I was my turn to bring dessert to our weekly potluck. I decided to make pies because they're quick and easy. Then I decided to slow down and take photos along the way, because it occurred to me not everyone finds pie-making to be quick and easy.
I don't profess to be the greatest or most creative pie-maker in the world; but I enjoy making them and prefer homemade to store-bought pies any day.
So without further ado, here's a fast tutorial on making a two-crust fruit pie.
I usually use the recipe from my faithful Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.
I doubled the recipe since I was making two pies. Flour and salt are already in the bowl, and I'm getting ready to measure the lard.
Whenever I measure anything hydrophobic such as lard, butter, peanut butter, etc., I use the displacement method: Fill a measuring cup with one cup of water, then put in the ingredient until the water reaches the required measurement. This is a lot less messy and more accurate than trying to cram the lard into a measuring cup by itself.
Once the lard is in the flour, I use a pastry blender to mix it up.
Next I drizzle in water until the dough holds together. I start with a fork but usually graduate to using my hands at the end.
The dough is now ready to roll out. Because I was making two pies, I divided this dough in half; then from each half, I used about 2/3 for the pie bottom and 1/3 for the pie top.
I think a lot of people have trouble at this stage because they don't have enough flour on the breadboard. Don't be afraid to add enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, either to the breadboard or the rolling pin.
I start by shaping the dough roughly in a flat circle...
...and then rolling it thin.
Here's a quick and easy tip to get the rolled-out dough from the breadboard to the pie pan: roll it loosely onto the rolling pin. Then you can "unroll" it over the pie pan.
This leaves a lot of excess dough around the edges...
...so time to trim. I like to leave about an inch, no more.
The extra dough, of course, gets folded in with the rest of the dough.
Here the two pie bottoms are ready, and there's enough dough left in the bowl for the pie tops. Time for the filling.
I decided to use some of the blueberries I canned up in September.
An advantage of home-canned fruit is that it's, well, fruit. One time I bought a can of "blueberry filling" and found it had about six blueberries in it. Blech.
The pie pans I was using were on the larger side, so I used three pints for each pie. Here the berries are drained.
The cookbook gives the recommended amount of sugar and flour to add to the fruit, though I usually cut back on the sugar.
Sugar and flour added...
Into the pie pans. This is the stage where the pies start looking, well, pretty.
Now it's time to roll out the pie tops. I divided the remaining dough in half and rolled it into a circle roughly the size of the pie pan...
...then "rolled" the dough onto the rolling pin, and "unrolled" it over the pan.
Repeat for the second pie.
I don't bother trimming the excess dough at this stage, since I don't mind a "thick" pie crust. Instead I just roll the bottom over the top and pinch it all together. If you prefer not to have such a thick crust, then by all means trim off the excess dough before rolling and pinching.
Don't forget to prick the top with a fork!
I usually lightly brush the top with milk. It seems to make for a slightly crisper crust.
I used to use aluminum foil around the edges to keep them from burning, but a couple years ago I found these gizmos called Talisman pie shields . Wow, worth every penny; they work perfectly.
Then into the oven for about an hour. The pie shields come off about half-way through baking.
Voila, two finished pies.
I also whipped some cream before the potluck as well. Yum.
So that's your pie tutorial du jour. Happy baking!