I love being in the kitchen, especially when I am baking something. I find it a place of great peacefulness and a very relaxing time for me.
Being in the kitchen, I have a lot of time to think. I run the whole spectrum of things to think about – my family, my friends, chocolate, dreams I have or goals I want to accomplish, chocolate!! Another subject I often think about is earlier times. Like way earlier times . . . like late 1800’s or early 1900’s. Thinking about the women of those days makes me very thankful I live in the era that I live in now. Sometimes I hear people talk about earlier times – “Well, those were the good ‘ole days”. Really? Not by my kitchen standards.
I think women at the turn of the century (if you didn’t have hired help) spent their days working to just feed and cloth their families. Just think about it – no washing machine, no running water, no electric stove etc. etc. etc.!!! That doesn’t seem like “the good ‘ole days” to me!! So, being in my kitchen often makes me very, very thankful for the conveniences we now have and how they allow us to have the choice to decide how we spend our time!! That is the luxury we are all given – CHOICES!!
Speaking of the modern conveniences, one I use a lot is the food processor. One of my favorite desserts is a fresh peach pie (well, any fruit pie for that matter). I grew up on a peach and apple orchard so I come by it naturally. I have been making pie crusts since I was a little girl, but for 10 years or so I have been using the food processor and it is the most absolutely best and easiest way to make a pie crust.
If you have a food processor give it a try this weekend – it is so easy. I make several while I am making them and freeze them in disks to use later for either pies, quiches or little hand pastries.
“Easy as Pie” Pie Crust
For 1 pie crust – will need to do this twice for a top and bottom. Do not double
the recipe – it does not work as well. Just make them back-to-back. It does not take any time to make one, so don’t think making two is a problem!!
This is what you need (besides a food processor) for each pie crust:
1 cup flour
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 Tablespoon cream (or ½ and ½ or milk)
In the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade in place add the flour and salt. Pulse for 3 to 5 seconds to stir together. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add to flour mixture. Pulse until butter is incorporated and about the size of peas. (6 – 8 times usually). With the processor running, add the cream slowly through the feed tube. Keep the processor running until the dough comes together in a ball and moves around the bowl of the processor. Turn the processor off once it forms a ball. You are done!!!
Little baking hints:
Have the flour, butter and cream in the fridge until right before you use it. Having things cold helps the flakiness of the pie crust.
Once you have your ball of dough, make into a disk about 1 inch thick and 6” in diameter. Then wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 15-30 minutes. When you are ready to use let it sit out for 5 minutes or so before rolling.
When you have made the pie crust (like in the picture) put in the fridge for 20 – 30 minutes before baking.
All these hints add up to a flakier crust. But, if you are in a rush, they do not have to be done. I make pies both ways and nobody has ever turned down a slice!!!!