I really like making pie. Mainly because they are easy when compared to the accolades you will receive Honestly people think if you made a pie that you spent hours in the kitchen slaving away. Also baking pies makes me feel all homey and housewifey. But pie making in general is easy. The hardest part is the pie crust, or I should say making a good pie crust.
The first thing to making a good pie crust that is flaky and tender is having a good recipe. My favourite comes from a 60 year old cook book called Farm Journals Pie book. It is last word on pies. Pie crusts are pretty simple. Just fat, flour, salt, and water. .
But my number one tip for making pie crusts is rolling the dough out between two layers of Saran wrap. Not only does it not stick, but you don't need to add more flour to keep it from sticking which will make your crust tough.
I made two pies this time. Both are pies I've never had so it was an adventure. The first was a plum pie made with my home canned plums. The other was shoofly pie. Both turned out good, but I think I over baked the shoofly a bit. The plum was a success so I know what I can use those dozens of quarts of plums I canned for. Below is the recipe from my farm journal cookbook.
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 1/2 Tablespoons ice water
10 inch 2 crust pie
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
6 tablespoons ice water
For all pie crusts: Whisk together the flour and salt, cut in the shortening until small pea size pieces. Add ice water a spoonful or so at a time, how much water will vary with the weather. Just enough to make the dough stay together.
Roll out between two layers of Saran wrap, one underneath and one on top working from the middle out until desired size.
All ingredients except water
cutting it in with my trusty pastry cutter
the dough between the two saran wrap
my little helper who was rolling his own pie dough. I couldn't get him to do a normal smile!
I put the pie plate on top to make sure the dough is big enough, by the way the best pie plates are glass or stoneware
The pie dough. I just remove the top layer of plastic and then pick up the bottom layer of plastic with the rolled dough on top and then carefully flip over and lay over the pie plate. Then there is no breaking of the dough.
the plums I canned, it took three jars
draining the plums
the plum mixture
crumb spice topping
the finished pies
below is the kind of pie plates I use, just plain ol pyrex, but they are awesome This one displayed is much prettier than mine though.
I also like stoneware and have one that is similar to this one below.