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Perfect Pie Crust

Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

One of the secrets to a flaky pie crust is to work with very cold butter. Cut the butter into cubes and freeze, at least 15 minutes, best over an hour or even overnight. The minute I even think I might want to make a pie, the first thing I do is cut some butter into cubes and put it in the freezer. Add to shopping list

All Butter Crust for Sweet and Savory Pies (Pte Brise)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water


1 Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.

2 Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. If you want an extra flaky crust, shmoosh the dough mixture into the table top with the heel of the palm of your hand a few times. This will help flatten the butter into layers between the flour which will help the resulting crust be flaky. You can easily skip this step if you want. Gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. 3 Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish. 4 Add filling to the pie. 5 Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork. Score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape.

All Butter Crust with Almonds


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling 1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1 teaspoon salt 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water, very cold

Follow directions as for the All Butter Crust Pte Brise, but with the above ingredients. Include the ground almonds in with the flour and the salt and sugar in step 2 above.

To Pre-Bake a Pie Crust If your recipe calls for a pre-baked crust, as many custard pie recipes do, follow all the steps above until you get to the point where it says to put in the filling. Note that you will need to make only a half recipe if you are only doing a bottom crust. Freeze the crust it for at least a half hour, until chilled. This is an important step in pre-baking. Otherwise the crust will slip down the sides.

Preheat your oven to 350F. When the pie crust is sufficiently chilled, line the pie crust with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Fill at least two-thirds full with pie weights - dry beans, rice, or stainless-steel pie weights. Bake with weights for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool a few minutes and carefully remove pie weights. Poke small holes in the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and return to oven (without the weights) and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool completely before filling. You may need to tent the edges of the pie with aluminum foil when you bake your pie, to keep the edges from getting too dried out and burnt.

Combination Butter and Shortening Crust Ingredients for one double-crust 9 inch or 10 inch pie:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons sugar 3/4 cup (a stick and a half) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes 1/2 cup of all-vegetable shortening (8 Tbsp) 6-8 Tablespoons ice water

1 Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse 4 times. Add shortening in tablespoon sized chunks, and pulse 4 more times. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no bigger than peas. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over flour mixture. Pulse a couple times. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, keep adding water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing once after each addition, until the mixture just begins to clump together. 2 Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. Divide the dough into 2 balls and flatten each into 4 inch wide disks. Do not over-knead the dough! Dust the disks lightly with flour, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 2 days before rolling out. 3 After the dough has chilled in the refrigerator for an hour, you can take it out to roll. If it is too stiff, you may need to let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before rolling. Sprinkle a little flour on a flat, clean work surface and on top of the disk of dough you intend to roll out. (We use a Tupperware pastry sheet that has the pie circles already marked.) Using a rolling pin, apply light pressure while rolling outwards from the center of the dough. Every once in a while you may need to gently lift under the dough (a pastry scraper works great for this) to make sure it is not sticking. You have a big enough piece of dough when you place the pie tin or pie dish upside down on the dough and the dough extends by at least 2 inches all around. 4 When the dough has reached the right size, gently fold it in half. Lift up the dough and place it so that the folded edge is along the center line of the pie dish. Gently unfold. Do not stretch the dough. 5a If you are only making a single crust pie, use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the lip of the dish. Tuck the overhang underneath itself along the edge of the pie dish. Use your fingers in a pinching motion, or the tines of a fork to crimple the edge of the pie crust. 5b If you are making a double crust pie, roll out the second disk of dough. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie. Use a kitchen scissors to trim the overhang to an inch over. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. Finish the double crust by pressing against the edges of the pie with your finger tips or with a fork. 6 Use a sharp knife to cut vents into the top of the pie crust, so the steam has a place to escape while the pie is cooking. Optional Before scoring, you may want to paint the top of your crust with an egg wash (this will make a nice finish).

Egg Wash A lovely coating for a pie can be achieved with a simple egg wash.

1 Tbsp heavy cream, half and half, or milk 1 large egg yolk

Beat egg yolk with cream and brush on the surface of the pie with a pastry brush.

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Original recipe makes 1 single crust pie Change Servings

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced

1/4 cup ice water Check All Add to Shopping List

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. 2. Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

4. How To Make Easy Fruit Filling for Pie



We focus a lot on the dough and crust when we talk about pies, since this is often the most intimidating part for new pie-bakers. And yet if your filling isn't delicious as well, then what's the point? Fruit filling is what makes us love pie. The opportunity to use fresh, seasonal fruit with a minimum of preparation or fuss, letting the fruit's flavors shine out clearly - it's one of the best things about baking. 7. So if you have some fruit around here are a few tips on making a pie filling from its juicy goodness.

Choose a variety of fruit: Peach, apple, and berry pies are all wonderful, but we think that the best pies have a mix. Even if it's subtle (1 apple thrown into a peach pie, for instance) it gives a good variety of flavor and textures. 9. Look for high pectin fruits: Pectin is the natural substance inside many fruits that causes them to thicken when cooked with sugar. Some fruits (apples, blackberries, and quinces) are very high in pectin. Other popular pie fruits (blueberries, cherries, strawberries) do not have much pectin at all and so they need to be cooked with a thickener to keep the filling from being runny. It's also helpful to add a high pectin fruit in with a low pectin fruit to help the filling thicken properly. For instance, add an apple to a berry pie. 10. Thickener: The nice thing about baked fruit pies is that you don't need to do anything fussy. Custards and puddings need to be cooked in order to thicken, but fruit fillings just need to be tossed with a little cornstarch or tapioca and voil - you've got a thick, jammy filling. Cornstarch is usually our thickener of choice, but you can read more about filling thickeners at Baking 911. New bakers would do well to stick to high pectin fruits, too, like apples (see previous point). 11. Not too much sugar: Pies are best when the fruit is sweet and the sugar is kept to a minimum. We look for sweet apples (Golden Delicious are great in pies) and keep the sugar in the filling to under 1/2 cup. 12. Spices: Don't forget to add a little spice! Nutmeg for berries, cinnamon for apples, cloves for peaches and apricots. Ginger can go with almost anything. 8.

13. Something bright: Most fruit pies need a little extra acidity to brighten the flavor. We usually add a squirt of lemon juice and some zest, or a splash of balsamic vinegar. 14. Butter: We always dot the top of our fruit fillings with a bit of butter for richness, taste, and texture. 15. Here is our rough and tumble formula for a fruit pie filling. 16. 4-6 cups of chopped fruit 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 cup brown or white sugar Lemon zest Pinch of salt 1/2-2 teaspoons spices 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 17. How do you make your pie filling? What's your favorite kind of fruit for pie? 18. Related: Recipe Review: The Cook's Illustrated Vodka Pie Crust 19. (Images: Faith Durand)
20. 1 comments 21. 11.07.08 9:30AM Faith Durand 22. 38

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24. Advice, Baking, Sweets, Tips & Techniques

25. I think the Rose Levy Beranbaum method of thickening fruit pies is far superior to cornstarch or tapioca. Mix the fruit and sugar, let rest for about 45 minutes, strain, and heat the juices until thickened. Then mix the thickened sauce back in with the fruit, and proceed. It's so much tastier, and if the recipe has spices that need heat to bloom, the flavors are much more mellow if heated in the juices. Ingredients U.S.

Metric Conversion chart

Coconut Crust 6 limes 1 can(s) (14 ounces) 1 can (14 ounces) low-fat sweetened condensed milk, low-fat sweetened condensed milk 1 container(s) (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream 1 envelope(s) unflavored gelatin 1 ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced Lime-peel slivers, for garnish

Directions 1. Prepare and bake Coconut Crust; cool.

2. From limes, finely grate 2 teaspoons peel and squeeze 1/2 cup juice. In medium bowl, with wire whisk, mix lime peel and juice with undiluted sweetened condensed milk and sour cream until blended; set aside. 3. In 1-quart saucepan, evenly sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand 2 minutes to soften gelatin. Heat over low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until gelatin is completely dissolved (do not boil), stirring frequently. With wire whisk, blend gelatin into lime mixture. 4. Set bowl with lime mixture in larger bowl filled with ice water. With rubber spatula, stir mixture occasionally until it begins to mound, about 20 minutes. Remove bowl with lime filling from bowl of ice water. Pour filling into cooled crust; spread evenly. Refrigerate pie until filling is firm enough to slice, about 2 hours. 5. To serve, arrange mango slices on top of filling. Garnish with lime peel.

Read more: Tropical Lime and Mango Pie - Country Living

Lemon Meringue Pie

From Country Living

In your quest for great zest, seek lemons that are plump and heavy for their size. Bright yellow fruits with glossy, finegrained skin are the juiciest. Timesaver: Substitute a readyto-fill graham cracker crust and skip step 1. The results will still be spectacular.

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Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Total Carbohydrate Dietary Fiber Sugars Protein Calcium

586 29g -133 mg 101mg 76g 1g -6g --

Ann Stratton Serves: 8 Edit Total Time: 2 hr 40 min Oven Temp: 350 Ingredients
U.S. Metric Conversion chart

2 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar 7 tablespoon(s) sugar 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt 3/4 cup(s) cold butter, cut into pieces

3 tablespoon(s) cold butter 1/4 cup(s) vegetable shortening, cold 5 tablespoon(s) cornstarch 1/2 cup(s) lemon juice 1 tablespoon(s) finely grated lemon zest 3 large eggs, separated

1. Make the crust: Combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cut 3/4 cup butter and the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers, until a coarse meal forms. Stir in 4 to 6 tablespoons of iced water until dough is just combined and holds together when pressed. Transfer to a clean surface and gather the dough into a ball and flatten to a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or up to overnight. (Chilled dough may be frozen for up to 3 months.) Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim away the excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the edges under and crimp along the rim. Prick the bottom of the dough several times with a fork, line with parchment paper, and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for 15 more minutes. Cool on wire rack. 2. Make the filling: Whisk the cornstarch, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water together in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice, zest, and yolks and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken -- about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and strain into the prepared crust. 3. Make the meringue: Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add 5 tablespoons sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue to beat until the whites have increased to about six times the volume and are glossy and firm. (The whites will make pointy peaks when pulled up with the beaters or whisk.) Spread the meringue over the filling, to touch the crust edge. Bake until the meringue is golden brown -- 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Tips & Techniques Timesaver: Substitute a ready-to-fill graham cracker crust and skip step 1. The results will still be spectacular.

Read more: Lemon Meringue Pie - Country Living

Key Lime Pie

From Country Living

This recipe has been tested by Country Living

Louie's Backyard in Key West, Florida, bakes up this creamy key lime pie.
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Recipe Photos Reviews Other Versions Save this recipe Add ingredients to my shopping list Submit your version

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Total Carbohydrate Dietary Fiber Sugars Protein Calcium 447 19g -195mg 99mg 60g 1g -9g --

Marcus NIlsson

Serves: 8 Edit Total Time: 45 min Prep Time: 15 min Oven Temp: 325 Ingredients
U.S. Metric Conversion chart


1/3 cup(s) sugar 1 stick(s) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 pinch(s) salt 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour, combined with above 1 extra-large egg 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract 2 tablespoon(s) molasses 1/2 tablespoon(s) ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon


1 can(s) (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk 1/2 cup(s) key lime juice 4 extra-large egg yolks 1 tablespoon(s) vanilla extract

1. For crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium bowl, cream sugar, butter, and salt until smooth. Add flour, egg, vanilla, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon and mix well to form a smooth dough. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 13 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Line a tart pan with a removable bottom with dough. Trim excess dough. Bake crust until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. 2. For filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Pour into pie shell and bake until filling sets to consistency of a soft custard, about 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on a wire rack.

Read more: Key Lime Pie Recipe - Country Living