Sunday, July 11, 2010

Year of Pie - Pie Crusts

Yesterday my husband was in town doing a few jobs and I asked him to pick up a small can of pumpkin and a small box of Jello, instant butterscotch pudding mix.
My husband is a WIZ at such things.
If he can't find it he goes to the manager and has the manager find it. He rarely comes back empty handed. He generally comes back with the right thing. There was that one time when I just innocently asked him to
price some pickling cucumbers. He came back home and said, they didn't have any, but he ordered me a 40 pound box. It would be coming in in a few days. I had mentioned that I wanted to can pickles.
Bless his heart, he is so sweet.
Well, yesterday....he goes to the store and the store manager tells him that pumpkin is a 'seasonal' there apparently was a bad pumpkin harvest last they are hard to get.
I have never NOT been able to buy pumpkin. Anyway, that scratched my idea of a pumpkin chiffon pie for this week. I may be able to come up with something else by days end, but in the mean time I wanted to share some crust information.
There are zillions of different crust recipes. At the beginning of the pie journey I fiddled around with a variety of crusts, but decided to get good at ONE first and then branch out.
The book we will be getting some recipes out of today is this one. Copyright 1954.
In all honesty I should have followed the recipe for Plum Pie from this book. It doesn't call for lemon juice

TWO-CRUST PIE PASTRY: 2 C. A/P (all-purpose) flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 C. water, 3/4 C. shortening.
With this crust you can you can switch it up a bit with these variations.
Cheese Pastry: Add 1/2 C. finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese to the pastry. Do not use a packaged cheese, but a dry, sharp cheese. The cheese should be blended with the flour at the same time as the shortening.
Orange Pastry: Orange pastry is particularly good with either lemon or orange pies. Use orange juice instead of water, and add1 tsp. grated orange rind to the pastry when blending shortening into flour.

SWEET PASTRY-ONE CRUST: 1 ½ C. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, ½ salt, 2 T. sugar, ½ C. shortening, 1 egg yolk, 4 T. ice water. Sift dry ingredients together. Add shortening and cut in with pastry blender. Add egg yolk to ice water and beat with a fork. Then add to dry ingredients. Knead lightly. Chill in fridge before rolling.

PEANUT BUTTER PASTRY - ONE CRUST: 1½ C. flour, 1/4 tsp.salt, 1/2 C. shortening, 2 T. peanut butter, 3½ T. water.
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Cut shortening and peanut butter into flour, leaving pieces of shortening the size of a pea. Sprinkle water over flour, blending ingredients together with a fork. Work dough only enough to gather together into a smooth dough. Especially good with banana cream pie or custard pie.

I haven't ran across many current recipes that call for sifting your dry ingredients. Maybe they mill it differently now and it doesn't need it. It is your call.


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