Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Homemade Vanilla Shortbread Wedges

2015-01-04 09.27.11

I love my Homemade Vanilla Shortbread Wedges #shortbread. When I saw this recipe, I made a few small changes adopting it as my own. With a few small changes, this type of cookie has to be my favorite. Let me start at the beginning.

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Pure Vanilla Extract (2)

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: Stand Mixer or a hand-held electric mixer, 1 non-stick tart pan with a removable bottom, rimmed baking sheet pan, off-set spatula, mesh sieve with a handle, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) of  butter, unsalted, plus extra butter to grease tart pan
1 cup of vanilla-flavored granulated sugar (reserve a 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top), substitute granulated sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
garnish with a sprig of fresh mint

Directions:
Note: Reserve the butter wrappers.

In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, place room temperature softened butter, vanilla, and granulated sugar. Cream the butter, for a couple of minutes, until all the ingredients are combined.

Next, sift the all-purpose flour and Kosher salt into a bowl. Slowly add the sifted flour to the creamed butter, a little at a time, until all the flour has been added.

The dough is sticky and that’s what you want. Use a removable bottom tart pan. Before I add the shortbread batter to the pan, I use the excess butter that’s on the wrappers to grease the tart pan.

Once it’s combined, transfer the shortbread dough to a buttered tart pan. Using an off-set spatula, spread the dough out using an offset spatula.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, smooth out the dough all over the top and around the sides. Refrigerate the dough for a 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

After 30 minutes, remove the plastic wrap. Using a fork, crimp all around the outside edges of the shortbread. Next, sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of the dough.  I’m using vanilla sugar for the top.

Place the tart pan on top of a rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.

I like my #shortbreadcookies to be on the soft side, so between 20 to 25 minutes is perfect for me. If you prefer a crunchier shortbread, bake for the whole 25 minutes.

When the shortbread cookie is finished baking allow to cool completely. Then remove the bottom of the tart pan and slice into 8 equal slices.

Tip: Once you used the caviar (seeds) from a vanilla pod, don’t throw the pod away. To make vanilla sugar, place a seeded vanilla pod right into your sugar container. Your granulated sugar will be forever be perfumed with vanilla flavor.

Serve the Homemade Vanilla Shortbread Wedges with a sprig of fresh mint and a cold glass of milk.

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Farmer Cheese Pie

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I know it’s been a few days since I’ve found myself behind this keyboard, but for good reason. I’ve been testing out this recipe. Not for just the filling but for how it would work with the pie dough I made earlier. I love cheesecake, but I wanted to work on a recipe for a Farmer Cheese Pie, like the one I saw on Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop in New York.

The reason it took me so long to test this recipe is I wasn’t able to find Farmer cheese at any of my local grocery stores. Well, I was in the dairy aisle looking to buy some butter and there it was Farmer cheese, staring me right in the face. Don’t ask me why it’s not with all the other cheeses.

They come packaged in 7.5-ounce bars, so I bought two. I also bought a store-bought ready-made pie crust shell from the freezer section.

You know, I’m a big believer in making your own pie crust, but this dish is really about the filling, I want to share both ways today, one with a store-bought ready-made pie crust and one using my Homemade Pie Crust.

The recipe I’m about to share with you will make enough filling for two pie shells. Believe me when I tell you that you’ll want to have extra pie. Make sure to let the frozen pie shell to sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before *blind baking the pie crust. For my Homemade Pie Crust recipe, click the link at the bottom of this post.

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Above is my Homemade Pie Crust. Below is the store-bought pie crust.

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Homemade Pie Crust

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Floured Board

My Farmer Cheese Pie yields enough filling for two pies. If you’re using a Homemade Pie Crust then you’ll use both halves.

I’m cutting my dough in half here because I want to show both the store-bought ready-made pie crust and Homemade Pie Crust for Famer Cheese Pie. I’m wrapping the remaining half of pie dough tightly in plastic wrap then into a large zip-lock baggie and transferring it to the freezer for another time.

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Homemade Pie Crust

Dried Beans For Pie Weights.jpg

I keep my pie weights (dried beans) in a jar on a shelf in my kitchen. I can use them over and over again by letting them cool completely before placing them back into the jar for the next time.

Next, take the dough that’s hanging over the edge of the pie pan and fold it under all the way around, and using your fingers crimp the edges.  You won’t need to do this with the store-bought one because it’s already done for you.

At this point, you want to dock with a fork all over the bottom of the pie crust. Do the same with the thawed store-bought ready-made crust as well.

Place both pie shells back into the frig to rest for 1 hour. Doing this will prevent the sides of the pie dough from shrinking down and let it maintain its shape. While this is happening, work on the filling.

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eggs

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The picture below is what’s known as a silicone pie crust cover. It will prevent your crust from burning before the pie is done. You can also use substitute aluminum foil.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Yields: 2 pies
Equipment: Electric mixer, 1 glass pie pan, rolling pin, parchment paper, silicone cover and or aluminum foil, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients:
1 homemade pie crust, rolled out to a circle, 10-inches in diameter, 1/8-inch in thickness
1 Marie Callender’s Pastry Pie Shell, store-bought ready-made frozen pie crust shell, pan included
2 (7.5-ounce) bars of Farmer cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
all-purpose flour

Directions For Homemade Pie Crust:
Click on the link at the bottom of this page

Note: Transfer the store-bought ready-made pie shell to the refrigerator the day before you plan to blind bake the pie crust.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Homemade Pie Crust Dough:
Dust your board with flour. Start rolling out the dough and keeping turning the dough a quarter turn each time you roll. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/8-inch in thickness and 10-inches in diameter. Next, take the dough that’s hanging off the edge of the pan and fold it under all the way around. Using your fingers, crimp the edges.

At this point, you need to *dock (prick) with a fork all over the bottom of both the homemade and store-bought pie shells. Place both pie shells back into the frig for 1 hour to rest.

Directions For Partial Blind Baking:
After allowing the pies shells to rest n the refrigerator for 1 hour, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pie crust, making sure to make the parchment flush with the crust. Add dried beans (or pie weights) to both pie shells. Push the beans towards the edges of both pies. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crimped edges are set but not browned.

Remove the pie shells from the oven. Next, carefully remove the parchment paper with the dried beans.

Note: DO NOT remove the silicone cover and or aluminum foil covering the edges while the pies are cooling.

Reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

Directions For the Filling:
Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the farmer cheese and powdered sugar together. Add the 5 eggs, one at a time, until they’re all combined. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest, and heavy cream.
Evenly distribute the pie filling into each pie.

Place the pie/s, on a rimmed baking sheet, on the center rack and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes.

After the pie comes out of the oven, remove the silicone cover, and let cool for 30 minutes on a cooling rack. Dust the pies with some powdered sugar. My Farmer Cheese Pie is delicious at room temperature or chilled. You do want to refrigerate the pies to store them.

Times may vary depending on whether you’re baking in a glass or some type of metal pan. These vessels can affect the outcome of the pie.

*Dock: Pricking holes in the rolled-out pie dough allow the steam to escape while it’s baking. Without this, the steam would puff up in bubbles and pockets throughout the crust.

*Partial Blind Baking: Sometimes called pre-baking, is the process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without the filling.

*Fully Blind Baking:
First, follow the steps above, in the sections marked, directions for partial blind baking.
Next, cover the crimped edges, of the pie, with either a silicone cover or aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottom crust is browned and cooked through. Fully Blind baking a pie crust is necessary when it will be filled with an unbaked filling (such as pudding or cream pies in which case the crust must be fully baked. Cool before filling.

Note: For best results, use the frozen pie dough or frozen pie crusts within 3 months. You can also refrigerate unbaked pie dough or unbaked pie crust for up to 3 days. Keep tightly covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Homemade Pie Crust

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Homemade Pie Crust

2014-09-04-10-17-09

Homemade Pie Crust

I thought I would share my Homemade Pie Crust recipe with you. I find when I’m talking to people about making pies, they all say they would rather buy the store-bought pie crust than to make it. Now, there are some perfectly good ready-made pie crusts out there, but there is nothing better than making your own.

Listen, it’s not hard to make your own pie crust, and the best thing is, you can do it in advance. You can freeze them too!

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All-Purpose Flour

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Floured Board

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Homemade Pie Crust (3)

Homemade Pie Crust (1)

Homemade Pie Crust (2)

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These are my pie weights I use for *Baking Baking a pie crust. I keep my pie weights (dried beans) in a jar on a shelf in my kitchen. I can use them over and over again by letting them cool completely before placing them back into the jar for the next time.

First step is to *dock the crust with a fork.

Homemade Pie Crust (3)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 2 (10-inch) pie crusts
Equipment: 1 (10-cup) food processor, rolling pin

Ingredients:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of butter, cubed and cold
1/3 of a cup of vegetable shortening, cubed and cold
3 tablespoons of granulated
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt.
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, chilled
4 to 6 tablespoons of ice water

Directions:
Into the food processor add the flour, salt, and sugar and just pulse until all the ingredients are mixed through, a couple of times will do it.

Next, add in the diced shortening and butter. You want to pulse this until the flour looks like bits of pea-size butter and shortening pieces are running all through the flour. Pulse about 8 to 10 times.

After the flour looks like the picture above,  place the lid back on, and with the machine running, through the feed tube at the top, add the apple cider vinegar first, then pour the ice water in slowly. Your only going to add enough water just until the dough comes together. Sometimes it will take anywhere between 4 to 6 tablespoons of the ice water.

Dump the dough out onto your floured board. Be careful to remove the blade first.

With your hands, form the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk-like above and that’s it. Now just wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and place it into the frig for at least 1/2 an hour.

Once you’ve done this one time, you’ll see how easy making your own pie crust is, and better than that is, how good it tastes.

After you’ve made your dough, you want to wrap it well in plastic wrap. Then let it rest in the frig for 1/2 an hour before placing the dough into a resealable bag. Make sure you let all the air out for longer shelf life.

Note: I like to date any dough I’ve frozen so if I have more than one I know they’ll be rotated  When your ready to use your dough, transfer to the frig the night before so it will be ready for you to use.

Roll out dough on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, apply even pressure and gently roll it from the center out, turning the dough about a quarter turn after a few rolls. Remember to flour your surface and the top of the dough as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.

You’ll want to roll your dough out to about 12 inches in diameter. Use a ruler to make sure. Roll the dough up around the rolling pin, then move the pin over to the pie plate, and unroll.  This is the perfect size for a 9-inch pie plate, so you have a little overhang and have enough dough to flute the edges. Cut off the excess, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. then just fold the overhang under so that there is enough to flute the edges.

Bake Pie Crust:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Note:  Make sure to chill the pie shell before baking. This ensures the edges will not shrink.
Whether you’re fully baking or partially baking the pie crust it comes down to the length of oven time. That’s the difference between a partially blind-baked pie crust or a fully blind-baked pie crust. 

Snugly cover the edges of the dough using a silicone cover or with foil. Line the bottom with parchment paper and fill the pie with dried beans. Make sure the pie weights are evenly distributed. Bake with pie weights for 20 minutes, or until a crimped edge is set but not browned. Remove from the oven. Liftoff the parchment paper with dried beans, keeping the cover on around the crimped edges.

*Dock with a fork around the bottom of the pie crust to prevent bubbling and return to the oven. To complete the *blind baking process (partially baked pie crust), return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry.

For a fully blind-baked pie crust, return to oven and allow to bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until bottom crust is golden brown and cooked through.

*Dock: Pricking holes in the rolled-out pie dough allows the steam to escape while it’s baking. Without this, the steam would puff up in bubbles and pockets throughout the crust.

*Blind Baking: Sometimes called pre-baking, is the process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without the filling. Blind baking a pie crust is necessary when it will be filled with an unbaked filling (such as pudding or cream pies) in which case the crust must be fully baked.

Note: For best results, use the frozen pie dough or frozen pie crusts within 3 months. You can also refrigerate unbaked pie dough or unbaked pie crust for up to 3 days. Keep tightly covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

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