.  When I made pie crust with my mother, I hated getting my hands all sticky with dough.  Using the parchment paper keeps my hands clean and works very well!  Easy to fold the parchment over and refrigerate the dough in the paper.
    5. Just a few tablespoons of flour on the rolling surface (spread it out in a thin layer) will help keep the dough from sticking.  I roll it out just a little and then pick it up and move a little more flour to the middle of the surface before I flip the dough over to finish rolling.  My mother used a pastry cloth to roll her dough (with flour worked into the cloth).  I use a large wooden cutting board covered with a thin layer of flour.

      pie crust fluting

      This quiche has Cabot Garlic and Herb cheddar cheese in it, plus bacon, sliced roasted potatoes and sautéed mushrooms.

    6. Fluting:   Cut the overhanging dough away from the pie plate and then fold the cut edge underneath to make a double thickness.   Then use thumb and forefinger of one hand on the INSIDE of the pie crust to form the fluted edge by pressing them against the forefinger of the other hand on the OUTSIDE of the pie crust.  The width of your fingertips will allow the fluting to come out even.  Start anywhere on the edge of the crust and work all the way around until you reach the point where you started.   (next time I do it I’ll try to make a video for you, okay?)
pie crust #1

This was my first attempt on Day 1. The thickness isn’t even and it’s a little dry. But it still tasted good

7.  The oven has to be preheated, and you cannot trust the timer.  Use a table knife to test the center of    the pie or quiche: it should come out clean when inserted in the middle.   If it’s a quiche, it will be all puffed up when it’s ready.  When you take it out of the oven and let it cool, it will settle.

puffed quiche

8. Don’t try to cut a quiche until it has rested for 10 minutes.  If you want really clean slices for photos,  let it cool completely and refrigerate.  It’s much easier to photograph when it’s cold, and it tastes great reheated.

I wish I had practiced making pie crusts sooner.  My mother was right:  pie crust isn’t that hard, it just takes practice!   With my new-found confidence we’ll be enjoying fresh quiches,  fruit pies, and even chicken pot pies.  How about you?  Want to join me in the pie crust mojo take-back challenge?  I’d love to hear about your adventures with pie crust!

Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing my Roasted Cipolline Onion Quiche recipe next! (with bacon, mushrooms, roasted baby gold potatoes, and Cabot Garlic and Herb cheddar!)

Disclosure:  I was not required to write this post, nor was I compensated.  I gratefully accepted a gift box of cheese and flour from Cabot Cooperative Creamery and King Arthur Flour to use in creating quiche recipes. In the process, I am taking back my pie crust mojo, and for that I am exceedingly grateful.

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