As you may or may not recall, on Pi day I promised to teach you how to make pie crust. And the fulfillment of that promise has been a long time coming, because I hate making pie crust. But here it is, you selfish bastards.
However, that’s not all. Not only did I make a pie crust, but I put a fucking pie inside of it. Amazing, right? It’s a mother-flomping peach pie, because of summer reasons. I’ll go over the making of the crust first, followed by the pie itself.
Hot water pie crust for jerks (makes a single crust for a deep dish pan- double for a pie requiring a top)
Recipe from Miriam Munson. She probably doesn’t think you’re jerks, though – she’s a nice old lady.
- 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 2/3 cup shortening (e. g., Crisco)—not butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4-6 tablespoons boiling water
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Cut in shortening with fork (or food processor)
- Add 4 tablespoons boiling water and stir with fork to gather the dough into a ball. If needed add a small amount of boiling water.
- Pat the dough lightly into a circle about 1-inch thick—don’t handle too much.
- Roll out between two sheets of waxed paper. Fit into greased pie pan.
- OPTIONAL: To bake blind: add pie weights to crust 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then remove weights and bake a further 5 minutes, until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown (Explanation of baking blind below, in section 1.9).
Allentown Peach Pie
Recipe from Mrs. Mculla, southern tribal matriarch
- One pie crust (pie is open faced, one full crust makes two pies)
- ~4 peaches
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tbs flour
- 1/2 can evaporated milk
- 1/2 stick of butter
- Place prepared pie crust into a pie pan. Pre-baking the pie crust isn’t totally necessary here, but for an extra crisp crust, blind bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees, until crust is just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Fill a deep sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Gently drop the peaches in the water and let them boil for 45 seconds or so. Depending on the size of your pan do a few at a time. Take them out and let them sit for a minute and then slip the skins off. Cut them in half and dispose of the pit.
- Line your pie crust with peach halves, cut side down. If you have extra peaches cut them in slices and insert in open areas of pie.
- Mix 2 Tablespoons of flour with ¾ cup of sugar. Sprinkle over peaches (you will need to do this for each pie – it will seem like a lot of sugar because it is, just ease it over the whole thing).
- Shake your can of evaporated milk well. Pour half a can over the peaches.
- Take the butter, cut some slices and “dot” the top of the pie. Peach tops will still be sticking out.
- Bake for about an hour – it shouldn’t be too jiggly when you take it out, but it will be some! Let it sit at room temperature until you’re ready to serve up with ice cream, whip cream, or whatever.
1.1. Get crusthappy.
Pie crust has very few ingredients – mostly just flour, salt, water, and some sort of fatty agent – sometimes butter, sometimes shortening, and sometimes actual lard (fat from a pig). Real lard makes the tastiest crust, but isn’t always available. I used vegetable shortening here.
1.2. Put on the kettle.
1.3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
1.4 Cut in shortening.
As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes people cut shortening into flour with forks, with two knives, or with a pastry cutter. I’m a firm believer that all of those methods are bullshit – put some or all of the flour into a food processor, add the shortening, and pulse until you get pea-sized balls in the dough, like above. Return mixture to the bowl.
1.5. Add boiling water and stir.
Don’t burn your dumbass. Start with 4 tbs, and if you mix and find that you need more, add it a little bit at a time – you don’t want the dough to be too wet. You’ll know you need to add more if the dough is too sandy – that is, if you pinch it together, it won’t hold. You want it to be juuuuust wet enough that you can roll it out into a flat and pick it up without it falling apart. I used my beater on the lowest setting until just combined, rather than stirring by hand.
1.6. If storing, form into little rounds.
I at first thought I made enough for two crusts, but I ended up needing both to make one single crust for my deep-dish pie pan. These will keep in the fridge for a couple days, or in the freezer for a long time. Just make sure that they’re well wrapped – if not, they will dry out and not be useable. Touch the dough as little as possible with your hands – if it’s overmixed or overpatted or over-looked-at with your horrible goblin eyeballs, the pockets of shortening will melt and mix, resulting in a less flaky crust. And you don’t want that, do you? You terrible pie-eating goblin monster?
1.7. If using right away, cover with parchment paper on both sides, and roll flat.
And thus begins the finicky part of crustmaking. Try to keep it as round as possible – if it rolls out unevenly, you can rip a bit from a protruding side and move it over to another area. You know you’ve rolled it out enough when it’s fairly thin and pliable, and when it overhangs your pie plate by 2 inches-ish on all sides.
You can see that mine isn’t super even, but I’ll adjust for that once it’s in the pan. At this point, for the love of all that is holy please grease your pie pan with butter or shortening. I forgot to do this, and was chipping crust out of the pan after I baked it. It was very sad.
1.8. Once the crust is flat, GENTLY lift it into the pan and crimp the sides.
Sounds so easy, right? Well, maybe it is for some people but I’m not a grandma so it doesn’t generally go well for me. As the crust was already on the parchment paper, I simply lifted the paper and gently turned it over onto the pie plate, removed the paper, and adjusted the dough. Then, press the dough down to contour the pie plate.
Looks ugly, eh? Yeah, well fuck you. Go around the pie, flattening the dough against the side of the plate. Where the dough overhangs a lot, rip some off and move it to where dough is lacking, until it’s fairly even. Then roll/press the dough along the outer edges, like so:
Still not pretty, so at this point either use a fork to crimp the edges, or do it with your fingers (my preferred method).
There! That’s acceptable, right? Ok, yes. Good.
1.9. Blind bake the crust, if applicable.
Now, depending on your pie contents, there are a couple ways to proceed here. You can either go ahead and put your filling in the raw crust if it’s going to be fairly dry or firm, like for an apple pie. However, if you’re making either a custardy pie (like the recipe below) or if you’re not going to further bake the pie after the filling is added (for example, an ice box pie, or a chocolate chiffon pie, or something else), you’re going to need to blind bake the crust.
All this means is that you pre-bake the empty crust a little bit so that the liquidy pie filling doesn’t make the crust soggy as it bakes. The issue here is that if you just slap an empty crust in the oven, the dough will get all puffy and ugly looking. So, you have to add some weight to keep it from doing so. They actually make real things for this, called pie weights, but I don’t own any and if you’re listening to me jabber on about pie then you probably don’t either. You can just use dry rice or beans to hold down the fort, though. I think rice is better because you can still cook and eat the rice after it’s been in the oven – I’ve heard beans get a little funky if you try to cook and eat them afterwards.
TO BLIND BAKE:
- Preheat oven to 425, and add your weights to the crust.
Pop in some foil or parchment paper and evenly distribute your weight agent. You want it to especially shore up the vertical sides, as they can slide downwards if unsupported.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the weight agent.
For this, all you need to do is take the crust out of the oven, and then use the parchment paper to lift the beans/rice out of the pan and set on the counter to cool. Put the crust back in the oven immediately.
- With the weight removed, bake for another 5 minutes until the edges of the crust are just turning golden brown.
If you were interested in fully cooking the crust beforehand, just leave the pie in the oven until it’s golden brown all over, 5-10 more minutes. However, we’re going to bake it more with the filling, so just a lil golden is good here. Now we’re good to go!
2.1. MAKE DAT PIE.
Anyway, this pie is lovely and simple. Crust, peaches, butter, suger, a dash of flour, and evaporated milk (yes, it seems odd, I know. Trust.). Preheat the oven to 350.
2.2. Skin the peaches.
You can just do this with a peeler if you choose, but there’s a faster way. Boil some water in a deep pan (leaving headspace for the peaches), and once boiling, add the peaches. Let them cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and let cool. Once they’re cool enough to touch, the skins should slip right off, or can at least be lifted off easily with a paring knife. If you do it this way, the peaches will have a lovely pink-orange color that they would lack if you peeled them with a peeler. Not necessary, though!
2.3. Slice peeled peaches in half.
Just slice in half, remove the pit, and put the halves into the pan cut-side-down. If you can’t fit all four peaches in this way, cut into quarters or eights and wedge the slices in equally around the pan. This CAN BE fairly straight forward, if your peaches are nice and ripe. However, this time around, my lovely peaches were ripe on the outside, but not quite near the core, meaning that the fruit stubbornly held onto the pit, and if I tried to remove the pit from the peach half, I mashed up the fruit and got juice everywhere. It was just awful. So, I just cut mine up into little pieces and had a less pretty (but no less tasty) peach pie full of frustration and rage.
2.4. Mix the sugar and flour, and sprinkle over the peaches.
2.5. Pour the 1/2 can of evaporated milk directly over the sugar/flour mixture.
2.6. Dot the 1/2 stick butter on top of the sugar/flour/milk/peaches. DO NOT STIR.
2.7. Bake at 350 for about one hour.
The middle of the pie shouldn’t be totally firm, but the pie shouldn’t resemble a liquidy puddle. Crust should be nice and golden brown.
Wow guys I’m so glad I made that pie crust from scratch, everyone noticed and said how good it was and how awesome it was that I made the crust by hand OMG JUST KIDDING NO THEY DID NOT NO ONE NOTICED.