Tuesday Tips along with Pretty Easy Pies – Cooking with Kids made Easy too!

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How to Make a Pie as Easy as a  Peanut Butter Sandwich (Okay, maybe not  quite that easy but pretty darned easy)

                   

People are  intimidated by pies. They shouldn’t be. You can make pies as good as the bake  shop—even fancy pies. And they’re yours. And you’ll save a bucket of money.

                    If you have ever had trouble with pies in the past, you won’t  again. This is your answer.

                    How to Bake the Perfect Crust

                    It’s the crusts that intimidate people. Throw away the  recipe—the recipe for the crust is definitely more complicated than a PB  sandwich. You have to cut the butter or shortening into the flour with a pastry  knife. You have to keep the dough cold, work quickly, and don’t handle the  dough too much.

                    Forget all that. Grab  a mix. A mix is darned near foolproof. Just add water. Beat it with the paddle  in your stand-type mixer for no more than a minute. You’re done.

OR even easier

  Buy a readymade uncooked pie crust in the market – they are readily available – you can even get gluten free pie crusts!

                    How  to Make Your Pie Crust Pretty in 3 Easy Steps

                    A  good crust is not necessarily a pretty crust. Here’s how to make it pretty.

  1. Sprinkle a  little flour on the counter and roll out the dough until it is a little  thinner than 1/4 inch thick. You may need to sprinkle a little flour on the  rolling pin. Do yourself a favor and buy two salt shakers to use for this.  Fill one with flour and the other with powdered  sugar. You’ll be amazed how often you use them.
  2. Transfer  the dough to the pie pan. Trim the edges using a sharp knife.
  3. Make the  edges pretty.  It’s easier to show you than to tell. Once you’ve done it. It’s simple. Press your finger on the crust so that it depresses it but not all the way through. Keep doing that and try to keep the depressions equal all the way around. See the picture above. That is it!

You’re  done. If you need a pre-baked crust, fill the crust with uncooked dry rice,  and bake. If not, load it with a filling. Some times, you’ll  need a top crust. Add it, trim it, and flute it in the same way. (Make sure you  press the bottom and top dough sheets together with a fork before forming the  edge so it doesn’t leak.) Cut vent holes and if you want a lovely light brown crust – take a raw egg, whip it lightly, and using a brush( you can buy brushes for cooking) lightly brush the outside of the crust all over. Then bake. Even easier, cover the top  with streusel. Use this easy  streusel mix that I buy from my favorite supplier The Prepared Pantry.

You’ve still got to bake your pie.

                    There  are two faults with baked pie crusts: The top edges can burn and the bottom can  be soggy, under baked. You can solve both those problems with equipment.

  • Use dark pie pans. Dark pie pans       absorb and distribute the heat. Your bottom crust will be browned and       crisp.  (These are pretty amazing       pans. You can slide your pie out of the pan and onto a plate for cutting       and serving.)
  • Cover the top edge of the pie with a pie shield. Those top edges take a beating in the       oven. By the time the bottom crust is baked, the top is burned. A pie       shield stops that.  Use one every time you put a pie in the oven – or even easier – take some foil, and cut off a strip, then fold the strip lightly over the edges of the pie crust to prevent it browning too much and just take it off for the last 10 minutes of baking.

You’re  ready to go! Grab some recipes and start making some easy pies. Once you’ve  made a couple pies, they’ll be as easy as peanut butter sandwiches—almost.  You’ll be the designated pie baker at family reunions, socials, and with  friends. No more expensive trips to the bake shop.

Fresh  Peach (or Strawberry) White Chocolate French Silk Pie Recipe

If you have fresh peaches, consider  this incredibly good French silk pie.  If  it is not peach season, consider making this pie with strawberries or  mangos.
A French silk  pie is usually made with dark chocolate; this one uses white chocolate.   They are usually made with raw eggs.  In this recipe, they are  cooked.

1 nine-inch  deep dish pie shell, baked and cooled

3 large eggs

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 quarter-ounce packet non-flavored gelatin

1 tablespoons water

10 ounces white  chocolate wafers or other quality coating or eating chocolate

1/2 cup butter cut into pieces and softened

1 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla  flavor

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla  flavor

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 cups fresh peaches peeled and diced  peaches for garnish and topping

  1. Mix  the sugar and gelatin powder together.  Add the eggs, sugar mixture, and  water to a large sauce pan.  Cook the egg and sugar mixture over low to  medium low heat while beating constantly with an electric mixture.   Continue cooking and beating until the mixture starts to thicken and reaches  165 degrees being careful not to scorch the eggs.  Remove from heat.
  2. Immediately  mix the butter into the hot egg mixture with the electric mixer until  smooth.  As soon as the butter is melted and while the mixture is still  hot, add the white chocolate wafers.  Continue beating until it is  completely mixed together and cooled to room temperature.
  3. Whip  the first measure of whipping cream in your stand-type mixer with the whip  attachment until stiff peaks form.   Add the vanilla  flavor.   Add the peaches.
  4. Change  from the whip attachment to the paddle attachment.  Scrape the white  chocolate mixture into the bowl with the whipped cream.  Turn the mixer  onto the slow speed setting and gently fold the chocolate mixture into the  whipped cream.  Mix for less than a minute, until the white chocolate is  mixed into the whipped cream.  Scrape the filling into the prepared pie  pan.  Set aside and let chill.
  5. When  you are about ready to serve, whip the second measure of whipping cream.   As the cream is whipping and after the peaks start to form, drizzle in the  sugar and add the flavor.  Beat until stiff peaks form.  Top your pie  with peaches and whipped cream.

Here is  a picture of my grandson Jack and I baking. Messy but soooo much fun!

 

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About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all - Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.
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