Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Perfect Pastry Every Time~

Hello sweet and gracious friends ~
This post that I am going to share with you
is somewhat out of the norm for me, especially a tutorial.
I was corresponding with one of my dear and gracious followers one day,
 when I shared with her that I was going to teach my young grandsons 
(who were spending time with Pa and Gamma at the time) how to make a pie.
She wrote back and asked if I would do a post on 
how to make pastry as she needed some help.
To be honest with you ~
I was quite surprised to hear this lovely lady say that "she needed help."
So...after much thought I decided why not?
First, please let me say ~
I know many of you out there do not need this tutorial,
and I'm in no way patting myself on the back
wanting it to look like I am the "expert" at making pastry, because I'm not. :)
Had it not been for my dear and precious mother-in-law Betty,
I may have never learned this simple love of mine.

The pastry recipe I use and will share with you
is the one my mother-in-law used.
Betty found this recipe in the Toronto Star many years ago
as winning  1st prize from a restaurant located in Toronto Ontario Canada.


5 1/2 cups (cake & pastry) flour (sifted)
~ Using cake & pastry flour is the best way to insure tender and flaky crust ~
 sprinkle of salt
1 teaspoon sugar 
2 1/4 cups crisco shortening (heavy on the 1/4 cup)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup milk (shy on reaching a cup)
~ I know that may sound strange, but you will see why as we go along ~ 

Sift together the flour, salt and sugar into your bowl.
Add the crisco, remembering to heap on the 1/4 cup. (pictured below)
I have used other shortenings including natural good for you stuff
and was disappointed with the results.

Cut up the shortening with the pastry blender
until the size of peas are formed. (pictured below)
In your measuring cup ~
beat with a fork the egg then add the lemon juice.
Now fill the cup with milk reaching 1 cup level.
Gradually work the liquid into the flour mixture with a fork
until it all sticks together and is ready for rolling.

My mother-in-law used a white dress sock on her wood rolling pin.
I used to use my grandmothers beautiful wood rolling pin for years
until a dear friend gifted me with my pretty pink silicone rolling pin.
It took me a few years to use that silicone rolling pin as it seemed strange to me,
but once I took the plunge, I never used my grandmothers again.
Grandma Maxie's rolling pin graces my home
in all it's beauty after many years of  rolling. 
It's now used for decoration.


I use a cloth tea towel to roll my pastry out on.
By the way ~ This tea towel is used ONLY  for this purpose.
Sprinkle with a medium dusting of flour 
then wipe some flour on the rolling pin.
~ Try not to use too much flour as it can make your pastry dry and tough ~
I use about a 3" diameter ball of pastry and gently
make it into a round ready to roll out. (Pictured below)

Gently roll the pastry in a circular motion from the inside to the outer
 until it reaches the edges of the cloth.
(Pictured below)
Cold hands make the best pastry ~
So if you have warm hands run them under cold water.
Gently handle your pastry.
Gentle is key :)

~ I like to mist my pie dish with cooking spray ~
Take your pastry and gently fold it in half.
Pick up the pastry at the folded end and place it right down the center of the pie dish.
Gently open up the pastry and with your fingers press the pastry into the creases of the dish.
Do not press firmly, just enough to seal it.

Take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut off the extra pastry
leaving about an inch and a half remaining.
Now you will gently roll the edges under
lining the pastry up with the edge of the dish as shown below on the right.
~ I purposely allowed my pastry to have splits
in order to show you that you can fix those problems
and still have a beautiful looking crust ~
By doing so ~
take some of the cut offs and seal a piece gently 
over the area where there are cracks, or open spaces.
Once you roll the pastry under you will then
hide the mess and it vanishes. *Walla*

I wasn't able to get the full picture for you in the pinching process
as I needed both hands to do the work
and I was my own photographer. Ha!
Pictured below you will see the angle of my finger,
it is sideways so as not to puncture a hole in the pastry with my nail.
Dip your forefinger on one hand and your forefinger and thumb on the other hand in flour.
~ I place a small pile of flour to use for this process ~
So here goes...
place your forefinger sideways on the inside of the pastry dish,
pinch gently with your other forefinger and thumb
going all around the dish.
Now, you will go around again on those pinched edges
and pinch just a little bit harder creating the finished pinched look.
~ Pictured below ~

When I was a baby God graced me with chubby cheeks.
Well...We all know that those chubby cheeks call out 
to those dear older ladies who love to "PINCH"!
They didn't really pinch to hurt us chubby cheeked babies,
they just couldn't resist the beauty of our fat. ;)
So...Don't pinch your pastry to hurt it,
pinch gently as if you are pinching some chubby cheeks.
I truly believe that working with pastry you 
need to have a gentle touch.
The dough is not expected to do the working of the hands,
but only to yield itself up to the working.


This makes me think of  how the Potter (God) takes the clay (us)
as we lay passive and submissive in His hands
and begins to mold and fashion it according to His own will.
He proceeds to make it into the vessel He has proposed.
He turns it upon the wheel, planes it and smooths it,
dries it in the sun, bakes it in the oven,
and finally turns it out of His workshop ~
a vessel to His honor and fit for His use.
Having, therefore, taken the step of faith by which
we have put ourselves wholly and absolutely into His hands,
we must expect Him to begin to work, and God's works
are perfect in every stage of our growth.
(2 Timothy 2:21b)


I chose to make a single crust pie 
so I could share with you a tip on keeping your crust from shrinkage.
You can place alluminum foil in the dish and fill it with dry beans, or,
you can use these wonderful pastry pearls.
~ Pie crust chain weights ~
When using these I still puncture my pastry a few times with a fork.
I bake my single crust pie shell for 10 to 12 minutes at 450 degrees.

This recipe will make three double crusted pies or six single pie shells.
I freeze the remainder in a single 3" diameter size lightly floured
and placed in a zip lock baggie.
Shape it into the round as if you were ready to roll it out
before placing into the baggie.

My husband loves cream pies,
 so on this day he enjoyed a chocolate ~ coconut ~ almond cream pie.
If you are making a double crusted pie
the process is the same.
Just place the top crust over your mixture
and proceed from the point of cutting away the extra pastry,
rolling it under then pinching it together.

Be Beautiful!
~ Debbie ~


shortybear said...

thank you for sharing dear one. you always bless me with your words.

Elizabethd said...

I think we all do things slightly differently. I have never added lemon to pastry but I think it would definitely give it a nice twist. I always put my pastry in the fridge for half an hour just before I roll it so it is really cool. I have not seen a string of baking pearls...very elegant! I use baking beads which are like little clay peas, but I line the pastry with baking paper first.
I think all your readers are going to be baking pies now! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

CherylQuilts said...

What a fun post today, Debbie! I no longer bake (for dietary restriction reasons). However, one tip that I learned from someone is to be sure to put the pastry that you've formed in the pie plate into the refrigerator to cool so the butter hardens. Then place it in the oven, and it makes it far more flaky. It really works, and my hubby can tell the difference in chicken pot pies, and my friends in my quiches. Delicious post today! Sending hugs and love! xoxo

Stephanie said...

Ah yes, gentle is the key...and cold hands! This brought back memories of when you taught Beau and me to make pies - what fun :) And I am shocked that you gave out Grandma's pie dough recipe! Although I'm glad you did because it really is the best and should be enjoyed by all.

Wonderful tutorial! I think you should do more of them. And you are more than welcome to bring some pie over today and we can have tea {{smiles}}

The little one will be here soon so I had better get ready. Have a delightful day. Love you!

living from glory to glory said...

Good Morning, I am so glad to have this pie crust family treasure. I will be trying this soon. I did pin it to my baking board on Pinterest! You did a lovely job! Thanks for sharing! My pie crust is just okay, I am sure this has some special ingredients like the egg and sugar!
Blessings, Roxy

Linda said...

How lovely, Debbie! This is such a beautiful post, and your pie looks amazing!

Ashley said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have never made my own crust, but my sister has, and it didn't turn out very well, so I will try your recipe next time we have to make one. :D I love making apple pies, so perhaps that would be a good time to practice making a crust. :)

Sending you much love and many blessings in Christ,

Sylvia said...

That is a pretty pie crust,Debbie and that chocolate filling is just waiting to be eaten. I love how you see God in everything. Yes, he molds us and makes us into his image if we will only submit. I have been going through some molding lately. Sometimes it hurts but there is always a blessing waiting for us when it's over.
Have a Beautifully Blessed day,my friend.

Anne Payne said...

Wow! That looks like a great tasting pie crust. I am no good at making them. Must be I am handling the dough too much and not gently ;)

Hope you have a great week, Debbie! Chat soon {{hugs}}

Oliva Ohlson said...

Thank you so much for sharing your pie crust recipe and tips on making a pie crust pastry. I have never added an egg to a pie crust. I have to try making your recipe and follow your step-by-step directions. I love how you compare how pinch to pinch the pastry to a child's chubby cheeks!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a great tutorial, Debbie, and how nice that you gave us the prize winning recipe! I would love to make it and I do love that you get six single crusts from it. I like to freeze my extra pie dough, too, which certainly comes in handy. Tying the bible verse in to the dear recipe of Betty's was very special indeed. I'm sure your hubby was delighted with the chocolate coconut almond cream pie. Save me a slice, please! Love and hugs, Kitty

Roosterhead Designs said...

Hello there Debbie,
Much thanks to you for all the great photo's and for the recipe itself!
I'm always happy to try something new; as you never know what might 'work better'! I can see you put a great deal of time and thought into this wonderful tutorial! I appreciate you~ God bless you friend, Karen O

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for the lovely (and easy-to-understand!) tutorial, dear Debbie :) I must admit, that while I absolutely love cooking and baking, sometimes pastry and I don't really get along all that well. So I may just have to give this recipe a try sometime! It looks like it would work beautifully :)

Thanks again for sharing this tutorial....I agree with some of the others above. You should do more in the future!! :) You did a great job with this one!

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead! ♥

Joyful said...

Thank you for sharing your tutorial. I must try this some day. I don't make pies often. In fact I haven't for several years but I need a good recipe :-) My mom used to make the very best of pies. One of my brothers too. But I've never been so good at it.

Simply Linda said...

Thank you so much...btw, I have never ever mastered my mom's crust recipe...how many times I have watched her and never noticed anything different.

Thank you for the memories, Debbie. Blessings

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Your pie looks professionally made! And it sounds delicious. Your tutorial is very good and easy to follow. If I ever have a lazy day I will have to make a pie crust this way!

Robyn said...

I am definitely one of those people that need help, Debbie, so your tutorial today was fascinating for me! Do you know that I've never baked a pie? lol. I seem to have a little bit of baking phobia but the way you broke it down today made it seem so easy and I think it's time I gave it a try. Learning to bake was one of my New Year's resolutions and I've only done one dish, lol.
Absolutely loved this! Thanks so much, Daffy Friend. Much love to you. xoxo

Vicky Hunt said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and tutorial Debbie. I have never made homemade pastry. I have always wanted to try though. I pinned this recipe so I can refer to it should I ever get brave enought to give it a go. Your pies sound so tasty! I am sure your hubby was in heaven! Hope your week is going great. Have a lovely evening my friend.

Hugs, Vicky

Linda Walker said...

Hi Debbie,
I am very excited to have a new pie shell recipe. I've never added lemon juice and I have never heard of pastry pearls either! I can't wait to try it....we are all lovers of cream pies here too!!! YUM! THANK YOU so much for sharing a tried and true family recipe with us! xoxo

Bethany Carson said...

That looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe! My grandma's recipe uses Crisco as well!

hobbyloes said...

What a delicious post!
I like the way how you explain this recipe so beautiful, with all the gorgeous photos.
My mother gave me many years ago a wooden rolling pin and I ALWAYS use it, your pink silicone rolling pin looks so nice.
Thank you for this recipe, Debbie.

Mehrll said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. I used to love to flute the pie crust edge. I never tried the sock on the rolling pin. Thanks for all the tips and the beautiful pictures. Hugs.

Lady Linda said...

Well, I do need to give this a try! I have NEVER been able to make a decent pie crust. You would laugh if you saw all NO FAIL PIE CRUST recipes I have...lol.
Nice to see you posting.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Dear Debbie.. such a sweet treat today to see this lovely post of yours... I can just imagine the difficulty of taking such wonderful pictures with flour-covered fingers... you did an amazing job, and I really feel as if I did just sit down with you and learn the tips and tricks of pie making! I have made many pies, some great, some not so much. You mentioned using only Crisco shortening, and not other brands. I think that might be part of it too. Since learning how bad all those hydrogenated oils are for you, I have tried to find a pie crust that tastes good, but without all the other stuff in it. You are right... they just don't do as well without Crisco shortening. Have you ever used lard? My mother's recipe calls for lard and vinegar.

I appreciated all your tips about being gentle, and cold hands... thank you dear friend for all this helpful advice about pie making... your almond chocolate pie looks amazing... perhaps you could share the recipe for it? {smiles}

Thank you again for sharing your talents and knowledge with us... I will give your recipe a try very soon! Much love to you today :)

Cheryl said...

Oh, what a wonderful post! I really enjoyed hearing about your pie crusts! I am sure you are an amazing cook. Sending you much love and many blessings, sweet friend!

Karen said...

This is a great tutorial!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debbie, I love making a big batch of pastry and keeping several packages of it in the freezer. Just makes sense, doesn't it? I had to chuckle as you described the difficulties of photographing your own tutorial -- I know what you're talking about! Lovely fluting; people can tell me looks don't matter, but everyone loves a pretty pie!

Deborah Montgomery said...

Well, for your first time doing a tutorial, you did a very nice job! I learned a few new things, like using a tea towel for a pastry cloth and working with cold hands. And your edges look so professional! I think I hurry along that part too much and should take more care, because it really makes the pie look extra special. I am going to book mark the recipe. Thank you for sharing Debbie.
(one of my sons had those adorable chubby cheeks just made for "pinching," too!)

September Violets said...

You sure make a good lookin' pie!! I like the idea of rolling the dough out on a cloth. I have used tea towels for rolling up Yule Logs at Christmas, but never thought to use them for pie dough. You write a very clear tutorial, and that pink rolling pin is so cute ;)

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Thank you so much. I never met my grandmothers, and my mom was very sick growing up and was nauseous from her meds a lot - so she really didn't cook much or hardly ever bake. I have never really made a crust I could say I was proud of - and your step-by-step is awesome. It's also GREAT timing, because I have to bring a dessert to my end-of-year church choir potluck tomorrow and was thinking of making a pie to bring. I may just have to get busy making this pie crust now! : - )


carole prisk said...

That is a beautiful pie!

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