Friday, July 27, 2012

Lemon Butter Crust

While hanging out with a couple friends last week, we had a sudden urge to make pies. It was probably because we were just really hungry, but we ended up at Walmart to buy ingredients to make 3 different kinds: Frito Pie, Apple Pie, and Blueberry Pie. I was in charge of the fruit pies. There was a pre-made pie crust in the freezer that I could have used, but I really wanted to make the crust from scratch. I've baked a lot of pies but always with Pillsbury's crusts and this was a good time to experiment.

I came across an apple pie recipe that had a special crust. It wasn't just a plain ol' crust; it had the addition of lemon. This really stood out to me. I've seen a lot of recipes where blueberries and lemons go together so I thought this was perfect to use for both the fruit pies! The dough was really pretty with the specks of lemon zest and squares of butter mixed throughout. It was also easy to work with; not too sticky and once chilled, the dough becomes smooth and a breeze to roll out. I think I will be using this crust recipe a lot in the future.


No pictures except the one from my iPod above. I wanted to focus on finishing the pies and I'm glad I did because it was 11 p.m. when we finally got to eat them. You will notice that the edges of the Blueberry Pie (on the right) are brown. I baked the crust alone (covered with foil and then filled with dry rice) but left it in the oven too long even after turning it off. Still good. The Apple Pie could have used more time in the oven, but thankfully, I sliced the apples thinly so the slight crunch added a nice texture to each bite. My first attempt at a lattice top didn't turn out too terribly either.

Before I got working on the fruit pies, the guys took care of Frito Pie. Basically, you spread some Fritos on the bottom of a casserole dish. Pour some chili over the Fritos or mix up raw ground beef, beans, and chili spices and spread it over the Fritos. Put another layer of Fritos on top and cover the top with lots of shredded cheese. Bake it at 375 for 20 or so minutes if using already cooked chili or about an hour if using raw beef. It was actually pretty good.

All in all, I think we had a great pie day that day.

Lemon Butter Crust

Family Style Food

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fine salt
2 tbsp grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp), cut into chunks
1/2 cup ice water plus more if needed
1 tbsp lemon juice

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and zest. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork until the butter is pieces about the size of large peas. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and add the water and lemon juice. Blend with a fork until the dough starts to come together. If there's flour on the bottom of the bowl, add more water a teaspoon at a time until you can gather the dough into a ball.

Divide into two pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour and up to 24 hours.

When you're ready to assemble and bake the pie, heat the oven to 425F. Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator to soften slightly. If it takes more than 15 minutes to prepare pie filling, then put the dough back in the fridge until you're ready to fill the pie.

Smack one package of dough with a rolling pin to flatten. Unwrap and put the dough on a large floured piece of wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour and roll the dough firmly away from you, turning the paper after each roll to create a circle about 2 inches larger than your pie dish. Sprinkle lightly with more flour if you notice the dough starting to stick.

Fold the dough in half gently and place in a pie dish, pressing into the bottom of the dish. Be sure you have an overhang of about an inch all around. Trim off any excess. Pour in pie filling. Take the second piece of dough and repeat the rolling. Put the dough on top of the apples; pull the edge of the top dough over the bottom and pinch together all around the pie.

Use a sharp knife to make 4 vents in the center of the pie. (Or make a lattice top!) Put the pie in the oven and turn the oven down to 400F. Bake the pie about 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden.

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