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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Aunt Joyce's Pie Crust


Pies, pies, pies!  I dabbled in pie-making in the past, and, frankly, decided it wasn't for me.  The pie dough recipes that required cutting butter into the flour, etc. fascinated me, but I never had much luck with them.  My pie dough would turn out too tough or just plain wasn't right. So I had resigned myself to not being a pie maker.  My Great Aunt Joyce always made the most beautiful pies, so one day I got her recipe.  What a difference!  The dough is so easy to make and so easy to work with.  And, it turns out great every time.  I guess I am a pie maker!

Aunt Joyce's Pie Crust (makes 1 two-crust pie)
3 cups flour
dash salt, optional
1 cup canola oil (only use canola!)
1/2 cup water

Heat oil and water in pan on stove top until it just comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and let sit 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, place flour and salt (if desired) in large bowl.  After 15 minutes, pour oil and water into flour and mix with a fork until dough comes together.  Roll out between sheets of wax paper.  For fruit pie, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Tip:  if you are going to use this for a one-crust pie like pie such as pumpkin, place the dough in your pie pan and flute edges.  Place in the freezer for at least one hour.  This will prevent the dough from slumping when you put the filling in.

Start out with canola oil and water.  Aunt Joyce insists that it has to be canola oil.  I don't know why--but if Aunt Joyce says it, that's what I do.  You will need one cup of canola oil and one half cup water for each two crust pie that you plan to make.
Place your oil and water in a pan on the stove and heat until just boiling.  Remove from heat and let sit for fifteen minutes.  I use this time to prepare the filling for the pies.
Measure out three cups of all-purpose flour and put in a bowl.
When your fifteen minutes is up, add the oil and water mixture to the flour and mix with a fork until blended.
The dough will have the consistency of play dough.
Divide the dough in equal parts and roll out in between wax paper.
Peel the waxed paper off the top of the dough.  With the wax paper still under it, place your hand underneath and flip the dough into the pie plate.  Peel the wax paper off of the top.  Build up the edges a little.  Then remove any extra dough that you don't need.  If you end up with any cracks or holes, just patch it together and press.  That's why I love this dough!
Add filling and dot with butter.  I use about two tablespoons per pie.
Now to make it pretty!  Aunt Joyce always had these flowers stamped on her top pie crust.  When I mentioned it to her, she gave me with this pie stamp.  I love it!
Roll out your top crust.  I put three stamps on the top.  You have to press pretty hard to get the design nicely imprinted in the dough.
It should look like this.  This is the pretty side that should be on the top of the pie.  So, place the wax paper back on top, flip the dough over, and peel the wax paper off the back.
Now you are looking at the bottom of the top crust.  Place hand underneath wax paper and put the dough on top of the filling.  I never get it perfectly centered, but it looks good anyway!
Seal and flute the edges; then sprinkle with sugar.  We ended up with little too much sugar on top of one of the flowers, so it didn't show up as well when then pie was baked.  Also, you can see a small amount of liquid coming out on the left side.  I should have put a pan underneath my pie in the oven to catch drips.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown and yummy.
Then enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Looks like it was a hit!

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