Introduction: Easy Bottom-Only Press in Pie Crust
Do you love home made pie, but feel intimidated by the thought of making your own crust? Me too! Did you know you don't have to perfectly combine flour and butter and try to roll it out to get a tasty pie crust? Well, now you do!
This is my take on a press-in pie crust, based on this recipe. This is not going to be a flaky type crust - but it is very simple to do, quick, and means you can say you truly made a from-scratch pie!
Step 1: Ingredients
If you do much baking at all, you probably already have everything you need to make this pie crust!
You will need:
> 1.5 cups flour
> 1 teaspoon salt
> 1.5 teaspoon granulated sugar
> 0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
> 0.25 teaspoon vanilla extract
> 0.5 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
> 2 tablespoons milk
> 1 pie plate/tin
> sundry measuring cups/spoons
> fork or something with small tines to prick the dough
> an oven pre-heated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Step 2: Measure Out Your Ingredients
In your pie plate/tin of choice, measure out the flour, cinnamon, salt, and sugar.
Then, measure in your oil, milk, and vanilla.
Step 3: Mix the Dough
Now, mix the dough until all the ingredients are combined and it stops sticking to stuff.
I was able to do this by hand. I first used one hand to sort of stir it so most of the flour got exposed to liquid. When it started balling up a little, I used both hands to smoosh it together. When it actually came together at the point in the picture, the goop on my hand from the initial stirring came right off :)
This is very easy to mix, it probably took less than 3 minutes to go from measured ingredients to this point. Do note, though, that it is on the crumbly side when it is all mixed - it will stick when pushed together but it won't form a cohesive ball like say bread dough.
Step 4: Press It in and Prick It
Now you have pie crust dough - yay! To make it pie-crust-ular, press it into the bottom and up the sides of your pie plate/tin. This step actually took me longer than mixing the dough!
You want to try to press this in/up as evenly as you can. It will want to crack on you, since it is a drier dough. That is ok, just work slowly around and smooth the cracks back together as you go. Don't try to rush this part, it'll likely just fall apart on you if you work too fast.
When you have the dough pressed in shape, you need to prick it on the bottom and sides. To be honest, I am not sure why! But, almost every recipe I saw said to do so. (If you are a more veteran baker, maybe you could enlighten us in the comments? You rock!)
I found that a corn-on-the-cob skewer worked nicely to prick the dough, as long as I held it at an angle so both prongs could pierce it.
Step 5: Bake and Tada!
You did preheat your oven to 425 F right? Good.
Pop your pressed and pricked dough into the hot oven for 12-15 minutes. I checked mine at 12 and felt it was still to dough-y, so mine cooked the full 15. If you are unsure of how your oven will do, be sure to check it at the 12 minute mark. A burnt crust will just be sad!
Now, take your crust out and let it cool while you prep whatever wonderful things you want to put inside, and be super happy knowing you have made a from scratch crust!
When I use this type of crust, I either leave my pie open on top, or I top it with a crumble of some sort.
Step 6: Bonus Tip
Ok so this is not directly related to pie crust but it is useful to know. If you are like me you probably make a mess when measuring flour or other fine powdered ingredients, which is then a pain to clean off the counter (especially if you were having to knead dough right on the counter). I have found that a rubber bristled brush is wonderful for getting that up! You can "sweep" the counter top with it for dry ingredient spills, and it has enough scrubby power to get up dough enough that you don't cake your dish cloth in it.
Anyway. Thought I'd share for what its worth ;)