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  • Pies!!!

    Let's start with crust. I don't use shortening unless there is simply no alternative, so here is my oil based crust.

    Single crust

    1-1/2 cups flour
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup oil (I like olive but you can use canola or some other veggie oil)
    2 Tablespoons vinegar
    5 Tablespoons water

    Double Crust

    2 cups flour
    1-1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 cup oil (I like olive but you can use canola or some other veggie oil)
    3 Tablespoons vinegar
    8 Tablespoons water

    Sift flour and salt together at least twice. Measure oil, water and vinegar together in a measuring glass- don't stir. Add all at once to flour and salt, stir with fork just to lightly mix.
    Pie crust will not be flaky if you over mix or stir.
    You may need to gently work the dough with your hands.
    If double crust, separate into two balls.
    Roll out between two sheets of waxed paper or on a very well floured surface. A pasty knife is really useful to lift it from the surface.
    I like glass baking pans.
    Line your pie pan and flute the edges if a single crust.

    If a pre-baked crust is required bake at 450 for 10 to 12 mins or until golden.

    Use any left overs to make cinnamon sticks.
    Roll out the crust, place on a buttered cookie sheet. Liberally butter the Up-side, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, Use a wheel knife (otherwise known as a pizza cutter) to cut in strips, bake at 450 for 10 mins or until nicely golden.

  • (to make Banana Cream),

    Take your cooled pie shell - see above.
    Slice up two or three bananas and spread on your crust.

    Pie Custard Filling

    3/4 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons cornstarch (you can sub 1/3 cup flour)
    a dash or two of salt
    2 cups milk
    3 egg yolks slightly beaten (save the whites you'll need them for the meringue)
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 teaspoon of vanilla

    Use a heavy bottom 4 or 5 qt sauce pan. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt, stir in milk. Cook and stir (good time to read a book while cooking) over medium heat until it's bubbly, Continue to stir and cook for 2 more mins.
    Remove from heat and stir a little of the hot custard into the egg yolks - if you are experienced you can start working some of the hot stuff into the yolk as you are cooking. STIR while doing this, you want to bring the yolk up to temp without them cooking and lumping up.
    Then gradually pour and STIR the yolk mixture into the mix in the sauce pan. Return to burner and cook for 2 more minutes while stirring.
    Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

    Pour into pastry shell (on top of bananas if making Banana Creme)

    Top with Meringue (see below)


    • Meringue

      3 egg whites (saved from the custard)
      3/4 teaspoon vanilla
      1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (did you know that's the white stuff on grapes)
      6 Tablespoons sugar.

      Put egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar in large mixing bowl (love my Kitchen Aide for this )
      Beat until soft peaks.
      Gradually add sugar while beating, beat until forms stiff, glossy peaks.
      Spread over hot pie filling. I like to make little mountains all over.
      Bake at 350 until golden brown (10 mins)
      Oh, make sure the edge of the meringue touchs the crust or it will shrink up when it bakes.
      Let cool , cut with knife dipped in cold water (not dripping)


      • MMMM. I've never been good at pies, perhaps this will help. If nothing else, it made me drool.
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