By: Jessica Robinson
One of the easiest things to make is pie crust. However, it’s also difficult for many home cooks. Most people find it overwhelming and difficult so they resort to buying store bought crust. Homemade crust is So easy to make and so much better tasting. Just keep in mind, pie crust doesn’t like to be over-worked. Water should be ice cold and I find it helpful to mix by hand with a pastry blender vs. using a food processor. You do not want to over-work the pie crust, it will make it tough and chewy if you do. Plus, it won’t flake perfectly.
I have two young sons, so I’m all about being efficient and saving time. I try and make pies ahead of time. I usually make between eight to ten pies at a time. I work with an assembly line. Line all of my pie plates up, line the bottoms with a pie shell and then add fruit, sugar and such. Then, I add the pie crust tops, roll the edges under and crimp with my finders to make them pretty and seal up while they bake. I will usually bake one or two pies and FREEZE the rest. Wrap up the unbaked pie well with plastic wrap and place in your freezer. This makes dessert really easy when you have a small dinner party or unexpected guests. One thing you always have on hand is dessert when you have a father who’s French Canadian.
IMPORTANT TIP: When you bake the frozen pie, DO NOT preheat the oven!!! You will shatter your pie plate. Place the frozen pie on a 1/2 sheet pan which you’ve lined with parchment paper. (this helps for an easy clean up) Brush the pie with either an egg wash or whole milk and sprinkle with a little raw sugar. Bake at approximately 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees until the pie is done.
Another thing we do with any leftover pie crust is make pie cookies. We roll out the dough in a rectangle shape, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a good helping of cinnamon sugar. Roll up tightly and slice into 1″ thick pieces. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown.