Saturday, August 11, 2012

One Small Step for Pie-Kind

Making pies can be intimidating. At least for me. Maybe that's because in my family, my mom and dad's pies are revered. They'll be married 40 years in October and for 38 of them, they've made the apple and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. (They didn't make the pies the year I was born -- I was born on a Sunday and came home on Thanksgiving -- and the year my sister was born -- she was born on Thanksgiving, and my mom went into labor just as they were starting to peel the apples.)

That's a tough reputation to live up to.

But I knew the time would come when I would have to take a crack at it. Sure, my pie could never be as good as my parents' but may I could find a way to make it my own. And maybe, just maybe, my pie could revered in its own way.

But first I needed to find a recipe that wouldn't intimidate me.

Last season on her show, The Pioneer Woman made a flat apple pie. Everything about it seemed simple: the crust, the filling, the presentation. It was the perfect pie for this novice.

But, novice or no novice, I wasn't going to follow the recipe exactly. So, since apples weren't in season, I decided to make mine a flat peach pie instead.

And it didn't disappoint.

Not only was the pie easy to make, the crust was fantastic. It was so flaky, and better than any store-bought crust I've tried. I'll be using this crust for pies, pot pies, and any other recipe calling for a crust. It was perfect, just like the Pioneer Woman promised.

Flat Peach Pie

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Makes 2 pies


  • 5 firm peaches, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust (recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peaches, flour, lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Roll out the pie crusts into large circles. Place them on large baking sheets.
  4. Place half the peach mixture on one crust and the other half on the remaining crust.
  5. Fold over the edges of each crust so that it covers 2-3 inches of the peach mixture. Dot the tops of the pies with chunks of butter.
  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is golden and bubbly. If the crust appears to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.

Perfect Pie Crust

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
Makes two to three 9-inch pie crusts


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add in the shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Lightly beat the egg with a fork, then add it to the mixture. Next add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined.
  4. Remove half of the dough from the bowl and place in a large plastic bag (do not seal) and slightly flatten with a rolling pin. (This makes it much easier to roll out the crust later.) After flattening, seal the bag tightly.
  5. Repeat with the other half of the dough and place the plastic bags in the freezer.
  6. When you're ready to use a crust, remove one from the freezer and allow it to sit on the counter and thaw slightly, about 20 minutes. Remove from the bag and place on a lightly floured surface.
  7. With a rolling pin, begin rolling the dough from the center, outward. When at desired thickness, carefully lift the pie crust and lay it over a pie pan. Using your hand, lightly form the crust so that it fits inside the pan and overlaps the edges.
  8. Fill the pie crust with filling and bake according to the pie recipe's instructions. Or, for a pre-baked crust, fill with pie weights (or pinto beans placed on aluminum foil) and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden.

No comments:

Post a Comment