Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Easy Piecrust (With Egg and Vinegar)

4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cold egg, beaten
5 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon vinegar

Stir together the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the shortening, cutting it into the flour until the mixture resembles small peas. Combine beaten egg, ice water, and vinegar; add to the flour mixture a bit at a time, tossing the flour lightly to combine. Let stand at least five minutes and then divide dough into six parts (for six 9-inch pie pans.) Or divide into four parts for 2 double-crust larger pies.

Roll out a ball of dough between two sheets of wax paper to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. Lay the pie pan upside down on top of the pie dough. Slide your hand under the wax paper side of the pie dough while holding the pan in place. Flip the pie pan and dough over so the pie pan is underneath. Shape the dough to fit the bottom of the pie pan; then remove the remaining sheet of wax paper. Trim and shape the edge of the crust. For a pre-baked crust, bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Or, fill the unbaked pie shell as your recipe suggests. For the top crust, roll out the dough as previously between two sheets of wax paper. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. Carefully pick up the crust and flip it over so the wax paper side is to the top. Fold it in half gently and position it on the pie so the fold is centered. Then unfold the crust and remove the remaining wax paper. Trim the two crusts and fold and shape together to form the edges. Cut vents or prick all over with a fork. Bake according to your recipe.

Flakiness of the top crust can be enhanced by brushing it lightly with milk before baking. Flakiness of the bottom crust can be improved by brushing it lightly with beaten egg white (to prevent the filling from soaking into it.) The key word here is lightly, especially with the egg white.

Another great Easy Recipe

Love At Home

There is beauty all around
When there's love at home.
There is joy in every sound
When there's love at home.

Roses bloom beneath our feet,
All the earth is a garden sweet,
Making life a bliss complete,
When there's love at home.

-- John Hugh McNaughton (1829-1891)