I’ve got the Thanksgiving fall bug bite! It has been pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin at my home since last month! I mean this US tradition is really contagious or maybe because of my numerous travels to the USA I have been infected with this culture way below the equator in my sunshiny island. My husband might argue with that and say it’s my addiction to look at food network or any US cooking show. The fact is that it’s pumpkin season in the US with Thanksgiving swiftly approaching! I thought why don’t I try a pumpkin pie recipe to have a little fall flavors down under too….
Everybody needs a great pie crust recipe! This one is a flavorful pie crust that only has all butter that makes it great for savory or sweet fillings! I posted another pie crust in another blog post that consists of lard and butter which is equally great as any pie base! This one is really simple and very hard to mess up. This is so versatile that you can use it for any dessert or meal such a as my pumpkin pie, or spinach and mushroom quiche or even your favorite pot pie! It is easy to make and can be stored in plastic wrap or a zip lock bag in the freezer until you are ready to use it. Try it for your next pie crust!…
Baked chicken is such a versatile dish that I can’t get enough of it! I love chicken baked in the oven, but of late, I have been really bored with the regular types of baked chicken. I have done jerked, barbecue, roast, you name it! My oven is great! In a bid to also eat a bit healthier and not be bored I went to work in the kitchen! Sometimes this can be daunting when you run out of ideas and all you can think about is KFC fried chicken! But of course I resisted that idea and let my creativity run wild in the kitchen, mind you, all pressed for time in between work and running to an evening class!
I thought I wanted something with a crust that was also spicy! …
Pie crust is usually intimidating to make on your own at first. The most important thing is to overcome this fear by making it! It is so simple, once you start making it, you would never go back to buying when you realize how easy it is to make! There is nothing like homemade! A few points to note when making pie crust is that the margarine and shortening need to be straight out the refrigerator and the water needs to be iced cold. This is so that the shortening and butter are kept cold by the water and do not melt into the flour but form little pockets that melt in between the layers and puff up during the baking process to make the crust flaky. Using the prongs of the fork is also important to make air escape so that it releases and not make the entire crust swell as this will happen. The colder the crust the better it will bake up. Over-kneading is also a no no in making your own pie crust as the heat from your hands will contribute to the quick thawing of the margarine and shortening and we do not want this. Once the steps in the recipe are followed with these points in mind you should have a fabulous savory pie crust ready for any filling! Enjoy!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yields: One 9″ Pastry crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold shortening cubed
1/4 cup cold margarine cubed plus 1/2 tbsp melted
1/2 cup cold water
Combine the flour, salt, shortening and margarine. Use either a pastry cutter or a food processor to incorporate the shortening and butter into the flour as quickly as possible. It should look like bread crumbs. Slowly add water to mixture and mix. Knead and form dough into a ball. Do not over-knead. Slightly flatten, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 15 minutes or more once time permits. The pie crust can stay in the freezer overnight or longer. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out slightly flattened dough to approximately 14″ in diameter or as thin as not to burst when lifting. Place rolled out dough into pie dish or tart pan. Fit properly to bottom ends of the dish and then trim excess dough to the top of dish using a kitchen shears or by running a knife on the edge of the dish. Using a fork, gently score pie crust with the prongs. Brush scored pie crust with melted butter and bake for 10 minutes. It is now a pre-baked pie crust ready for any savory filling.
Note: It is optional before baking that the prepared pie crust can be refrigerated in the freezer for 15-30 minutes again.