Don't be intimidated by pie crusts because they are so simple and once you have done it, you'll never, ever buy one from the store again. A few tips from me to get you started:
- Touch and process the dough as little as possible! What creates the flaky layers is the butter melting in the oven, releasing steam and creating those spaces in the crust.
- Be sure everything is very cold: your butter, shortening and ice water.
- You want to see nice clumps of butter and shortening in the dough when you roll it out. If you don't, you've processed the dough too much.
- When rolling out your disks, use your pie pan as a measurement and make your disk about 2" wider than your pan.
Chicken Pot Pie
(makes two pies) I freeze one for later!
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large potato, diced
1 1/2 C mushroom, diced
salt and pepper
1 C frozen peas
3 C cooked chicken breasts, diced
1/2 C butter
1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3 C chicken broth
Two recipes for a double crust pie dough (recipe below)
1. In a very large skillet over high heat, melt butter and olive oil together. Add onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook until beginning to soften. Add potato, mushroom, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until potato begins to soften. Add peas and chicken breast. Pour all ingredients into a separate bowl and return pan to the heat.
2. To make gravy, add 1/2 C butter and allow to melt. Add seasonings and whisk in the flour slowly as you sprinkle it over the top of the butter. Allow the flour to cook for a few minutes, then slowly pour in your chicken broth while whisking. Continue to whisk and cook your gravy to remove any lumps and allow it to thicken. Pour over your veggies and chicken. Mix to combine.
3. Pour half of mixture into prepared pie plate with bottom crust. Place and crimp top crust, brush with a beaten egg. Repeat for second pie and bake both for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. You can also freeze the second pie before baking. When baking a frozen pie, bake at 375 degrees for 90 minutes.
Double Crust Pie Dough
from The New Best Recipe
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tb sugar
1/2 C shortening, chilled
12 Tb unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
7 Tb ice water
1. Process flour, salt and sugar in food processor. Add shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and cut into the mixture until butter pieces are no bigger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses.
2. Sprinkle ice water over the mixture and pulse until a dough ball just begins to form. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and using your fingertips, knead lightly two or three times to bring into a ball. Wrap ball in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk shape. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.
**To freeze, prepare the uncooked pie in a glass pie pan. Freeze until solid, then remove from the pan, wrap very well in plastic wrap. To prepare, unwrap pie, place in glass pie pan and bake at 375 for 90 minutes.