Step 1: A perfect pie begins with a perfect crust.........
It takes awhile to learn how to make the perfect crust. Overworking the dough, either over mixing or over rolling, will lead to a tough crust. To much moisture makes the dough difficult to roll. Adding to much flour results in a dry, tough, difficult to roll crust.
Just remember once you've mastered the crust, the filling is "easy as pie".
Step 2: Oil Pastry Crust Recipe
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
3 tablespoons cold water
Mix together the flour and salt. Pour oil and water into cup (DO NOT stir). Add to flour mixture. Stir lightly until a ball is formed. Flatten. Roll.
Remember that atmospheric conditions will affect your flour. Depending on the humidity levels where you live, you may have to increase the amount of water. Do this sparingly!
This recipe makes ONE crust. I, personally, make my crust one at a time. Feel free to double and divide the dough evenly for TWO crusts.
Step 3: Making the crust.....
However, this said, a good baker also know the consistency of the product made. This is where practice and perserverence pays off. Ready-made pastry dough is an easy out. But keep trying and learning and soon the compliments and requests will starting pouring in. You, too, can learn to make the perfect crust! Let's begin.........
Many say to sift the flour. I, myself, use the scoop method. If you scoop, the trick is not to compact the flour. Don't tamp or pack the cup to level it , simply shake it even. Mix in the salt to distribute.
Next, measure out the oil. Use a liquid measuring cup for accuracy. (However, if you don't have one don't worry. For years, I used one set of measures for both liquid and dry with good results.)
Add the water. Don't mix them. (Logic, I'm not sure...but this works well.)
Stir lightly with a fork until balls begin to form. Then use hands to form dough into a single ball. Remember, over mixing will result in a tough crust.
Step 4: Rolling the crust.........
An easy way to keep the dough from sticking to surface you are rolling it out on is to use waxed paper. This will minimize the amount of extra flour incorporated into the dough.
Put your flattened ball of dough on a sheet of wax paper that is slightly bigger than your pie plate.
Top with another sheet of waxed paper of the same size.
Roll out from the center, rotating your paper covered crust with every one or two strokes of the rolling pin, to form a circle slightly bigger than your pie plate. Occasionally during this process, flip the paper covered crust over. Peel the paper up to prevent sticking. If it starts to stick, dust top of crust with a small amount of flour. Replace the paper and continue to roll to size. If your dough is of the correct consistency, it will not be necessary to dust with flour.
Rolling pie crust, requires a firm but gentle touch. (Kind of like raising children, lovingly but firmly guide them in the right direction.) The key is to use firm strokes of the pin that push the crust into the shape needed. Remember, overworking the crust will make it tough. The goal is to obtain the desired shape and size with the least number of strokes of the rolling pin and as quickly as possible.
Store crusts in the refrigerator in their protective waxed paper until you are ready to assemble the pie.
Step 5: Prefect Peach Pie Filling Recipe
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
8 medium peaches (peeled and sliced)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix together dry ingredients (flour, sugars, spices) in a large bowl. Stir in peaches and lemon juice.
Add more peaches if desired. Adjust sugar as needed.
Step 6: Preparing the filling.........
Wash peaches in water and drain. Pare peaches and slice into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice on peaches.
In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together (sugars, flour, spices).
Combine dry ingredients with peaches.
Step 7: Assembling the pie............
Remove the top layer of waxed paper from the rolled out dough. Gently turn over crust (so uncovered side is down) and gently lay into pie plate, centering it to fit evenly. Remove top layer of wax paper.
Pour peach pie filling into crust lined plate. Cut 3 tablespoons of butter in small pieces and dot butter pieces over the top of the filling.
Moisten edge of crust by running finger dipped in water around the entire crust edge. (This will seal the two layers together.)
Place upper pie dough crust on top of butter toped filling in the same manner as bottom crust.
Seal the filling between the two layers of crust by rolling and folding the overhanging pastry together. Crimp pastry between thumb and first finger at an angle to pastry edge to create a decorative edge.
(An easier method is to press firmly with a fork evenly around entire plate edge and remove excess pastry overhang with a knife. Alas, this is the method I used, as in creating this Instructable, I allowed the pastry crust to dry out too much to make a decorative edge.)
Cut slits into top crust. Make sure these cuts are open by wiggling knife back and forth.
Line edges with strips of aluminum foil to prevent "excessive browning".
Step 8: Baking the pie......
I like to put my pie on a cookie sheet. This way if my pie boils over it is a much easier mess to clean. Good deep wide slits should prevent these messes.
Step 9: Savor the flavor of summer.........
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P.S. LInuxH4x0r loves pies, and "mom" could surely make good use of the cookbook. Before you know it, it would be stained with oils and berry juices......the sign of a loved cookbook!