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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 themselves. 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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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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English Meat Pie

English Meat Pie

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I thought I’d go back to my childhood with a recipe of a mother’s love. Mom’s English Meat Pie was the one I remember having on many of our early Sunday dinners. After church, my sister, my mom, and I would go shopping. I remember my mom making the dough for the meat pie and us girls helping.

I wanted to recreate and update it a bit, you know, but put my own spin on a traditional English recipe.  I went to Publix, saw my butcher, and picked out a 3-pound piece of London broil.

If there’s one thing I’m sure of it’s that traditional English recipes do not add vegetables to their filling. For example; English peas can be served on the side, never in the pie.

What’s new is I’m adding cremini mushrooms to the filling. I think it’s going to give an earthy element to the dish. I’m also going to be adding a full-bodied red wine, a Cabernet, for that extra depth of flavor.

I’m going to be using store-bought pie crusts for this recipe today but I’ve posted a link at the bottom for my Homemade Pie Crust. Let’s get started.

Dutch Oven

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Homemade Pie Crust (3)

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 16 slices, 8 slices per pie
Equipment: 2 (10-inch) glass pie dishes, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, dried beans, aluminum foil, pairing knife

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (3-pound) London broil
1 large onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Cabernet
1-pint of Cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock, unsalted
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Homemade Pie Crust, 2 circles (12-inches in diameter, 1/4 inch thick) circles, link below
*Egg wash, 2 eggs plus 1 tablespoon water, beaten

Note: If you’re planning to make Homemade Pie Crust, the dough should be made the day before. Click on the link below for my recipe, Homemade Pie Crust.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a preheated a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season both sides of the meat with 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper. Place the meat into the pot searing the first side for around 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the meat over and do the same to the other side. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Set aside.

Continue over medium-high heat, in the same pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, diced onions, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook the onions until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes before adding the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute more. Next, add the Cabernet wine to deglaze the pot by scraping the bits off the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to reduce by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the quartered cremini mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves. Continue cooking until the mushrooms release all of their water and become brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Next, add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, stir and continue cooking, until all the browned mushrooms are coated and the raw flour is cooked out.

In the meantime, cut the London broil into 2-inch pieces. Add the meat back into the pot, along with Worcestershire sauce unsalted beef stock, stir to combine. Bring this back up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes allowing the liquid to thicken, stirring occasionally. Allow the filling to cool completely before filling the pies.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
In the meantime, line 2 glass pie pans with store-bought pie dough. Next, is to *blind bake the crust. Cover the dough circles with a piece of foil that’s bigger than the circle of dough. Fill with dried beans (to be used as pie weights) to weigh down the dough, bake for 12 minutes, or until you start to see the edges become golden brown. Remove from the oven, grab the corners of the foil and remove the beans.

*Dock the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Return the crust to the oven for 5 more minutes to allow the bottom of the pie crust to fully bake.

Using a slotted spoon, divide and evenly spoon the cooled meat filling into both pie shells. Spoon 1 ladle full of the gravy over the meat in each one of the pies. Next, place the other piece of store-bought dough over the top of each pie. Crimp the edges of the pie. Using a small paring knife, vent the top. Brush both the pies with *egg wash. Place the pies onto sheet pans. and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove the pies from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before cutting. There you have it, my English Meat Pie.

*Blind Bake: The process where the bottom crust is baked before adding the filling.
*Dock is to prick a pie crust with a fork before baking. This technique is a simple way to poke holes in the pastry dough. This allows steam to escape so that the pie crust doesn’t puff up in the oven.
*Egg Wash: A mixture of beaten eggs and milk or water brushed over pastry or dough before baking in order to give an attractive color and shine to the surface.

Homemade Pie Crust

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