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Time for Pie

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With another Thanksgiving right around the corner, I figured it was finally time to make my first real pie crust instead of using one from the freezer section. I went back to this post [2] that had all of your great suggestions for pie crust recipes to try. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you.

Not sure which one to start with, I took pieces and parts from a few that sounded good. Strike that… that sounded easy. It seems I have an irrational fear of working with dough for some reason.

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To start, I made sure to get all my ingredients super cold, including the metal bowl and pastry cutter.

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I decided to try out a pie crust with shortening instead of butter… no reason… just because.

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And I went out to buy a pastry cutter for the task. I’m sure this wasn’t necessary, but it did work great.

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I also had this pie rolling pin that I bought about a year ago. The ends are tapered so you can turn and roll out the dough in different directions easily… I think. I’m sure this wasn’t necessary either, but it gave me a little extra confidence.

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Now, don’t laugh at my pie dough. I have a feeling it’s not supposed to look this rough. It would definitely help to see someone do this first. I work much better when I know what things are supposed to look like. I also think I need to see what a lightly-floured surface means, because lightly wasn’t working so much. After rolling it out one time, I had to scoop it up and try again. Definitely leaning toward the generously-floured side of flouring. It reminded me of this doughnut disaster [8].

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But not to give up, I carefully placed my twice-rolled, tearing and stretching crust in the pie plate, repairing sections where necessary.

And it worked. YAY!

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Next came the cream cheese layer. It already looks better.

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Then the pumpkin layer. YUM.

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When it came out of the oven, it looked like a real pie. And the crust doesn’t look so bad after all.

Rustic… yeah… I was going for rustic if anyone asks.

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Halfway through baking, I added the topping made of brown sugar, chocolate, pecans and a little maple syrup.

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It was so good. Just the right amount of texture to go with the creamy filling.

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If you use miniature chocolate chips, the crunch will be a little more subtle. Or just tell yourself that because that’s all you have on hand.

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It was really, really good. I was even surprised by how good the crust tasted.

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I think I’ve opened up a new world of baking. I see more pies in my future. As a matter of fact, I think I’m gonna make up some more crusts and freeze them to keep handy.

Try out this pumpkin pie and have a Happier Thanksgiving.

Here’s the recipe in order of assembly:

Make the Pie dough
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, cold
1/2 teaspoon salt, cold
1 Tbsp sugar, cold
2/3 cup shortening, cold
4 Tablespoons water, cold

Make Cream Cheese Layer
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp lemon juice.

Roll out dough.

Make the Pumpkin Layer
15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup


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