1-2 C rice, beans, or pie weights (for precooking)
Preparing the dough
1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor.
2. Add the pieces of butter and process until the mixture looks like cornmeal.
3. Move the mixture to a bowl and carefully mix in the ice water with your hands. If the mixture is too dry, you can add another tablespoon or two of cold water.
4. Form the mixture into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for half an hour or freeze for ten minutes. The dough can be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Forming the Crust
1. Prepare a counter top and rolling pin by dusting each with flour. Place the dough on the counter and sprinkle it with additional flour.
2. Roll the dough out into a disk, dusting with flour as necessary. If the dough becomes soft and sticky, cool in the refrigerator or freezer again before continuing to roll it.
3. When the dough is about 2 inches in diameter larger than the pie plate, transfer it to the pie plate by draping it over the rolling pin.
4. Firmly press the dough into the plate and refrigerate for an hour or freeze for half an hour.
5. Trim the excess dough from the edges of the crust and from the edges by pinching the dough or pressing a fork into it. Freeze the dough for ten minutes or refrigerate for half an hour.
Blind-Baking the Pie Crust
preheat oven to 425°F
1. Immediately after refrigerating the crust, prick it with a fork to allow steam to escape while it is baking
2. Lightly grease a piece of aluminum foil and line the pie crust with the greased foil, butter side down. Chilling the pie crust again will help the crust turn out well.
3. Fill the foil with rice, beans, or pie weights and bake for 12 minutes.
4. Remove the foil and weights, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and bake until the crust is a light golden brown (about 10 minutes).
5. Fill the pie and finish baking according to the pie recipe.
Pecan Pie Filling
from Karo® brand corn syrup, Ach Food Companies, Inc.
1 c dark corn syrup
1 c sugar
2 T melted butter
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c toasted pecans
1 blind-baked or frozen pie crust
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Combine the corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.
3. Place one layer of pecans on the bottom of the pie crust, then set them aside.
4. Chop the remaining pecans.
5. In a small bowl, coat the whole pecans in a few tablespoons of the syrup mixture.
6. Add the chopped pecans to the syrup and pour into the pie crust.
7. Place the whole pecans in a radial pattern on the surface of the pecans and syrup in the pie crust.
8. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the center of the pie springs back if pushed down.
Making a pie from the bottom up was a great experience. We didn’t have a food processor, but I was able to make the dough relatively easily. After chilling for a while, the dough was not difficult to work with and only stuck to the counter a little bit. The pie plate I was using didn’t have a large lip, so I didn’t make a very decorative edge for the crust. Precooking the crust worked pretty well, but it still had a few air bubbles that I pressed out after lightly browning the crust.
After that new experience, I just had to finish the familiar routine of finishing a pecan pie. It turns out that the lack of a decorative edge on the crust, coupled with the walls of the crust shrinking slightly helped because there wasn’t enough filling to completely fill the pie plate. After baking for an hour and cooling for another, the pie was still slightly warm and I got to serve it to a bunch of the MSSM staff.
It became apparent that I should have greased the pie plate before baking the crust, but I managed to pry the first few slices out successfully. Now, I can look forward to having more pie for breakfast tomorrow.