Friday, March 28

My Favorite Pie Crust {& Blackberry Pie}

Some days you just need a yummy warm dessert. Pie has been one of my favorites so I thought I'd share my favorite pie crust recipe in case you would like a slice! Granted I'm no pie expert, but I clipped this recipe from a magazine a few years ago and it has been a favorite ever since. This recipe makes three single pie crusts, but I usually divide it in half and roll it a little thinner to get two double crusts. You can wrap the second crust in saran wrap and a ziploc to store it in the fridge for three days, or in the freezer for a month (just thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it).

Before we start, let me tell you that these pictures may not be the best representation. I snapped these after it was half eaten and spent the night in the fridge... which was my only chance because we eat it straight out of the oven and it's gone in a flash. This one lasted two and a half days. Minus two tiny pieces for Big Brother, there were two of us eating it. So it may look like a hot mess, but boy oh boy is it yummy!

In a large bowl combine:

  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat and it turns out too dry with the full amount. If you do, start with 3 cups and add more later, or use the full amount and bump up the liquids.)
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Using a pastry blender cut in 1 3/4 cup cold salted butter leaving chunks the size of peas.

In another bowl combine:
  • 2/3 cup ice cold water
  • 2 Tbs sour cream
  • 1 tsp vinegar
Add the liquid all at once to the flour mixture. Stir quickly to distribute but do not overmix. The dough should be slightly crumbly. Let rest in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight. The finished dough should break, not stretch. Divide the dough into three portions. Shape into disks and lay into pie pans.

I rolled my bottom a little thick and didn't have quite enough for the top. Still yummy!

More Secrets
Here are a few more crust tips from the recipe I clipped:
  • Always used chilled butter. It should feel like clay to the touch. (I think too warm butter keeps the crust from being flakey.)
  • Don't overwork the dough. Stir together then stop. As it rests the dough will come together.
  • Acid helps the dough set up. Vinegar & sour cream does the trick.
  • If your dough is ugly and lumpy with butter knots the size of peas... it's perfect.
  • You want a generous crust, so don't roll it too thin. 1/4" is good.
  • Always butter the pie dish. Sometimes, especially with fruit pies, the juice sneaks under the crust and acts like glue, bonding the crust to the pan.
  • To prevent shrinking do not stretch the dough into the pie plate or over the top of the pie.

So you have your crust. Now it's time to fill it! This is the recipe I use for blackberry pie, but most pies are some variation of this with a base of fruit, sugar, and flour. I usually guestimate something similar when I use other fruits - more sugar for tart, less for things that are sweeter.
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 5 c. blackberries
Combine the filling ingredients and pour into pie pan. Top with the second crust if you are using one. Cover the edges with foil to prevent burning.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking 20-30 minutes more.

Dig in! What's that? You ate the whole thing already? Me too. No sweat. You have a second crust in the freezer!

This is the morning after it was baked. Yep. Half gone.

Big Brother was already in bed when the pie came out of the oven so he talked me into a little piece for breakfast. And said "Take picture of my pie too!" Here you go, buddy:

Bad glare, but oh my goodness I love those little boy fingers.

Any other pie lovers out there? What's your favorite kind of pie? We're big fans of blackberry & cherry over here. I'd love to hear any favorite recipes or pro tips! Happy Friday... it's a good day to make a pie!

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