For you this holiday season, we offer a special gift – our family recipe for pie pastry.
We are a family-owned business, and this family is super into our pie crust. My daughter says it best: it needs to be “flaky, buttery, and melt in your mouthy”. We love it so much we probably only make pies so that we can enjoy this crust – and of course, along with the kids, nibble on the rolled out dough scraps.
Some might also claim that we have used it for personal success. My daughters have won pie and cooking contests with this recipe; I regularly serve it up to my foodie friends with confidence. In some ways, it might be the one thing we are sure of in a wild world.
I want you to have it, especially this holiday season, because I believe it can brighten any day.
Jeanne Williamson, owner and founder
FAMILY PIE PASTRY RECIPE
by Jeanne Williamson
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/3 cup ice water
Combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. Once the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas, add the water and stir a few times. Handling the dough as little as possible, gently press the dough together to bring it into a ball.
–> Divide this ball in two, to make two 9” pie shells, or shell and top for a 9” pie.
–> OR divide the ball in three for three 7” pie shells or turnovers.
Before rolling, press the balls into thick disks and refrigerate for a half hour. If you leave it in the fridge overnight, take it out of the fridge and let it set at room temperature for a half hour.
Dust a clean rolling surface with about 1/3 cup of flour, place your partially chilled disk of dough on the flour and dust the top of the disk with flour too. Begin to roll out the dough using a rolling pin or an empty wine bottle.
To keep the dough from sticking during the rolling process, generously dust the top of the dough with flour and use your hand to spread it out evenly on the surface. Then, gently pick up the far side of the dough by curling your fingers underneath and gently securing the top with your thumbs. Flip the dough over and dust the newly revealed underside–now the top–with flour, smoothing it with your hand as well. Resume rolling until you feel you need to flip it again. You may need to flip it 2-3 times.
Once the dough is about 2 inches larger than your pie plate all the way around, cut off any portions that extend much farther than 2 inches. (Some people find these dough scraps really tasty!) Working very gently, fold the dough in half without creasing it, and then in half again. Pick up this folded dough, place it in your pie plate with the tip in the center of the plate and unfold it. Make sure it is roughly centered on the plate, then pat the dough down into the inner rim of the plate.
Tuck the dough edge under itself to form a thick roll of pastry that will sit on top of the rim. We crimp the crust with our fingers, by placing an index and middle finger an inch apart on the rim, then use a finger or thumb to pull up on the pastry between them, and repeating inch by inch around the rim.
Fill and bake it:
Fill with your favorite pie filling and bake accordingly.
If you will be making a pastry top for your pie you can skip the primping step and cut away the excess dough along the outer rim of the pie plate instead. Fill the shell with your favorite filling. Roll out another disc of dough with 2 inches extra width all the way around. Cut some small holes in the middle of this rolled out pastry (this can be done in a million cute ways–you just need some way for steam to escape).
Take a pause from the newly rolled pastry to wet the rim of the pastry shell by dabbing the tips of your fingers in cold water and running them along the pastry shell rim. Quickly back to your rolled-out pastry, gently fold it into quarters without creasing it, place it on top of the pie and unfold to cover the pie evenly. Press down on the rim all the way around to create a seal where you have moistened the pastry. Fold the excess dough underneath the edges of the pie and primp as above.
And, indeed as an afterthought, here is my recipe for pumpkin pie filling. It makes a delicious filling, but we all know the pastry will steal the show.
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 cans evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
- 4 eggs
- 1 can (29 ounce) 100% pure pumpkin OR 1 quart (4 cups) of cooked, pureed and well-drained pumpkin*
- 2 unbaked pie shells
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Stir together sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large bowl. Add the evaporated milk and eggs and beat until well mixed. Add the pumpkin puree and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour into the unbaked pie shells.
- Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for 35-45 minutes more or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.