Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A+ Crust Recipe

This crust can be used for main dishes OR desserts; once you get a good crust recipe, you can use it for everything... fruit pie, pot pie, quiche, anything

In dishes which require a crust, it is the crust itself that can make or break the dish. However, the crust can be the most unhealthy part of those yummy dishes. A traditional crust is made with either butter, lard, shortening, or any combination thereof. 
But this crust recipe (though not a 'health' food) is much healthier than a traditional crust because it uses canola oil and nonfat milk instead. Plus, it is just as golden, flakey, and flavorful! 

I am sharing this recipe in time for all of your fall baking in hopes to help ease some of the calorie load that comes with the holiday season. 

Over the weekend, Peter and I went apple picking with our friends, Trevor and Laurie. Somehow we came home with A LOT more apples then expected, so Laurie and I turned my kitchen into an apple pie factory on Sunday afternoon. We were cranking out loads of pie dough and peeled apples. This recipe earned an A+ across the board from all the taste testers... and no one knew that there was not even a dot of butter in the crust nor in the pie filling! For this reason, this crust earns in A+ from the 'taste' category AND for the 'healthy makeover' category! What a fun way to enter another season of fall baking!

Recipe (for one 'double crust' pie, or two bottom crust shells):
  •  2 1/3 cups AP Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2/3 cup Canola Oil
  • 6 Tablespoons cold, nonfat Milk

Mix together the flour and salt, then add in the oil, then the cold milk:

Continue until combined and it starts to clump and stick together. Try not to overmix. 
When it is ready, a portion of the dough should stick together almost like play-dough (but slightly stiffer) when squeezed in hand.
If it isn't quite moist enough, 
add a little more oil until it gets to the right pie dough consistency. Do NOT add extra milk. 

Divide dough into 2 equal portions. 
Roll out the first half of the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper:
(Because this dough is made with oil, it is easiest to roll it between 2 sheets of wax paper. Even with my handy dandy nonstick roller, this dough tends to stick and pull apart when I tried rolling it out without wax paper. So I really encourage you to use the wax paper method.) 

After you roll out the first half of the dough, transfer it to your pie pan. Leaving 1 inch of extra dough around the perimeter, trim excess dough and use your fingers to roll the 1 inch border under the edges to create the thick crust edge.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make your crust filling.

Repeat with the next half of dough if you are making quiches or single crust pies.
OR wrap the second half with plastic wrap and refrigerate the second half before rolling out the top crust of your double crust pie...
OR wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate to save for later baking.

Now you have options again: 
  1. If your recipe requires a pre-baked pie shell: remove pie pan with uncooked crust shell from refrigerator and bake for 13-15 minutes at 450 degrees F. Then fill with pie filling and continue to bake according to that recipe's instructions. 
  2. If you are making a single crust pie: remove crust shell from refrigerator, and do NOT prebake pie shell unless your recipe calls for it. Fill with pie filling, top with crumble topping (or whatever topping you are using instead of the top crust) and bake according to pie instructions. 
  3. If you are making a double crust pie: Remove second half of refrigerated dough and roll out to make top crust. Remove crust shell from refrigerator, fill with desired pie filling, cover with top crust, and bake according to recipe instructions. 
We made a double crust apple pie. Boy was it DELICIOUS! Look at that golden, flakey, crust and all those layers of apples! Thank you Laurie for peeling all the apples!

*Apple Pie Recipe to follow

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