Oh friends. So far, this month has been a doozy. Travel and sickness have kept me away from this space and I’ve missed it (and all of you!). Instead of recounting every detail of woe, I’m just going to dive back in and get things started again.
We are entering the season of pies. In my family, pumpkin and apple are traditional for Thanksgiving (it’s just two weeks away!) and are always homemade. From the time I was old enough to help, I’d be right there during pie making time. Sure, I was interested in how the pies came together, but mostly, I wanted first dibs on the leftover crust.
Once the pies were in the oven, my mom would let me roll out all the scraps with my tiny rolling pin, fill them with jam, and bake them off in the toaster oven. I thought my little tarts were the best thing ever.
Fast forward to today, and I still love to fill leftover scraps of pie crust with jam. Any time I find myself with a little extra dough, I rummage through the fridge, looking for an open jar that will serve as filling and make an impromptu hand pie/crostada/tart thingie. If can spare an egg, I’ll whisk up an egg wash and paint it over the top so that it bakes up glossy and burnished.
I’ve included my favorite pie crust recipe here, in case you don’t have one that you love. If you’re on pie duty this holiday season, might I suggest making a couple of batches for the freezer this weekend? It will ease the way when you’re making pies a day or two before Thanksgiving and will bring a jam-filled tart within easy reach.
How do you guys use up your extra pie crust?
Basic Pie Dough Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup ice water
- Combine the flours, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add the cold butter cubes to the bowl and pulse until the butter is incorporated into the flours and largest bits look to be the size of peas.
- Then, with the motor running, slowly stream the water into the bowl using the tube. Stop once you’ve added 1/4 cup of water and test the dough by squeezing it. If it sticks together, it’s done. You want it to just barely hold together.
- Divide the dough in two and wrap it in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Store in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using. Overnight is fine too. The dough can also be frozen for up to a month.
- If you don’t have a food processor, pie dough is still within your grasp.
- Combine the flours, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Grate very cold butter using a box grater.
- When it’s all grated, combine with the flours in the bowl and work together using a pastry blender or your hands. Add water tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough comes together. Divide and store as recommended above.