Thursday, June 16, 2011

Radical Cooking - Quick and Easy, No Roll, Whole Wheat Pie Crust



Cooking outside the take out box
Easier, faster, better, healthier and cheaper


Anyone can make a GREAT home made pie


Home made pie - the
 test of great baking
All thumbs when it comes to rolling out pie crust dough?

Want to include more whole grains in your diet?

Tired of the high cost pre made pie crust dough and its lengthy list of artificial ingredients? 




Try my pat in the pan, whole wheat pie crust dough!

Whole wheat by itself does not make a good pie crust so out of necessity this recipe contains some (white) all purpose flour but the resulting consistency makes it perfect to just pat in the pan. 

That's right!  Pat in the pan!!

No rolling out. 
No flour all over the kitchen. 
No crumbling, tearing dough that looks like a mess in the pan.

Just a gorgeous, home made pie that shouts your baking ability to the world.  Your gourmet pals will be pea green with envy. 

You can do it.  Yes, you can!

Your easy, home made pie will look (and taste) every bit as good as one with a rolled out crust and with much less work.

Let's get into the kitchen!



Easy, No Roll Whole Wheat Pie Crust
Whether you're a novice at pie baking or a pro, this super easy and super delicious recipe will make your home made pie a snap to bake - and so much healthier than a store bought crust.


Use crumbs for the top
 or leave plain then cover 
with whipped cream at serving time 
The taste is a little more hearty than a white flour crust but it's yummy enough for just about any pie you want to make.

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Makes 1 (9 inch) single crust
Not recommended for a double crust pie
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2-3 tablespoons ice water 
(Put 2 or 3 ice cubes into a glass and fill with tap water before continuing with recipe)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup white vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)

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

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

Remove dough from processor and press into pan, a little bit at a time.  Start with the bottom of the pan working up to the sides.  (Use the palm of your hand to press the bottom of the dough covered pan to make it thin and even.) 

Make the rim of the pie shell thicker so you have enough dough to crimp nicely.

Refrigerate, lightly covered, at least 1 hour - longer (up to 4 hours) is OK.  Do not skip this step.  The dough needs to relax and firm other wise it will shrink and shrivel.

Crust can also be made a day or two in advance and frozen (covered) in the pan.  Make sure your pan is freezer safe and can go from the freezer to the oven. (Metal pans and Corning Ware are freezer to oven safe. Pyrex is not. You'll have to check on other pans.) 

When ready to bake, remove crust from refrigerator or freezer (do not thaw) and quickly fill following your recipe's instructions so the crust doesn't get a chance to get warm.  Shell can also be baked "blind" (without a filling).  

Karla's Tip
When patting crust into the pan, press the dough evenly on the sides and bottom. Make the crust at the top rim of the pan (where you'll be fluting the edge) thicker than the rest so you'll have ample dough to make a pretty edge.


FAQ

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

A: 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 adding the 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.

How much water to add 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.


Q: Do I have to use vegetable shortening?  Can't I use all butter - or oil?

A: Vegetable shortening gives the dough "plasticity", as it's referred to in the trade. This means the dough will hold together during baking and not let the filling seep through.

There are pie crust recipes that use all butter or all oil but they require a great deal of skill to manage.  There are also recipes that use all vegetable shortening.  Lard is a time honored ingredient that makes wonderful pie crusts but we rarely use lard today.

If your concern is transfats in the vegetable shortening,  try the new vegetable shortenings that are made without transfats. They work just as well the regular kind.  Nutritionally, they are considered a saturated fat (as is lard and butter) but they are from a plant source instead of animal.

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