Monday, November 21, 2011

Autumn in my Kitchen Part Deux: The Recipes

Hello everyone! How was your weekend? It's been raining really hard over here in SoCali - is it raining and/or snowing wherever you are? If so, I hope that you are keeping yourself both warm and dry! :) Since the holidays are coming up, I thought I'd finally share with you some recipes from my initial post, "Autumn In My Kitchen".


For the apple pie recipe above, you can actually find the entire recipe {dough & apple filling} by CLICKING HERE. However, I just want to let you know that I use a different recipe for the pie dough. I have been baking for many years and have tried many various pie dough recipes, and there is one that I use that tastes perfectly buttery & flaky, every. single. time. :) So this pie dough recipe, and the recipe for the Pumpkin Pie is what I will be sharing on in this post. Also, at the end of this post, I will share with you some simple tips on how to make your pie dough as yummy & flaky as possible. :)


Now I was planning to actually make the pie dough recipe myself and take pictures to show you what pie dough looks like when you are making it, but unfortunately I have been taking care of two very sick kiddos this weekend {my youngest was diagnosed with early stages of pneumonia last Friday}. And since I don't want to delay this post any further, I will just do my best to describe to you the steps, and use pictures from my old files {and/or from the internet} to try & show you.

RECIPE FOR A FLAKY BUTTERY PIECRUST
NOTE: This recipe below will make piecrust for one Pumpkin Pie. If you want to use this crust for apple pie, which requires a bottom and top crust, just double the recipe.

1 1/2 CUPS BLEACHED ALL PURPOSE FLOUR

1 TABLESPOON SUGAR

1 TEASPOON SALT

5 TABLESPOONS COLD UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO 1/4 INCH PIECES

4 TABLESPOONS COLD SOLID VEGETABLE SHORTENING, LIKE CRISCO

3 1/2 TO 4 1/2 TABLESPOONS ICE WATER


This recipe calls for a "Food Processor," but if you don't have a food processor, you can still make this recipe too. When I started baking pies & crusts, I didn't own a food processor, so I will also show you the alternative way to make this without one.

{food processor source}

Put the flour, salt & sugar in the bowl of a food processor using the steel blade & pulse briefly to mix. {Alternatively, you can mix these ingredients in a large bowl and use a hand held electric mixer on low speed or use even a fork, to mix these together if you don't have a food processor.}

Scatter the butter over the flour mixture & toss lightly to coat using a spoon.

Pulse 5 times at 1-second intervals.

Add the shortening in small pieces and pulse 4 more times at 1-second intervals.

NOTE: Alternatively, if you don't have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender/cutter to "cut" the butter into the flour like in the picture below. I bought my pastry cutter at IKEA for a cheap price, but they have it anywhere that sells bakeware.
{pastry blender source}

**Whether you use a food processor or a pastry blender, the texture should resemble coarse meal, with the butter & shortening bits no bigger than peas.**

Add 3 1/2 tablespoons of the ice cold water over the mixture, and pulse the dough until the dough begins to hold together, about 6 times.

Pinch a small amount of the dough between your fingers. If it doesn't hold together, add 1/2 tablespoon of the water and pulse 3 times. Pinch the dough again. If necessary, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon water & pulse 3 more times.

When the dough holds together when pinched, then it is ready. Don't allow it to form a ball in the processor.

Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap. Press gently and form the dough into a 5-inch disk. Note, form into a disk NOT a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, but for BEST RESULTS, refrigerate it OVERNIGHT.

At this point, the dough may be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months in advance.

Let the chilled dough soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes (longer if frozen).

Using a rolling pin, tap the dough firmly to flatten it.

You can use any rolling pin, but I found that the tapered rolling pin is the easiest for me to use:
{tapered rolling pin source}


Sprinkle some flour around your work surface, and lightly sprinkle some flour on both sides of your dough.

Place the dough between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap {I like to use parchment paper for less non stick} and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness.

Transfer the dough to your favorite pie dish. I like to use the Emile Henry Ruffled Pie dish for its amazing presentation & superior quality, but any pie dish will do.

{ruffled pie dish source}


After transferring your dough into your pie dish, use scissors to trim the excess dough, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang under itself so that the folded edge is about 1/4 inch beyond the edge of the dish. Crimp decoratively.

Roll any scraps together into a disk, put in a plastic wrap, and refrigerate for later use.

Some pie recipes, like Pumpkin Pie, call for "Blind Baking," which just means prebaking the crust. Instructions are as follows:



"BLIND BAKING" INSTRUCTIONS FOR PUMPKIN PIE

Refrigerate the pie shell {your pie dish + dough inside the pie dish}, for at least 1 hour.

Position the rack in the center of the oven, place baking sheet on rack, and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Press two 12-inch squares of aluminum foil into the pie shell so that the foil covers the edge of the crust.

Use pie weights or dried raw beans or uncooked rice, and position the weights as far up the sides as possible to prevent the crust from shrinking. Williams-Sonoma sells these pie weights, but you can use dried raw beans or uncooked rice, which works fine too.

{source}


Set the pie dish on the baking sheet and bake for about 17 minutes.

Transfer the pie dish to a wire rack and let cool.



RECIPE FOR BOURBON PUMPKIN PIE +
WHIPPED CREAM

NOTE: The 1 tablespoon of bourbon that this pumpkin pie recipe calls for, plus all the lively spices make the taste of this pie YUMMY! Don't worry about the alcohol, it evaporates so you are left with the flavor {for those worried about that}.

1 RECIPE FLAKY PIECRUST {SEE ABOVE}, OR ONE 9-INCH DEEP DISH FROZEN PIE SHELL {If you are pressed for time}

3/4 CUP SUGAR

1 TEASPOON SALT

1 TEASPOON CINNAMON

1/2 TEASPOON GROUND GINGER

1/8 TEASPOON GROUND CLOVES

PINCH OF GRATED NUTMEG

2 EGGS

1 CAN PUMPKIN {15 OUNCES}

1 1/2 CUPS HEAVY CREAM

2 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT

1 TABLESPOON BOURBON

1 TABLESPOON MILK {this is used to brush the outer crust edges, so don't add this to your mixture}


NOTE: If you are using a homemade piecrust, bake it blind as directed from the instructions listed above. If you are using a frozen pie shell, prebake it according to the package directions.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and put a baking sheet on the rack.

Note: there are various types of baking sheets, just use whatever you have. I prefer to use the one with edges, but any kind of baking sheet will do.
{bake sheet source}

Stir together the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs in large bowl. Add the pumpkin, cream, vanilla, bourbon, and the sugar and spice mixture and mix well.

Tip: Use a large, clear glass bowl so you can see underneath the bowl to make sure everything is mixed well. This is optional, but you'd be surprised to see how much of the mixture needs to be blended {even though you think you've whisked it well}.

Brush the outer edge of the piecrust with the milk.

{pastry brush source}


Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Put the pie shell on the baking sheet and fill the shell to the rim with the pumpkin mixture.

NOTE: Depending on your pie shell and the dish, you may have as much as 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture left over. {That's why I prefer to use the Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish, as it is a deep dish to house as much filling as possible}.

Cover the edges of your crust with foil.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F.

Then reduce the oven to 350 degrees F and bake until the pie is set in the center, 40-50 minutes more. {The filling will still jiggle when moved}.

You can remove the foil the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely.



INSTRUCTIONS FOR "DECORATIVE EDGES"

NOTE: If you want to add decorative pieces around your finished pumpkin pie {like in the one below}, then you may do so using the pie dough scraps that you put in the fridge. You will also need cookie cutters of your choice.

{decorative crust source}


While you wait for your pumpkin pie to cool down, take the dough scraps out of the fridge and roll it out like you would when you made the pie dough.

Instead of putting them into a pie dish, use cookie cutters of your choice and press them into the dough.

In my 2nd picture above, I used different sized "leaf" shapes and also "acorn" shapes. But you can use whatever you want, just make sure they are not too big.


Once you have yours cut out into various shapes, place them on a baking sheet {or for easy clean-up, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper}.

Use the tip of a small knife to carve out the details of the "leaves," "acorns," or whatever it is that you used.

Brush them with milk.

Place baking sheet with the cut-out dough pieces into a preheated oven set to 350 degrees F.

Bake for about 5-10 minutes or more, depending on the size of your cut pieces.

You'll have to watch the oven to make sure they are not burning {just lightly browned}.

Once they are ready, take out of oven and let pieces cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Place the cooled "leaves" around the edges of your cooked Pumpkin Pie. This is also a great way to conceal the edges of your Pie Crust if you accidentally over brown them! Put some on the center too {another good way to conceal the "cracks" on the center of your filling if you accidentally leave it in the oven too long}.





Now Pumpkin Pie wouldn't be complete without a dollop of fresh whipped cream!


RECIPE FOR BOURBON-SPIKED WHIPPED CREAM
Note: This makes a yummy "adult" whipped cream topping! Try it and you will see. If you are serving to kids, just omit the Bourbon.

1 CUP HEAVY CREAM

3 TABLESPOONS SUGAR

1 TABLESPOON BOURBON, PLUS MORE AS NEEDED

Combine the cream, sugar, and the 1 tablespoon bourbon in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Alternatively, you can put the ingredients in a large bowl, and use an electric hand mixer {takes longer for the peaks to form}.

The cream should slowly fall over forward when lifted with a whisk.

Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream!




Now I would like to share a few tips for a successful/flaky piecrust.


TIPS FOR A FLAKY PIECRUST


Make sure ALL of your ingredients are COLD! I usually measure out my ingredients and put them back into the fridge for at least an hour.

Always start out with cold butter & shortening. After cutting your butter into 1/4 inch pieces, put them back in the fridge again because when you cut them, they become warm.

Measure out your shortening, then put that in the fridge too.

Do NOT use unbleached flour. There is some debate on this one on regards to why {just google it}, but I prefer to use unbleached flour for my cookies and piecrusts, as it has worked better for me throughout the years. But do whatever you are comfortable with.

To measure your flour accurately, spoon it into your measuring cup and level it with a knife. Do not scoop flour directly from the bag into your measuring cup and level it against the side of the sack.

Make sure your flour & sugar are cold too.

Lastly, use ice cold water, but make sure you don't have "ice pieces" in your ice water.

If you follow these little tips, you will have a perfect piecrust every time!


If you still need some help on how to make the perfect piecrust, or need a visual. Here is a link to Martha Stewart's video. In this video, she doesn't use shortening in her piecrust recipe, but the video is helpful so you can see how your dough should look like during each step.

Well my friends, I hope you've enjoyed my recipes and the tips for a flaky piecrust. If you have any questions, please let me know. If you decide to try these recipes out - let me know as well! Until next time, take care and enjoy your new week!


Hugs,
Jessie




Sharing with:
Masterpiece Monday, Motivate Me Monday, Amaze Me Monday, CraftOManiac Monday, Life Made Lovely, Making the World Cuter, Its Party Time, Just Something I Whipped Up, The Tablescaper, Under The Table & Dreaming, Everything Under the Moon, Type A, Not Just a Housewife, Savvy Southern Style, & The Gingerbread Blog

16 comments:

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

Jessie! I breaking tradition and baking this recipe...it looks wonderful! I have the fluted Williams Sonoma pie plate in Ivory!

Thanks for sharing...I hope the kiddos perk up before Thursday!
Happy Thanksgiving!
~Lynne
[w/L]

Sarah. . .myyellowhouse said...

Great post! thanks for all the tips...I always wanted to be a baker but now I jus wing it! :)

I'm definately going use your idea on making the leaves for the edge of the pie. I love how that looks.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. xo
sarah

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

Great tutorial and amazing pie. What a fabulous pie plate...adding it to my Christmas list!

Tricia said...

Oh, that pie looks so yummy! I love the leafy edges. What a great tutorial, Jessie :)

jessica said...

Oh thanks so much for an awesome post!! How did you know that I was gonna make an apple pie and pumpkin pie??? LOL! Hope all is well with your dad!

~*Jessica

the poor sophisticate said...

Yummy! I am going to get to baking now!!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Oh my! This sure makes me want to have pie! Hope the kiddos are doing better!

Vicky said...

That looks so delicious and I bet would be a crowd pleaser. Great tutorial! I really feel like I can do this because you were so thorough and had such helpful pictures. I am a new GFC and Facebook follower from Gingerbread blog. Vicky from Mess For Less

Fresh Vanilla For C said...

Yum!!! Now I am HUNGRY!!!!!
Have a great night~

Cheryl

Nikki@EverythingUndertheMoon said...

Your pie looks amazing! I love the leaves! New follower here. Would love it if you would stop by and share this at my linky party going on right now :) http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/bedazzle-me-monday-9.html

Have a great week!!

Secret Garden Cottage said...

So many wonderful baking tips, Jessie! your pies look delicious!
Thanks for the recipe!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
hugs,
Jo

Rusty Hinge said...

I love the leaf border on your pie. It is so cute, almost don't want to eat it (I said almost! It looks so delicious, I wouldn't be able to pass it up!)
Happy Thanksgiving!
Maria

A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Thank you ladies for your lovely comments! I greatly appreciate all of your kind words. Thank you so much for stopping by & Happy Holidays to you all! :)


XOXO's,
Jessie

Veronica said...

Goodness Jessie ... I feel like licking the computer screen...yum! I am pinning this for when I start my foodblog and also to makeof course. Love the decorative vrust it hooked me in the linky party already!

Veronica Tassles Twigs and Tastebuds

Chrissy said...

I love that pie plate!! Thanks for the tips on pie making!! Yours looks delicious!!

Its So Very Cheri said...

YOU have been featured in my SATURDAY SHOWCASE. Come on over and check it out and grab a featured button (down in my footer.

http://itssoverycheri.com/2011/11/26/saturday-showcase-11-26-2011/

Cheri from Its So Very Cheri

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