My creating days during the past couple of weeks have primarily involved apples, pies, and pomegranates. I took no pictures, because I've posted them all before on previous years' blogs. However, I now recall that I may never have taken a picture of one of my pies. Should do. Maybe next year. (Added 10/27: below picture of my last 2009 pie sent by Dale - thank you, Dale!)
Besides the apple pie filling I canned until I was out of jars, I made apple pies for:
1) Friend Kerri, home from the hospital
2) Quilt group (a couple of extras joined us, just for the pie, and it was fabulous to have them come)
3) Girls' night out potluck
4) Piano technician that revived my piano (the guy was stunned by the pie offer)
5) Daughter in Napa (pleasant excuse for a drive)
6) Kerri again (you can't help but repeat when you are so appreciated)
7) Friend Dale, home from the hospital
That looks like seven pies, but there were nine. I know, because I ate two of them, a piece of pie every meal for two weeks, there being no one around to help me with the task. Gets old, believe it or not.
Everyone loves my crusts and wants my recipe. I will share it here, but let me warn you that it is not easy. If you are off just a smidgeon in your measurements and your timing, the crust is in serious danger of not holding together (though will still be edible).
I use Gold Medal unbleached white flour for this crust. Other flours usually need slightly different measurement (tried it = disaster), and since this is critical and I'm too lazy to test the proportions with a different kind of flour, I only use Gold Medal with this recipe (no affiliation, etc. I'm not getting paid anything for this by anyone).
I don't recommend doubling this recipe. If you try, I am not responsible for your results.
Stir 'n' Roll Pie Crust (from my mama, Barbara Sturges)
Here's the list of what you need; no time for running for the wax paper and rolling pin after everything is mixed, so get them now. Y'hear?
- Wax paper - rip off four approximately square sheets (slightly too long is better than too short)
- Rolling pin
- Medium mixing bowl (plus extra bowl for lazy girl flour "sifting")
- Mixing spoon
- Measuring spoons
- 1/4 c and 1/2 c measuring cups (or 1 cup with good graduated lines on the side that you trust)
- Butter knife (needed to cut dough ball in half)
- Cold milk
- Dictionary of Forbidden Words (optional)
- 2 cups less 1 scant T Gold Medal unbleached white flour (before measuring, pour a pile into a separate bowl to fluff it up a bit; lazy girl's way of "sifting")
- 3/4 tsp salt
Measure the following exactly and pour simultaneously into the hole in the middle of the flour:
- 1/4 c cold whole milk
- 1/2 c oil (I use light olive oil, but other similar cooking oils also work)
Dump dough out on one of the wax paper sheets.
Mound with your hands.
Cut mound in half with the butter knife.
Transfer half to another wax paper sheet.
Round and flatten both balls of dough with your hands and smash remaining wax paper sheets on top.
Roll both dough mounds into circles, as close as you can eyeball (almost to the manufacturer-cut edges of the wax paper). Dough edges will probably be crumblier than you are used to.
The dough will stiffen as it sits, so you want to get it into the pie plate as soon as possible. Turn wax paper sandwich over, remove what had been the bottom piece of wax paper (this is because it is harder to remove than the other one and should be removed first, especially if you lightly dampened your counter top first to prevent slippage while rolling), turn pie plate upside down on center of dough circle, hold dough on and turn over, gingerly remove second piece of wax paper, and carefully push dough into the pie plate. You can smoosh together or patch cracks and breaks.
Putting on the top crust is easier, no special instructions necessary. When crimping the edges, remember that thinner edges burn more easily.
Extra crust pieces can be piled up in a little Pyrex dish, dusted with sugar and cinnamon, and baked for the kiddies along with the pie (remove early).
This is a messy, exacting job, but it is worth it for me; the fragile dough makes into a nice, flaky crust. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of sugar for a slightly sweet crust.
You will want to use a different recipe if you are weaving the pie crust top. Well, weaving actually is possible with this one, but you may want to pull out your Dictionary of Forbidden Words to use in the process. Weaving this dough may not be so hard for quilters; you already know how to do piecing.
© 2009 LynnDel Newbold
In the quilting arena, I squeezed several shopping trips into my cooking and working-around-the-place days, looking for needed-but-not-readily-available springy floral prints. I've been steering away from floral prints for years, as has most everyone else it appears, and now that I want them, they're difficult to find. I ran across a few good pieces at Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in Santa Clara, so was doubly pleased by the trip - inspired by the beautiful and innovative quilts, happy with my fabric.
For the last several days I have been working on another round of my great-grandmother's block quilt (40 star blocks in the works), and will post pictures in a couple of days. I now realize I will run out of desired colors of my hand-dyed fabrics for future rows/rounds, and will therefore be more challenged than I want to be on how to design the final sections. But it will be an adventure, and what is better than a good adventure?