Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Slice of the Pie

Pie hot from the oven and soup ready to ladle into bowls.

The other day I spent pretty much all day in the kitchen. I was making Butternut Squash Chowder and my Raspberry Cherry Pie. Since I believe in having dessert first, that's the recipe I'm giving.

My pie crust is a variation on Alton Brown's recipe but I had to be honest with myself...Lard? I was not going to go to the store to buy a pound of lard for all of 4 tablespoons of the stuff no matter how magical it may make my crust. sooo, I substituted.

Using a food processor made the whole process as easy as, well... pie. The recipe makes only one crust though. For Thanksgiving I doubled the recipe for a two crust pie and decided that since the process was so quick it is just as easy to do it twice and not worry about divvying up the dough equally (it's hard to judge when it's all crumbly)

Easy as Pie Crust (makes 1 crust)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter cut into small pieces and frozen
1 cup flour plus more for rolling the dough
1 teaspoon salt if using un-salted butter or 1/2 teaspoon if using salted
Ice water

Pi Filling
2 cans lite cherry pie filling
1 can raspberry pie filling

Now Alton said to put the ice water in a spray bottle and spritz the flour mixture until it forms a dough. Um...yeah, not so much. I live in a desert and I'd be spritzing all day trying to get my ingredients to the proper consistency. So I improvised, and instead I used a drizzle bottle, I'm not sure the actual name for them but they're the kind usually used for oil. I put water in instead and put it in the freezer with the butter until it was almost frozen. Pie crusts love the cold!!

So just like Alton, the flour and salt went in my food processor and pulsed a few times to mix. from there I removed the lid to add the frozen butter, replaced the lid and pulsed until the mixture resembled medium course crumbs. Then I took the ice water and still using the pulse option slowly added water until the mixture resembled really course wet crumbs and formed a ball when squeezed. This got poured onto plastic wrap and formed into a disk and put in the fridge for about half an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

After the dough had chilled I took one disk out, rolled it out and lined my pie pan with it,trimming it flush with the pan edge then put it back in the fridge for another 10 minutes. While it was chilling I opened my pie filling and mixed the two fillings together in a bowl. After the crust was chilled again I took it out and put the filling in, then rolled out the other crust for the top.
I like to use a center hole for my vent so I cut this before putting the crust on the pie. I then lay it over the pie, trim the crust so there's about a 3/8 overhang to turn and flute and then decorate. I have little bitty cutters for my shapes which I stick on using warm water dabbed on the back of the shape.

Almost ready to go in the oven, isn't it pretty?

Put your pie on a cookie sheet in case of drips. I also like to use a foil cuff to keep the pie from getting too brown. to do this I take four strips of foil about 5 inches wide and fold them together to create a continuous strip. This I wrap around the pie, fold on it's self to form a ring and push the top portion of the foil to dome loosely over the crust. it will look like a foil volcano shape.
Bake for 30 minutes then rotate and bake for another 25 minutes. Remove the foil and brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until top is golden brown.

I got a little happy with the sugar there

Friday, December 3, 2010

Join me and a Merry Scotsman for Tea?

I made another Raspberry Cherry pie the other night and decided I wanted a slice with my tea this morning.

It's easy and yummy, the perfect combination. Consider this a teaser. I'll share my recipe tomorrow.

I thought you might also enjoy my merry Scotsman china.
A Scot, a coat of arms and a bouquet of thistles amid the tartan.

The back of the saucer, each piece is also numbered, do you see the black 5 at the top?