Telling My Secrets

Tonight, I made a couple of big turkey pot pies out of our Thanksgiving leftovers. I already had some pie dough, so it only took a few extra minutes to chop some carrots and an onion and simmer things before pouring them into the casserole dishes and pop them into the oven.

The thing that really made them taste great, in my opinion, was the crust. You can't beat a homemade crust, yet so many people get scared off by the idea.

I talked in a prior post about the importance of ice-cold ingredients when making pie dough. Super important. Keep everything chilled and chill the dough overnight, at least, until you're ready to roll it out.

Don't be afraid to flour your surface for rolling out the dough. And flour that rolling pin, too. The less you handle the dough, the better. If you can remember, flatten it into a pancake shape before chilling it. I do this in a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag.

Now, my recipe. This is a variation of my family's "Never Fail Pie Crust" recipe:

3 c flour (I prefer King Arthur's)
1 1/4 c butter (cold, cut into 1/2" cubes)
1 t salt
1 egg well-beaten
4 T ice-cold water
1 T white vinegar

Cut butter into flour and salt until butter is size of peas. Combine egg, water, and vinegar in separate bowl. Pour liquid into flour at once. [I make a volcano shape in the flour mixture and pour the liquid into the center.] Blend with a spoon and then work with your hands until all of the flour is moistened and dough can be formed into a ball. DO NOT OVER-HANDLE. Keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Can also be frozen. Handles best when refrigerated overnight.

I use an inexpensive pastry cutter to mix my dough, but you can do it with a fork by pressing the tines through the butter and flour. If you have a food processor, that's another option, but again, be careful not to overmix it and break down your nice, cold butter.

Now, go get baked! Wait, that's not what I meant.