This last Friday was the day before Nebraska’s first football game of the season. This meaning… nearly every company in Lincoln freed up their dress codes for a red assemble, and every breakroom was filled with potluck dishes celebrating the new Big 10 Kickoff Weekend!
My thoughts for Friday were mini empanadas, english muffin pizzas, or PIE. 8pm Thursday night- catching on some extra couching hoping to be rested up enough to walk the town for the game Saturday (which didn’t happen: pent up all 3-day weekend due to my tibia feeling like it would fall clean off) and then jolted up realizing my fridge was completely empty, I was tired, grumpy, and cooking something was the last thing on my to-do list. I nearly caved and purchased “premade” goods at the store….but knowing I’d never live it down at work so I chose the least time consuming option of my three. Pie. They are pretty awesome…they’re also really easy.
I can’t say I went 100% here because I didn’t make my own filling due to the time crunch. I know….what a jerk. BUT I’ll do it up right next time, not only with my own preserved fruit…but fresh fruit from my parents farm. So hopefully that will make up for my short comings the next time.
I find it ridiculous that people buy premade pie crusts. It’s a little precision and technique, but it’s super easy and it’s not any more expensive to make your own. (A lot of time making your own dough, crusts, filling can be more expensive if you’re making ___ in small quantities and it’s just cheaper to buy premade ones at the store). A top and bottom crust is 3 cups of flour, and 2 sticks of butter…and a dab of ice water. That’s it!
So after picking up pie filling from the store…not being able to choose from apple or cherry… had to get them both: not the worst thing in the world right?I headed to the kitchen to dice up butter and cut it into the flour. Kind of an interesting process really, makes me wonder who fine combined baking techniques? Why pea size. Who exactly figured that out? Awesome. You’re suppose to dice butter and then cut it with a pastry cutter, work it with your hands, or kind of chop it with a whisk (they all work). Once the pieces of butter are pea size you add ice water until it all comes together. Divide the dough into two disks, plastic wrap em’ and pop them in the fridge for at le
ast 20 minutes and up to a day.
Once the dough has had time to set and cool, just roll it out to about 1/4” thick and so that it leaves several inches over the sides of your chosen pie dish. The one I happened to be using was pretty big which is why I had two cans of filling. Lay out the dough over the pie dish and gently press it up against the sides. The last time I did a pie I ripped the crust a bit…after working with fondant all week apparently I’ve enlisted a more delicate touch. After the crust is snug to the dish I cut off some of the extras hanging off the sides up to about an inch. Then you tuck the extra and fold it under all around the edge of the dish giving you a nice rim. Here is where you find out how good you are at even-rolling… I had one thinner spot on mine… which was personally irritating, but guess I ‘ll just suck it up this time and take more time doing an even 1/4” roll next time.
Filling: I also added some sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt to the filling until is taste right. Pies are usually sweet or tart. I don’t add much sugar (usually more sugar and cornstarch is for fresh or fr
ozen fruit to thicken up the sauce) because I’m not a sugary pie person- I’d much rather it be a little tart!
Crust in and formed, filling mixed and poured. DONE. Take out the second disk from the fridge and roll that one out…I like it to be a little thinner than the crust just so the pie isn’t 3/4 crust: having a good proportion of crust/top to filling is a key to a non-soggy or too crusty pie! Roll out some strips and weave them across the top. (Lattice) Some people pre-weave and just set it on top…but that requires another set of hands… so I like to place a vertical layer on, and then fold the strips back and weave them carefully not ripping the individual strips.
When you bake it (4oo degrees) it can be between 50min to 1.5 hours. You really just have to watch it…every oven is different obviously. It’s recommended that you cover the pie with tin foil if the rim of the crust is starting to brown too quickly compared to the rest of the pie to allow for more even baking.
Then…..YUM it up….cause pies are pretty much fantastic. Yay Pie…yay pie. Pie is never bad.