Wednesday, March 14, 2012

happy Pi Day

It seems as though I was in hibernation mode back on January 23, 2012 (Pie Day). Or maybe I was recovering from post holiday stresses. Whatever the reason for my failure to acknowledge Pie Day, today I’m celebrating Pi Day.

Maybe your Mom made these when she baked pies, maybe you make them for your kids, grandkids. If you’ve never had pie crust sticks, I’m really truly sorry. You must.


Although my Mom never made her pie crust from blending flour, salt, shortening, and water, she made us pie crusts sticks whenever she baked a pie. It wasn’t until I was an adult that she admitted to me that she used pre-made dough all those years. For this pie obsessed daughter, I was more than disappointed by her confession.

A couple weeks ago I used the fresh/frozen blueberries sitting in my freezer to make a pie for dinner at my in-laws. I used the new rolling pin and Silpat mat I received for Christmas last year.


The rolling pin makes rolling out dough a dream. I miss my pastry cloth though. In spite of the generously floured surface I made for it, the dough was determined to stick to the Silpat mat.

I’m seeing these mini pies in mason jars lately, and I so want to make some. 

Megan at Not Martha blogged about these back in 2008...

Where, oh where have you been all my life, tiny pies?

If, like my Mom, you’re using a store bought or other non-homemade crust, do me a favor and just try this once and tell me it’s not as easy as... well you know... pie.

Pie Crust Recipe
Makes two 9-inch crusts

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup very cold water

1. Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.

2. Add shortening and butter.

3. Blend together until you have small grains. About 5-10 seconds is all it will take.

4. Prepare a container with some ice water. From that, measure about 1/4 cup.

5. Sprinkle the cold water through the tube of your food processor and mix until dough forms.

6. Divide the dough into two balls, place each onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk.

7. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour before you roll it out.

8. Roll out dough on a well floured surface using a well floured rolling pin. 

9. Once you’ve created a circle that’s 2-3 inches wider than the pie pan you intend to bake in, roll the dough around the floured rolling pin and carefully transfer it to the pan. Press it into place and remove any access dough (so you’ll have dough for pie crust sticks). 

Keeping all the ingredients cold is key to a successful crust. Another tip: preheat the oven to 400°F and bake the pie (with filling) for 15 minutes to set the crust. Then turn the oven down to 325° and bake your pie for an additional 45 minutes to an hour, depending on what filling you’re using. This will keep the bottom crust from being soggy.

To make pie crust sticks, simply roll out whatever dough you have leftover, place it in a pie pan, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake for about 10 minutes at 400°F.

Happy Pi Day, and happy pie baking!

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