Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pie Crust Options

As promised, today I am featuring a number of recipes for pie crusts from Mollie Katzen, which you can use for quiche (see the quiche "formula" we use), or for any other crusty dish. I've used the basic, spinach, and potato (though I substituted sweet potato) crust recipes, and they have all been great. If anyone gets around to trying the nut crust, though, do let me know, as it sounds delicious, and I'd love to know how it turns out!



Basic Savory Pie Crust

6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ cup flour (can be up to ¼ cup whole wheat)
about 4 Tbsp cold water, milk, or buttermilk
extra flour for rolling the dough

  1. Use a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor to cut together the butter and flour until they make a uniform mixture resembling coarse cornmeal. (The food processor will accomplish this in just a few short bursts).
  2. As you stir with a fork (or as the food processor briefly runs) add the liquid, a little at a time, until the dough hold together. The varying humidity will affect the amount of liquid needed.
  3. You can now wrap the dough and chill it to roll out later, or you can roll it immediately, using extra flour, as needed, to prevent sticking. Transfer carefully to a 9- or 10-inch pie pan, and form a crust with an edge. If not filling and baking soon, refrigerate until use.
  Nut Crust

6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 ¼ cup flour (use mostly white)
½ cup finely minced* nuts of your choice
¼ tsp salt
about 3-4 Tbsp cold water
extra flour for rolling the dough

  1. Follow the instructions for the Basic Crust. Add the nuts and salt in Step 1, and proceed exactly the same.
  2. Note that * “Finely minced” means just this side of ground. Use a blender or food processor in short bursts. (Go lightly, so you don’t end up with nut butter).        


 Spinach Crust

a little oil for the pan
2 Tbsp butter or canola oil
¾ lb fresh spinach, finely minced
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup unbleached white flour
¾ cup wheat germ or fine bread crumbs
a few dashes of nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9- or 10- inch pie pan.
  2. Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large skillet. Ad the spinach and salt, and sauté quickly over fairly high heat until the spinach is limp.
  3. Remove from heat; add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pat into the oiled pie pan. Use a fork at first, and then your fingers, to mold the crust. Pre-bake for 15 minutes and then fill (no need to cool before filing).

 Gluten-Free Mashed Potato Crust

4 Tbsp butter, melted (for the pan and the top of the crust)
2 large potatoes (about 1 lb.)
2 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
½ c minced onion

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush the bottom of a 9- or 10- inch pie pan with about half the melted butter.
  2. Scrub or peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks, and boil until soft. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Add 2 Tbsp. butter, salt, pepper, and onion, and mash well.
  4. Using a spoon and/or spatula, form a thick crush in the buttered pan.
Bake 25 minutes, then brush the top surface with the rest of the melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes longer. You don’t need to cool the crust before filling it.

3 comments:

  1. It looks and sounds delicious!

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  2. Hi - do you need to bake the pie crust before you put the cheese and filling in? If so what temperature and for how long? Blind bake? I've made the pie crust and now I'm stuck - in your picture it looks like you have baked it before putting cheese etc in .... please help soon! Thanks

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  3. Been making the nut crust for about 25 years. Almonds or walnuts are my favorite. Pecans work too. It's a denser crust, so I think it goes better with stronger flavors like sharp cheddar and broccoli, as opposed to something more subtle, like swiss and herbs.

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