Today, we have another Featured Guest Tackler — Jen from 11th Heaven Homemaking Haven.
But before we begin, we have a different kind of tackle we need to mention. We are looking for a new Tackle it Tuesday editor to manage Tackle it Tuesday.
Carolyn has done such a wonderful job – including designing our fantastic TT banner – but we want to give her a bloggy break. THANK YOU Carolyn for all your hard work! We really appreciate you!
If you are interested in becoming our new resident tackler, posting your personals tackles here at 5 Minutes for Mom, as well as managing our guest tackles, please email us at info(at)5minutesformom(dot)com with TACKLER in the subject line.
Now… back to our regularly scheduled programming with today’s Featured Guest Tackler — Jen from 11th Heaven Homemaking Haven.
Hello. My name is Jen and I eat partially (and sometimes fully) hydrogenated oil.
I try not to, but there are the crackers, the cookies, the brownie mix and most especially…. the pie crust. Who doesn’t love a good, flaky, Crisco pie crust?
As of recent months however, I have been trying to banish the foul substance from our family’s household. We all know how bad for us this modified fat is, and life is hard enough as it is. Why should I complicate things by blocking my arteries with a substance that was meant to have an eternal shelf life, whether it resides on our favorite grocery store shelves or in our life-sustaining arteries?
Something I have been meaning to tackle for quite some time has been to come up with a recipe for pie crust that does NOT contain shortening (A.K.A. – hydrogenated oil).
Now let me mention here that almost everything I am able to accomplish in my day-to-day living is a “tackle”. I have nine children, two of whom are seven-month-old breastfeeders and one of whom likes to lay on, press on, pinch, knock over and “luv” on the two breastfeeders. Referee-ing this circus takes 99.9 percent of my time each and every day. I even consider taking a shower a “tackle”, but that would not be appropriate to blog. Add to this zoo the fact that we’ve chosen to raise our children on a farm in a rural village in Mexico, and you will be able to see why I hadn’t gotten around to perfecting my pie crust recipe.
One of the reasons I LOVE 5 Minutes For Mom.com is that I am motivated to tackle something meaningful (yes, I know breastfeeding is meaningful, too) every week and blog about it. Janice is a genius for coming up with this idea!
I digress. Back to the pie dough. I’ve tried to make it without this poison, I mean shortening, in the past, but the dough was hard to work with and the crust was tough, not flaky, like grandma’s always was.
I know you all are sitting on the edge of your rolling ergonomic computer chairs wondering if I was able to tackle such an ambitious feat. I am here to tell you that you will NOT be disappointed! Here is my version of a pie crust I can live with…literally.
Let’s start from the bottom up…
These are wheat berries, wheat in it’s purest, most natural form. It has to be ground up before we can use it, though, and here’s how I’ll do it…
I love my Golden Grain Grinder. Unfortunately, these particular types of grinders are no longer manufactured, but if you would like to see about getting a grain grinder, try the K-tec kitchen mill or the Nutrimill. I’ve had experience with both and love ‘em.
All righty then, now that I have the whole wheat ground down to a fine flour, I am ready to gather my ingredients for the pie crust. Here’s what I’ll be using…
(P.S. If you aren’t able to grind your own wheat, you can purchase whole wheat flour at any grocery store.)
6 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups white flour
4 teaspoons salt
4 cups butter, softened, but not melted
2 cups very cold water
(This is a quadruple recipe for use as a make-and-store dough for a large family. If this amount is too overwhelming for you, then just cut it into a quarter.)
In a large bowl, I will whisk the flours and salt together, like so…
I’ll then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or two butter knives) until the mixture resembles course crumbs, like this…
Next, I’ll add the cold water and stir it in carefully with a fork, making sure not to over mix it or the dough will be chewy, not flaky. When it comes to pie crust, flaky is always the best!
Now I will get out my handy-dandy pillow case. (This is a trick my mother taught me when I was but a lass and it has been one of the most valuable homemaking tips to which I’ve been privy in my career as a homemaker. )
On this pillow case I will generously sprinkle large amounts of white flour, then I will gently ball about a cup and a half to two cups of the dough on top of it and sprinkle lots of flour on top of that, too. Finally, I’ll get out my rolling pin and sprinkle lots of flour all over that! We’re going to have a flour festival!
(See? That’s a lot of flour!)
Now we come to one of the tricky parts. I will carefully roll out the dough, taking great care to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. Even the least bit of stickyness will cause the fragile crust to attach itself to the pin and all will be lost. (Okay, not really, but it will be a pain in the neck to try to mend the crust once it’s torn.) Remember, we’re having a flour festival, so don’t be shy. Rub the rolling pin repeatedly with the the white flour to make sure the pie dough keeps to itself. And don’t be afraid to add more flour to the dough ball during mid-roll, like so…
I’ll keep rolling from the inside out until my pie crust is about 14 x 14 inches and about 1/4 of an inch thick…
Here’s where the pillow case comes in. I swear my mom was a genius. I mean she is a genius…she’s still alive. Hi mom! I will take the pillow case from the side closest to me, lift it up, pie dough and all, and fold it over itself so that the pie dough will end up like this…
I’ll then place the pie plate close to the dough to make sure it only has a short distance to travel…
…carefully lift the dough up onto the pie plate, then unfold it to cover the plate completely. Some of the dough will hang over the edges, so I’ll take a butter knife and neatly trim off the excess.
Now, I could just leave it like this, but how I long to be like my grandma! So, I am going to flute the edges. I’ll dip the pointer and middle finger of my right hand and the pointer finger of my left hand into the flour crock, then poke the edges of the dough like this…
Lovely, isn’t it? Next, I will poke fork holes into the dough, so large, obnoxious bubbles won’t form, like this…
Now, we can go one of two directions. We can either bake the pie dough right now if we’re making something like pecan pie, or, if we’re going to bake an apple pie, now would be the time to pour in the filling. I am going to bake my crust right now to use for blueberry pie with a cream cheese base. UMMMM! (But just so you know, that recipe will be linked on my blog next week for Tackle-it Tuesday. This is a pie CRUST tackle, not a PIE tackle.)
I will bake it at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and here’s what it will look like when it’s done!
In this recipe we used over 10 cups of flour and four cups of butter, but we only made one pie crust. What, you may ask, will we do with all that leftover dough? We can do one of two things. We can tenderly (remember, working with the dough too much will cause it to become chewy) ball up about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the dough and freeze it in Ziploc bags, like so…
…or we can roll the same amount out on our handy-dandy pillow case again and place it on wax paper, using the fold-and-lift technique as described above.
Once the dough has been safely transferred onto the wax paper, we can cover the top with wax paper, roll it up like so…
…and wrap the whole thing in foil to avoid freezer burn. This dough should keep in the freezer for several months.
When it’s time to use it, just let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours to thaw, then remove the wax paper and place your crust in a pie plate.
Ahhhhh….how good it feels to tackle something I have put off for so long. Gone are the guilt-ridden days of using shortening for my pies. I can now knock on Grandma’s door for Thanksgiving with confidence, knowing I am offering the most healthy pie crust options available!
Thanks for joining me and my chaos this Tuesday. For more of my tackles, click HERE…and have a GREAT Tackle-it Tuesday!
Tackle your housework in style with Jessie Steele vintage-inspired aprons from Rick Rack Attack.
Rick Rack Attack is a member of our Mom-Owned Store directory and is sponsoring today’s tackle.
If you tackled a project this week, just add a comment and add your link below.
Happy Tackling ladies…