Pie Crust

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Pie crust is one of the easiest things to make that many people think is not. I like making our crusts for everything from pies to pot pies. I know exactly what is in it and there are no preservatives or chemicals!

Seeing as I have 6 cherry pies to make and freeze I will share my pie crust recipe here:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 TBSP sugar (if making for fruit pies omit for meat potpies)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening (if you buy the vegetable shortening sticks it’s 3/4 of the stick)
4 – 6 tablespoons cold water (I usually only need 4 full TBSP)

Make crust:

In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar and the salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas (crumbs). Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and sticks together when pressed.
Gather dough into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer or you have frozen it, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
With floured rolling pin, roll one round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Place in pie plate and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. You can do the same with the other half for a topped pie or roll and cut it into strips for a lattice crust.

I make 2 batches of crusts and keep them in the freezer as they are perfect to pull out and let soften when you need them.

I also freeze our pies unbaked after assembling them. You heat them just as you would a frozen pie at 375 covering the crust edge after 20 minutes and continue until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbly.

Our family Cherry Pie recipe here:
https://chasenchanceranch.wordpress.com/…/cherry-pitter-be…/

It’s all about the tools

crust covercherry pie sues

When you are baking or cooking, having the right tools makes all the difference in the world.  This little “crust cover” is a GODSEND!!!!  No more messing around with tinfoil so the edge of my crusts don’t burn.  I just lay this baby on after the pie edge has browned and cook the pie the rest of the way without worrying about burnt crust.

It’s pie season with all these fresh fruits coming into season.  I have made cherry pies (recipe here) and blueberry pies (blueberry recipe here) to freeze and last night the man of the house asked the big question, “Can you please cook one of these to eat” when I was putting the pies into the freezer.  How could I say no!!  So we set off today to pick a few more cherries to replace the ones the kids have eaten and the pie we cooked.

picking 78tree3

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Cherry Pitter (BEST EVER) & Pie recipe

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It is Cherry season!!!  This little tool that I found on youtube is the ABSOLUTE best Cherry pitter.  Here is the video on how to make your own HOMEMADE CHERRY PITTER.  If you are a cherry person like I am and make pies, can and freeze cherries, you will thank me for sharing this little tip with you!!  This is easy, practical and leaves the cherry intact only removing the pitt.  YOU’RE WELCOME!!

I don’t like to have long posts so will cover our family cherry pie recipe here and will post another on how to can them for toppings (think ice cream, plain yogurt, greek yogurt, smoothies or just out of the jar for a snack!!)  Now on to what I do with cherries:

PIE…the cherries we pick are usually dark bing cherries.  They are perfectly sweet and work great in pies (you do not need sour cherries for pies!!)

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My two always ask to bring friends when we go picking.  My friend also came along with her older daughter.  We picked 44 lbs of cherries and split them!!  It was about $60 in cherries but figure the savings in just pies alone as one frozen cherry pie is about $8.00 so $64 if you were to buy them. And we will get 8 pies, canned cherries, and frozen cherries for the whole year for less!!

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making filling for pies (with pitter this took about 2 minutes!!)

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1-1/2 lb.  Bing cherries, pitted (4-1/2 cups)
1 cup  sugar (I have cut mine to 3/4 cup if the cherries are super sweet)
1/4 cup  MINUTE Tapioca
1 Tbsp.  lemon juice
Combine all and let sit for 15 minutes
CRUST:    (you do NOT have to make a crust- you can easily use a store bought one but make sure it has 2 crusts in the package)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 – 6 tablespoons cold water

Make crust:

In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and the salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
With floured rolling pin, roll one round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
Place pie dish on a foil lined baking sheet for easy cleanup!!
Fill with cherry mix from above.  Dot with butter around the top of the pie
Roll out second half of crust and using a knife slice it into strips for a lattice crust or lay it on top and cut slits to vent while cooking.  Seal edges
**For lattice crust follow this video.  
If baking, bake for 20 minutes and then cover edges of crust with tinfoil or crust edge cover.  Bake another 25 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbling. 
Let set for at least 3-4 hours before slicing.  Overnight is best.
YOU CAN FREEZE THE WHOLE PIE WHEN IT IS ASSEMBLED UNBAKED.  Be sure to double bag it in freezer bags.  I make 8 pies, cook one and freeze the other 7 for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, July 4th and Valentines Day and 2 for gifts for friends.  Just remove from freezer and bake same as above making sure to cover edge of crust after 20 minutes so it does not burn.