I Baked a Basic Pie Crust (oh yeah! and pop tarts!)

My library has subscribed to an online continuing education program called Universal Class, through which anyone with a library card can sign up for classes for free.  Pretty awesome right?  Well, I volunteered to be a guinea pig and signed up for Pie Making 101.  This post is what I turned in to my teacher.  Today’s assignment was to make a pie crust.  I took it a step further, and OMG was that crust flaky!

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My mom always thought of making a pie crust as a meditative task.  After making one today, I can see why she would describe it that way.  There’s something about the rhythm of mixing the flour, shortening and salt that inspires an inner quiet.  Rolling out the dough is kind of similar as well.

I have to admit that I don’t have a pastry blender.  I also don’t have a stand mixer or special attachments for my hand mixer.  I remembered my mom using a fork with really long tines to mix her ingredients, so that’s what I ended up doing.

Little bits of dough

I mixed the flour, shortening and salt until it looked right: lots of little bits, no huge clumps of anything.  Then I added the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing slowly until the dough started to clump together.

Dough!

I formed the dough into a ball with my hands, then split it into two separate pieces and placed it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.  I used that time to run to the store and pick up a rolling pin.

Unbaked Pie Crust

I used the wax paper method to roll out my dough.  The wax paper slid around too much on my table, so I dampened a towel to put down under it.  It worked pretty well.  I was able to transfer the crust to the pie tin with no problems.

I didn’t realize until after I blind baked it that I should have rolled the dough out just a little bit more.  I also over baked the crust just a smidge.  I’ll do it better next time.

Margarita Pie!

I didn’t want the dough to go to waste, so I chose to make a Margarita Pie  (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Margarita-Pie-II/Detail.aspx) with one half of the dough, and homemade pop tarts (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Home-Made-Top-Tarts/Detail.aspx) with the other half (photos below).  I just tried the pop tarts and those were pretty tasty.  The crust was so flaky my husband had to eat his pop tart over the sink!  I’ll call that a win.

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