As an Allrecipes Brand Ambassador, I was asked to sign on to the “Respect the Bird” campaign inspired by our own Doug Matthews 2010 blog of the same
name. As a big fan of Thanksgiving, I didn't hesitate to join the campaign. I have been annoyed for years that the push for Christmas shopping has been overshadowing this lovely and simple family holiday AKA Thanksgiving. Come on folks..... the beauty of the
Thanksgiving holiday is that the only expectation is a good family/friends meal with no pressure to buy that special someone a special something with our hard earned money/credit cards. How simple is that? NOT!
I must first give credit to my mama for all the fantastic Thanksgiving dinners that included our inlaws, outlaws and assorted orphans. As a child,
it seemed that she cooked her “entirely scratch” Thanksgiving menu for 20+ without a hitch or even breaking a sweat. As I took over the duty of this wonderful meal, I discovered that my mama only made it look simple. This fabulous meal requires some fantabulous
As the Turkey Day approaches (notice how I capitalized this special day), I watch cooking shows and videos and admire the unruffled & well dressed
cook patiently demonstrating the ease at which they prepare their “glamorous” Thanksgiving menu. After cooking approximately 35 of these Thanksgiving extravaganzas (OK I am older than dirt), I have to admit there is nothing simple about it. They would be horrified
at some of my cooking attire.......like my stylish flannel pajamas and my hair pulled back in a not so stylish pony tail. Many late night or early morning prep sessions in said attire are some of my fondest memories. Needless to say.....I will never have a
cooking show with my look:) So much for simplicity.
So in the spirit of sharing, I thought I would share one of my favorite “simple” recipes that took me waaayyy too many years to figure out. You see,
my mom was a great cook and baker, but she made the lousiest pie crust on the planet. I mean her pie crust could go through a hurricane standing. We would all eat the “insides” of her pies and leave the tough crust standing like a soldier. With that in mind,
I will share the savior of pies. It is a recipe for a simple pie crust that I simplified even further. It came from a small cook booklet put out by the Realtor's Association (I love realtors) at least 30 years ago. The recipe was credited to a lovely midwestern
cook who won $2000.00 at her state fair for her flaky and tender pie crust. If I ran into her today, I would feel obliged to kick in some big bucks myself for this “perfectly” simple and lovely pie crust. After mastering this crust, you will never again visit
the refrigerator/freezer section of your favorite supermarket in search of a ready made crust. BTW don't tell my mom any of the above :)
My Pie crusts have been sitting in my freezer since last week minding their own business until they are rolled, filled and baked the day before Thanksgiving.
I do not have enough freezer space, so I will show you how I store them before putting them in the pan. You certainly can line your pie pans (just make sure you chill the dough for a few hours before you roll) and freeze them so they are even quicker to do
on baking day.
$2000.00 Pie Crust
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups shortening
1 large egg beaten
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 Tablespoons ice water
Beat together the egg, vinegar and ice water and chill briefly.
Measure flour and salt into your food processor bowl and pulse. Add chunks of shortening all at once & pulse a few times
to make a pea sized meal ( the size of a pea) .Do not overwork the dough.
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Pulse until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides
of the bowl. Do not overwork the dough. Divide the dough in half. Put each half in a quart or gallon ziplock bag and roll out to fill the bag. Seal the bag and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready for use. Pull the suckers out of the frig (do not
try to roll while frozen cuz it would break) just make sure it is chilled. Cut the bag open to remove the crust and roll on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Each recipe makes two nine inch singles or a double crust pie.
Now you can do this by hand if you don't have a food processor and it will take a little more than the five minutes that
this requires. You can use white or apple cider vinegar or even lemon juice for the acid. You can use butter or lard instead of the shortening.....but DO NOT use margarine. The water in it will lead to less than pleasing results. A little trick for our new
pie makers. Roll your chilled dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured wax or parchment paper and then you can peel off the paper as you lay it into the pan. For those who need photos.....here ya go.
After reading a couple of bad reviews on this recipe, I need to do some explaining. It does take some experience and patience
to roll and form pastry. That being said, if your dough seems too dry, sprinkle a little water on it. If it seems too wet or sticky, add a little flour to it. If you are having a hard time with any pastry recipe, roll it back up in a ball. Chill it again and
have another go with it. If you need to patch a hole, use a piece of dough and a moistened finger to patch it. You can also roll it between two sheets of floured wax paper and sit in in the frig to chill until you are ready to make the attempt to transfer
it to the pie pan. I think it might be helpful to watch some youtube videos on rolling and forming pie crust too. The struggle with pie crust (and the reason why so many buy ready made) is the rolling & shaping and that takes practice. This recipe is special
to me because of the flaky and tender texture.
Here is a link to the recipe in my personal recipes
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated
for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Julie McCuiston aka Mauigirl. That being said, my husband
says i am the queen of everything and I KNOW what I am talking about.....and that is why we have been married for 41 years :)