Pies and Tarts

Pate Brisee / Pie Crust

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I know I was planning on making some posts about mother’s day brunch ideas, but life happens.  So hopefully better late than never.  So this is a simple pate brisee recipe for both sweet and savory pies (I will be using this crust recipe for a Raspberry Rhubarb Tart that I will be making and posting later).  You can add maybe about 1 tablespoon of sugar to the dough for just a little added touch of sweetness if you are making a fruit tart or apple pie.  If you are making a more savory pie, just omit the sugar.

My recipe uses both butter and shortening to get that combination of flakiness and tenderness.  You can keep this in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or in the freezer for a month or two.  Since you can freeze it, you might as well make a couple of batches so you can whip up pies and tarts with no problem.  If you do freeze it, thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight to use the next day.  It’s important that all the ingredients are cold; you could even put the mixing bowl and processor blade in the freezer to chill them.  This should be enough for one 9-in double crust pie.  Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cubed
  • 4 T. shortening
  • 1/3 c. ice water, give or take a couple of tablespoons

1.  Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor (you can do this by hand if you wish).  Pulse for a couple of seconds to combine the dry ingredients.  Add the butter and shortening and pulse until mixture forms a course meal.

2.  While pulsing, drizzle water over the dough until it just comes together.  The dough must not be wet or sticky.  Press the dough out into a disk and wrap it in some plastic wrap or wax paper.  Let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour so the dough can relax.

Coconut Pie

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Here’s a recipe that I found at Penzey’s.  It’s very simple and has some good flavor.  Here’s the ingredients:

  1. 1 stick of butter, melted
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 c. sugar
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  6. 1/2 c. flour
  7. 2 c. milk
  8. 3 c. shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  Pour into an ungreased 9 in. pie plate.  Bake for about 35 – 45 minutes until browned.  Let cool.  Run a thin knife around the rim of the pie plate to help release before cutting

According to the recipe, this makes its own crust so do not put it in a pie crust.  When I made it, there was a crust that was formed, but it was not as pronounced as I thought it would be.  The pie did fall apart somewhat, so I’m trying to adjust the amount of flour and eggs in it.  I did add the zest of an orange which completely changed the end product.  I loved it, but it was a little intense so maybe half that amount would be enough.  You could also try mixing in some slivered almonds or something along those lines to just add a different texture, if you like that kind of thing