Monday, October 19, 2015

Quick & Easy Pie Crust ?

There is a quick and easy pie crust recipe going around on facebook lately. I'm busily setting up my entry as two pies bake in the oven.

I warn you in advance. I am a skeptic. I refuse to use the oil. Instead, I opted to make one with butter and one with coconut oil.

I was taught that the success or failure of a pie pastry depends on how the fat and flour are mixed and how the gluten is developed.

A flaky pie dough is created when you cut the fat into the flour making tiny particles. When the liquid is added the flour absorbs it and develops some gluten. When you roll out the dough, the little bits of fat and moistened flour and flatten and become flakes separated by the layers of fat. Thus it is important to have really cold fat that won't melt when you handle it and why for me, I opt to use a fat that is in a solid form.
Experience tells me that this cannot possibly be a flaky pie dough.

That's ok. Flaky dough is better suited for the top of a pie anyway so I'm crossing my fingers that this will come out as a decent mealy pie dough. Better suited for custard filled pies because it won't absorb much liquid.

So that's the theory lesson on pie dough.

Let's get started.
I made a Cranberry Custard Pie and a Vanilla-Bourbon Pumpkin Pie.

Substitute any fat but keep your proportions the same
Here's your recipe :
Easy Pie Dough

1.5c flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
1/2c oil
3.5 TBS milk

Mix ingredients in pie plate (fork & fingers).Pat and press out into the pie plate. If no filling is added , prick crust with fork.
Bake 375, 15 minutes
Work fat into flour , try not to over handle it !

Press down into pan
Vent it by pricking it with a fork

Cranberry Custard Pie ingredients
Want to make the Cranberry Custard Pie ?

Pulse in blender or chop up 12 ounces of cranberries and add 3/4c sugar and lemon zest.
Spread mixture into cooled crust - I used the coconut oil crust for this one.

Whisk together 2 eggs, 2/3c heavy cream, 1/4c sugar and pour over top.

Bake until set, about 45 minutes.

Pour in the custard !
Here are the Results 

Not thrilled with the filling itself but of the two pie crusts this one had a more pleasant flavour. A mealy dough which tasted more like shortbread than pastry. Non offensive but missed the mark.

This cranberry custard was delicious and the only reason I just kept on eating. The texture was inconsistent and it didn't even hold it's shape. It had a terrible mouth feel as a result and I wouldn't recommend using coconut oil with this recipe if you decide to use it for convenience.

Overall , I did not like the recipe. If I were going to simplify my life with a one dish , press in , easy crust, I would go with a graham crust.

Let me know if you have better luck !

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