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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Cooking > Desserts

Never Fail Pie Crust and Fillings
by Wendy Kennedy

Are you afraid to try baking a pie because it's too difficult? Have you tried several times and not been happy with the results? Would you really like to bake homemade pies? Give this pie crust recipe a try.

If you're short of time pick up a prepared crust and make your own filling rather than buying a pie. Your guests will think you baked it from scratch.

~ Never Fail Pie Crust ~

1 lb. room temperature shortening
5 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
cold water
1 tsp. vinegar

Cut shortening into flour, baking powder & salt with a pastry cutter. Continue until pieces are the size of large rice. Whisk egg in a clear measuring cup. Fill to 3/4 cup mark with cold water. Whisk again. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Mix with a fork and then with your hands. Don't overwork (work until it all sticks together). Makes enough crust for 3 - 4 double crust pies. Divide dough into 6 or 8 balls. Freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap.

For a filled shell:

Flour countertop. Roll rolling pin in flour. Flatten ball of pie crust dough and then roll with rolling pin. Start in the center and roll outwards. Make a circle large enough to fit in your pie plate. Fold in 1/2 and lift into plate. Fit into plate. With a knife cut around pie plate lip to trim off excess pie crust. You can add this to the dough you roll for another crust. Fill shell with filling and if you need a top crust roll it out. Lay top crust on top. Trim around edges with a knife. Use a fork and press edges together all the way around. Cut 4 slits in the top of the crust, starting about 1/2" from the center of the pie.

For a sugary top sprinkle white granulated sugar on top before baking.

For a shiny top use a pastry brush and brush milk or watered down beaten egg on top before baking.

Baked Pie Shell:

Line tin loosely with crust. Trim edges. With a fork poke many holes in the crust. Bake at 400F for 10 - 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool before filling.

~ Apple Pie ~

6 - 7 cups peeled, sliced apples (use tart, tasty apples)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 tbs.. butter or margarine

Put a crust in your pie plate. Heap with sliced apples. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over top. Dot with butter/margarine. Put on top crust. Bake @ 425F for 50 - 60 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and apples are soft.

~ Pecan Pie ~

3 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter/margarine
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves

Beat together with rotary beater. Add pecans. Pour into pastry lined pie plate. Bake @ 375F for 40 - 50 minutes or until filling is set and pastry is nicely browned.

~ Pumpkin Pie ~

1 3/4 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups milk
3 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. white sugar
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Mix with electric beater and pour into pastry lined pie plate. Bake @ 425F for 45 - 55 minutes or until a silver knife can be poked in 1" from edge and come out clean. Cool. Serve with whipped cream.

To cook pumpkin: Cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds and discard or save to season and bake. Place pumpkin cut side down in a baking dish with 1/4" water in it. Bake at 375F until pumpkin is soft. Scoop pumpkin out of skin. Cooked pumpkin can be frozen in plastic freezer bags.

Wendy owns and operates http://www.CanadianCountryGifts.com. Sign up for her free biweekly newsletter by sending an email to ccg-request@newsletter.cndcountrygifts.com with 'sub' as the subject.

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