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HOLIDAY PIE BAKING

You say you don't have time to bake a home made pie? Well, this is one way to ease up on yourself and try and fit in baking holiday pies in-between cooking, shopping, and working too!

Home made pies are so much better tasting than the tasteless "cardboard" pies sold in most supermarkets I can only guess that they use low quality ingredients to make those awful tasting pies!

To save you some work, there are ready-made pie crusts from Pillsbury. Two 9" pie crusts come in a red-colored cardboard box and if you’ve never seen them, they are found in the refrigerated dairy case in your supermarket usually where the butter and refrigerated cookie dough products are found.  I find these refrigerated pie crusts are far superior in taste to the frozen pie crust shells that come in foil tins.  See Pillsbury products at www.pillsbury.com  These pie crusts come rolled and not folded so there are no creases in your pie crust.

My Favorite Home-Made Pie Crust 

Of course, I still do prefer a homemade pie crust - below is a recipe that I use not only for traditionally shaped pies, but I also use this dough for individual 3" or 4" tart pans, and even the rustic looking pie where you roll out the crust to a 10-inch round and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper - then place your apple filling in the center, and fold up the sides of the pie dough.   Dot with unsalted butter and bake as you would for any fruit pie.

4 ½ cups

sifted King Arthur All-Purpose Flour OR King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour

2 teaspoons

salt

2 teaspoons

sugar

3 sticks

unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces

½ cup

ice water

2 teaspoons

red wine vinegar 

Mix flour, salt sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for 1 minute. Add butter and mix just until you have a crumbly, sandy looking mixture. You should still be able to see pieces of butter. 

Mix the water and vinegar together. With the mixer running at medium speed, drizzle in the water/vinegar mixture just until a dough forms. Butter pieces should still be visible. 

Turn out to a work surface, divide the dough in half and shape into round flat disks. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using. (Can also be refrigerated up to 48 hours or freeze up to one month. If refrigerated more than 2 hours, let dough stand at room temp for 30 minutes before rolling out. If frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out.) 

Yield:  2 nine inch crusts (recipe can be halved)

Adapted from:  Butter Sugar Flour Eggs,  by Gale Gand, ©1999. 
Click here for my review of this book.

Now, all you have to do is get the filling made and you’re on your way to enjoying a home made pie.

Here are some recipes for various fillings that should take you through the holidays and beyond. These pie fillings were adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library - "Pies and Tarts".

Apple/Pear Pie

1 package   Pillsbury Ready Made Pie Crusts
3   large, firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced
3   large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons   fresh lemon juice
½ cup   firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons   all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon   ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon   salt
3 tablespoons   dry or sweet sherry
2 tablespoons   unsalted butter
1 tablespoon   heavy cream
1 tablespoon   raw or granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Line a 9-inch pie pan with one crust. Reserve the other crust for the top.

3. Combine pear and apple slices in a large bowl. Add lemon juice and toss to coat the slices.

4. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to the fruit and toss to combine. Add the sherry and toss until completely mixed.

5. Pile the fruit into the pie pan and dot with bits of the butter. Cover with the top crust and trim and flute the edges. (A simple way to flute is to press the tines of a fork around the edge of the pie. Trim off any loose bits of pie dough.

6. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape while baking. Brush the tip crust the cream and sprinkle with the sugar.

7. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 30 - 35 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the fruit is easily pierced with a knife inserted through one of the slits in the top crust.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

1 package   Pillsbury Ready Made Pie Crusts
1½ cups   pumpkin purée
½ cup   toasted pecan halves
4   eggs
¾ cup   sugar
¼ cup   rum
1 teaspoon   ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon   ground ginger
½ teaspoon   ground cloves
1½ cups   heavy cream

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Line a 9-inch pie pan with one crust. Cut circles out of the second pie crust and line two or three small tart pans (3-inch diameter or smaller) with the remaining crust.

3. Combine the pumpkin purée and pecans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and well blended. Scrape the pumpkin mixture into a bowl. Beat in the eggs, then add the sugar, rum, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and blend well. Add the cream and stir until completely mixed.

4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pastry-lined pie pan. There should be enough filling to fill the tart pans as well. If not, freeze the remaining tart-lined pans for another times.

5. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees F and then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and bake about 40 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cranberry Apple Pie

1 package   Pillsbury Ready Made Pie Crusts
1 cup   sugar
2 tablespoons   all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon   salt
2 cups   cranberries
½ cup   raisins
4   tart apples, Pippin or Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
   freshly grated zest of 1 orange
2   tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Line a 9-inch pie pan with one crust. Reserve the other crust for the top.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and salt. Add the cranberries, raisins, apples and orange zest and toss to mix well.

4. Pile the fruit mixture into the pie pan and dot with bits of the butter. Cover with the top crust and trim and flute the edges. Cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape.

5. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake until the crust is browned and the fruit is tender about 40 - 50 minutes longer.

 

 

 

 
 
           
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