One pie crust works for many recipes

I learned to make pie crust while working at the living history museum.  The recipe we used there came right off of the Crisco box, and in all of my experimentation with pie crusts, I still always come back to the Crisco recipe.  It’s easy, and it works every time.  It can also be used in savoury dishes like quiche, as well as for making any type of dessert pie.

The recipe is as follows:

For a Double Crust Pie

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. Crisco all vegetable shortening (well chilled)
4 to 8 tbsp. cold water

1. BLEND flour and salt in medium mixing bowl.
2. CUT chilled shortening into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut in chilled shortening cubes into flour mixture, using a pastry blender, in an up and down chopping motion, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some small pea-sized pieces remaining.
3. SPRINKLE half the maximum recommended amount of ice cold water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from bottom of bowl to the top, distributing moisture evenly into flour. Press chunks down to bottom of bowl with fork. Add more water by the tablespoon, until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together.
TIP: Test dough for proper moistness by squeezing a marble-sized ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together firmly, do not add any additional water. If the dough crumbles, add more water by the tablespoonful, until dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball when pressed together.
4. SHAPE dough into a ball for single pie crust. Divide dough in two for double crust or double deep dish crust, one ball slightly larger than the other. Flatten ball(s) into 1/2-inch thick round disk(s).
TIP: For ease in rolling, wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
5. ROLL dough (larger ball of dough for double crust pie) from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface (or between two sheets of wax or parchment paper) into circle 2-inches wider than pie plate for the bottom crust. Transfer dough to pie plate by loosely rolling around rolling pin. Center the rolling pin over the pie plate, and then unroll, easing dough into pie plate.
6. For a SINGLE pie crust, trim edges of dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold edge under. Flute dough as desired. Bake according to specific recipe directions.
7. For a DOUBLE pie crust, roll larger disk for bottom crust, trimming edges of dough even with outer edge of pie plate. Fill unbaked pie crust according to recipe directions. Roll out smaller dough disk. Transfer dough carefully onto filled pie. Trim edges of dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold top edge under bottom crust. Press edges together to seal and flute as desired. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to vent steam. Bake according to specific recipe directions.

On Friday night I wanted to make quiche for dinner.  We had a Costco sized package of goat cheese in the fridge (yummy!) that I wanted to somehow work into the quiche.  I did what I often do, turned to Google.  I found a few recipes and came up with my own variation, working in the things that we like.  The result was DELICIOUS.

Here’s what I did.

Bacon, Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche

1 unbaked pie crust
5 slices of bacon, cubed
¼ onion diced finely
2 c. baby spinach
5 spears asparagus snapped into small pieces
8 eggs
½ c. milk
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
½ c. crumbled, soft goat cheese
Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a hot frying pan, sauté bacon until golden, then remove with a slotted spoon; set aside.
3. Add the onions and asparagus to the pan, lower the heat, and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until soft but not colored.
4. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, then remove from the heat.
5. Put the bacon, onions, asparagus and spinach into the bottom of the unbaked pie crust.
6. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over top.
7. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk. Add salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
8. Pour egg mixture into the pie crust.
9. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
10. Bake at 375 degrees until the egg is set and the crust is browned. Approximately 30-40 minutes.
11. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes before cutting.

Since I made the double crust pie recipe, I had a ball of dough for another crust leftover.  We were invited to our neighbours’ for dinner tonight, so I decided to use the crust to make a coconut custard pie.  This was new territory for me, so I found a recipe and got to work.

Coconut Custard Pie

1-9″ pie crust (your favorite recipe or frozen pie crust)
1 can coconut milk (must be canned)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. If using a frozen pie crust, thaw for 15 minutes before baking. Line pie crust with parchment paper or wax paper.
2. Add pie weights or 2 cups uncooked rice or beans. Bake for 12 minutes. Set on wire rack.
3. Remove weights with parchment paper (save for other pie shell baking). Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
4. While pie crust is baking, add eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, coconut extract and salt to a mixing bowl. Beat well and set aside.
5. Mix 1/4 cup of coconut milk and cornstarch in a medium saucepan until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
6. Stirring constantly over a medium heat (being careful not to boil), add remaining Coconut Milk and cook until coconut milk begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
7. Whisking constantly, pour hot coconut milk (a small amount at a time) into egg mixture. Pour coconut mixture into pre-baked pie shell and sprinkle with coconut.
8. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the custard is firmly set. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

I set the over timer for 40 minutes and then got caught up with the baby and the toddler.  Pie probably should’ve come out at 35 minutes, as it turned out a bit overdone at 40 minutes.  It’s just nice and toasted.

Top: What it should look like Bottom: A bit over toasted!

Top: What it should look like
Bottom: A bit over toasted!

After a delicious dinner, the pie was dished out and enjoyed by all.  A great Saturday night with the greatest friends.

A nice end to a fantastic dinner!

A nice end to a fantastic dinner!

Try this pie crust recipe, you won’t be disappointed!