02 November 2012

countdown to thanksgiving: the basics

Hello, dears.  How is everything?  I'm going to assume you're saying, "Can't complain, Pancakes.  Can't complain."  In which case, that is good to hear.

It's November!  (My birthday month, no biggie.)  This means that I'm officially dreaming about Thanksgiving and all of the festivities that surround it.  This year, I'm hosting dinner for all of my friends.  For some reason, we all find ourselves away from home and it is the perfect occasion to eat, laugh, and get to know each other a little better.  Don't you think?  I'm going to assume you're saying 'yes.'

Like any holiday, there are things you just need to know.  The one thing that I have always identified with Thanksgiving is pie.  It doesn't even matter what kind, there just needs to be pie.  Now, a mere few years ago, I would have bought a frozen crust and called it a day, but this day is special.  I am here to tell you that if there were ever a time to make your own pie crust, it is Thanksgiving.  This the recipe I use my any traditional pie.

9 inch pie plate
rolling pin
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, cubed and chilled
1/2 cup ice water

Before anything else, cube your butter (in other words, you're dicing it) and freeze it for 15 minutes or up to an hour.  Cold butter is the most important part of making pie crust.  

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (for this I use my stand mixer, but you can do this with two forks or with a hand mixer). Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time (yes, this matters.  Don't just throw it all in), until mixture forms a ball. Split the dough in half and form in rounded discs.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into a circle that is at 12 inches wide.  This gives you some wiggle room in case you haven't formed a perfect circle or your edges are rough (which almost always happens).  Then you place the dough carefully into a greased pie plate.

That's it.  If you remember one thing, just remember: keeping it cold is key.

Happy pie making, loverlies.

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