Monday, November 21, 2011


I’m baking pies for Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter’s house. Another opportunity to use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. This machine does big loads, so I tripled the recipe, using the ingredients and amounts listed in the Kitchen Aid book. The ingredients are what I’ve always used in pie crusts: flour, salt, shortening, butter and water. Sometimes I’ve used only shortening; other times only butter.

What I’m blogging about today is just the preparation of the pie pastry. Rolling out the pastry and assembling the pies will come later... maybe. Depends on how busy I get, and on what the crusts look like when I start rolling them out. Maybe I’ll take photos even if the pastry looks terrible after being rolled out. The nice thing about pie crusts is that most it is hidden and if not, can be easily patched and prettied.

Pie pastry, ingredients for two crusts...
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, well chilled
2 tablespoons butter, well chilled
5-6 tablespoons ice water

Pie pastry, ingredients for six crusts...
6-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups shortening, well chilled
6 tablespoons butter, well chilled
15-18 tablespoons ice water

1. Measure flour and salt into large mixing bowl; whisk together. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Measure shortening; cover and refrigerate.
3. Measure butter; cut in small pieces and refrigerate.
4. Measure ice water and refrigerate.
5. Check refrigerated shortening after several hours (or let sit in refrigerator overnight). When hard enough, cut into small pieces. Place back in frig for at least one more hour.
6. Add cut-up shortening and butter to flour/salt mix. Combine quickly till shortening is size of small peas.
7. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until pastry is moistened and dough begins to hold together.
8. Using your hands, quickly shape the dough so that it can be cut into equal amounts.

9. Pat each piece into a flat disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil. (Keep pastry covered with a damp paper towel, taking out enough for one disc at a time.)

10. If using the same day, or the next, refrigerate. At this time, too, the packages can be placed in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

Notice the references to “chill” and “refrigerate” throughout this piece? That’s because it’s important to keep the ingredients cold, before and after assembling them. That’s also why you have to work quickly.

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and it worked so much better for the larger quantity of ingredients. Optional methods of mixing are to use a pastry blender or a couple of knives (works well with smaller amounts of pastry dough).

Six pastry discs are ready and chilling in my freezer. Three or four will go into this week’s baking and the rest will await my pleasure. Maybe Christmas pies?


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Visit my other blog ~ Corning NY Step by Step, a pictorial view of the City of Corning NY.

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