Friday, November 2, 2007

Thanksgiving Recipes - My Best Pie Crust

For most holidays we love to experiment with recipes, menus and traditions.

Thanksgiving is the exception.

At Thanksgiving, traditional foods are what we crave.

Maybe the traditional foods give us a sense of stability.

Maybe it's a sense of permanence - something we can count on that never changes.

Or maybe we just love the food so dog - gone much!
(It's the one day in America when everyone eats green bean and mushroom soup casserole!)

Pie is the number one dessert served on Thanksgiving Day.

Pumpkin pie is the national favorite but sweet potato and pecan are not far behind.

Great pies begin with great crust.

Every baker has a trick or two.

I'm always on the look out for a new crust trick and new crust recipes.

This is my favorite - this year.

Karla's Best Pie Crust (2007)

Makes 1 (9 or 10 inch) single crust pie shell

2-3 tablespoons ice water
(Put 2 or 3 ice cubes into a glass and fill with tap water before continuing with recipe)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup solid white vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons - margarine not recommended)

Put all ingredients (except ice water) into the food processor. Pulse together until crumbs are uniform looking - about 45 seconds.

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water (not cubes) and process until dough comes together into a ball - about 30 seconds.

Remove dough from processor and by hand, flatten into a 6 inch circle. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Roll out dough on very lightly floured surface.

Question: How do I know whether to add 2 or 3 tablespoons of ice water?

Answer: It depends on the dri-ness of the flour, amount of moisture in the butter and the humidity of the air in your kitchen.

Begin by add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse dough a little. Open processor and squeeze a bit of dough between 2 fingers (before it's formed a ball).

If the dough is sticky, don't add any more water. Continue processing until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

If the dough seems a little dry, like it won't come together, add the remaining tablespoon. Continue processing until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

This is one of those things that a recipe assumes you know. With a little experience, you'll soon be able to read the dough like a pro.

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Thanksgiving with scrumptious recipes for family and entertaining.

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