I finally am putting up the pie crust recipe I use for almost all of my pies. It’s the basic flaky crust from Ken Haedrich’s PIE book. It’s such a great base for so many crusts, and I have yet to find fault with it.
You can use half butter, half shortening (which is what I typically use) or you can use all butter (2 sticks/2 cups/226g). You can add any spices and herbs to the flour mixture to change the taste. Add more salt to make it savory, more sugar to make it sweet. Take out a ¼ cup (1oz) flour and add in a ½ cup (4oz) cheese and you get a cheesy crust. There is really so much you can do with this recipe!
I use a pastry blender to make all of my crusts. It’s a little to get the visceral feel for making crust and a lot because this is a low budget show and I currently do not own a food processor or stand mixer or blender.
Basic Flaky Crust by Ken Haedrich
This recipe makes a double crust.
3 cups (375g/13oz) flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1 cup/113g) of butter, straight out of the fridge
½ cup butter flavored shortening (4 Tablespoons/57g), also straight out of the fridge
¾ cup (168ml) ice water
Spoon flour into your measuring cup and level the top when measuring into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt. Mix together.
Cut butter into ¼" slices and dump into bowl with the flour. I use two knives to do this so the heat from my fingers doesn’t melt the butter. Do the same with the shortening. Use a pastry blender to cut the fat into the flour until it becomes small pea sized crumbles.
Pour in ¼ cup (56ml) of the ice water and mix with a fork. Add in the next ¼ cup (56ml) slowly, still mixing with a fork; pulling from the bottom up. Add the last ¼ cup (56ml) of ice water a Tablespoon at a time. As the crust starts to come together, switch to a spoon and start pressing the dough together. Give it a quick pat together, cut in two, and pat into two rounds. Wrap with plastic wrap and put into the fridge for an hour before rolling out.
This is the kind of pie that you dream up when you’ve stayed up way too late at night.
This is the kind of pie you dream ABOUT when you haven’t eaten solid foods in two weeks due to stupid wisdom teeth surgery.
This is the pie dreams are made of.
Bacon Mac N’ 4 Cheese Pie
1 ½ cups italian flavored breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup uncooked macaroni pasta
2 Tbsp butter
5 strips crumbled bacon
½ caramelized sweet onion, rough chopped
1 cup cream
1 cup 2% milk
2 cups of shredded cheese…I blended Kerrygold Aged Cheddar & Aged Cheddar With Irish Whiskey, extra sharp cheddar and Gruyere cheeses
1 tsp thyme
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp flour
½ cup shredded cheese for the topping
Mix together melted butter and breadcrumbs. Press into pie pan. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Take out and set aside to cool. Turn oven up to 375°F
Cook macaroni, strain, stir in butter. Set aside.
Heat milk, cream in a medium sauce pan over a low-medium heat. Stir in cheeses and let them melt. Stir in thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, caramelized onions, bacon crumbles. Pour cheese sauce into macaroni thoroughly. Pour mixture into breadcrumb crust. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese starts to get brown and bubbly. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in (if you can help it).
This post is part of Tidy Mom’s Love the Pie Party. Check out all the fabulous pies that other bloggers have made today to celebrate!!
Anyone who knows me know that I am not one to poo-poo on ready-made products. There are times you want brownies/cookies/cake and instead of rushing around to get all the ingredients, letting the butter soften, measure and mix and stir and pour…it feels easier to pick it up in a box (especially if you’re in a hurry), I get that.
When I first started making pie, I bought all my crusts. I had a freezer full of ready-made Pillsbury. I was scared of making the real thing. I worried I would screw it up and it would be a nightmare. My fears were dissuaded after just a few tries and I encourage others to try making their own crusts too. However, if the only thing standing between you and making pie is the crust? Buy the crust and make the pie!
I’ve been eyeing this box of crust mix for a while now. I’ve been wondering how a flakey crust, usually created with pockets of delicious butter bits could come out of this “non-perishable/just add water" item.
Pouring it into my mixing bowl out of the box, it was already wet and able to clump together just a little. I poured the water in and mixed as it told me to. It had the smell of homemade play doh and about the same consistency. I started getting dubious.
The directions then said it was ready to roll out. Normally I chill my pie dough for an hour before I roll, but I was following directions this time.
Oh the rolling.
Oh my frustration levels.
This pie dough did not roll out well. It tore often, stuck to everything, and felt really tough. My filling went in and I rolled out the top crust. I actually ended up re-rolling both the top and bottom crusts twice to get it to look right.
I brushed the top of the crust with milk out of habit and baked the sucker. It didn’t look too hot once it came out of the oven.
Thankfully it did not taste like homemade play-dough. It tasted okay, though it definitely was not flaky.
My slice of advice? If you’re going to buy pre-made pie crust, go all the way and get yourself the pre-rolled kind. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle & heartbreak.
Disclaimer: I purchased this mix with my own pennies. Betty Crocker did not ask me to do this review as this was done out of pure curiosity of what exactly came in those red boxes.
What does a rainy weekend, 4 bored kids, and a bounty of apples equal? An impromptu pie baking class! I love teaching, especially something as fun as baking, and I love working with kids. When I was asked if “Aunt Sunny” could come over and teach some little peanuts how to make a pie, I jumped at the chance. My pupils were ages 4, 5, and twin 6 year olds. We had a great time and it was fun to see their different tactics on making the perfect pie. There may be some future cooks in this bunch!
Cooking with kids can be fun if you remember these 3 things.
1. KEEP ‘EM OCCUPIED: Everyone has to have something to do. Depending on how old your kids/students/friend’s borrowed children, down time usually needs to be directed. Idle hands can definitely get into trouble and cause you to want to call the whole thing off. Since we didn’t have enough practice knives for everyone to be cutting apples at once, they took turns in teams of two. The younger kids played while the older ones cut and vice versa. When we were making dough, everyone got to pour something into the bowl and get a chance at mixing it.
2. PATIENCE: Cooking with kids will take you more time than cooking by yourself (usually). The 10 seconds it might take you to throw some sauce on pizza dough could become a 5 minute sauce painting masterpiece. Patience is key. While pie dough should be handled little and quickly to keep it cold and tender, I let go of that so the kids could enjoy rolling out their dough and making it just the way they wanted. Cooking and baking is a tactile experience…let them enjoy it!
3. LESS IS MORE: When it comes to kids (and grown-ups), having too many choices can cause endless changing minds and thinking “GOOD GRIEF JUST PICK ONE ALREADY!!!”. Initially I planned only pumpkin and apple as filling choices, but the apple proved to take long enough with this group. I wanted them to be as involved as possible with the making of the pie and not just have fillings I prepped ahead of time for them to pour. Set yourself up for success by keeping things simple.
We ordered some pizza pies and ate dinner while our fruit pies were baking. The kids were so excited to see their finished pies. We cut the top crust with an apple cookie cutter and marked each apple with their first initial.
Even the dog had her head stuck in the kitchen to take big whiffs of freshly baked pie. We were keeping them dog hair free though, and huskies love to add that garnish, so she had to stay in the family room.
All in all, I think there will be more time to “Bake Pies With Aunt Sunny”, it was so much fun!
It’s been a while since I’ve had a dinner pie on this blog; almost the whole summer! I’m sorry! Cold weather seems to lend itself better to meaty pies. Expect more to come now that it’s hibernation season.
I got my wisdom teeth out this week which has been an adventure and a half. I was in such pain, causing me to beg to have them taken out. Now that they ARE out, I am going stir crazy trying to heal from them. I am on day 4 and am so tired of being married to a frozen bag of peas and all the liquid food I can stand. What I wouldn’t give for a slice of this pie with a bottle of hard cider! Until then, I guess I should revel in a license to eat ice cream every day.
I baked this pie with one of my favorite baking buddies, Scott. He insisted we document the pie from beginning to end, so now I present to you, the beginning of our pie. Beware the raw content you are about to see. It may not be suitable for vegetarian eyes. *wink*
Scott also paired this pie with the most delicious cranberry sauce, which is actually the only cranberry sauce I have ever tried and liked. Maybe it’s because it was made with fresh cranberries or maybe it was the booze content, but either way, it was deeeeelicious. If you want to make the same, click here for the Cosmopolitan Cranberry Sauce recipe.
This pie was crisp and light and perfect for a fall night. Since I can’t have this pie right now, I think you should enjoy a slice for me!