I know that Pillsbury makes a perfectly edible refrigerated pie crust, as do many other companies. But if you performed a side-by-side taste test between homemade pie dough and store-bought, the one made from scratch wins hands down!
Over the years I have made an occasional attempt to mix up my own pie crust, but it was never the right consistency. Strange, because my scones are always the perfect texture and the strategy is not that different.
This year, my New Year’s resolution was to learn to make edible pie crust. I am proud to say, I’m getting there! I practiced with a couple of quiches which were more than just edible. They were actually pretty damned tasty!
The beauty of quiche is that you can put whatever you want in one. The base for each was 6 eggs, a cup of milk, 2/3 cup light cream, salt, and pepper.
In version one I added sauteed broccoli, rendered diced speck (kind of like Italian bacon), and cheddar cheese.
For version two I sauteed yellow summer squash and added turkey sausage crumbles. (I took a shortcut and bought Jimmy Dean turkey sausage pre-cooked crumbles. They were easy and worked just fine.) I incorporated a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
Start with the pie crust since it needs time to rest. These ingredient measurements are more of a guideline since the amount of water will depend on how it feels. Some folks swear by the food processor, but since my Gramma never used one, I decided to learn by hand.
Ingredients for Two Crusts
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt or so
2 sticks butter cut into pieces
ice water – start with about 5-6 Tbs and add slowly as needed.
Mix flour and salt. Add butter. Use pastry cutter and incorporate butter until you get a sandy texture. Add water slowly and mix until it comes together. Do not over handle. Do not add too much water or it will get soupy.
Take one half and place on floured surface. Roll out until it is big enough for your pie plate. Trim edges. Flute. Use a fork to poke holes all over. Repeat with second pie crust.
If you are making a two crust pie, then here is where instructions diverge. I pre-baked my crusts, but you would fill your crust, lay the top over the filling, and trim/crimp, egg wash, then bake.
Place pie plates in the freezer while you prepare your fillings. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Before you bake, cover each pie dough with tin foil and add pie weights. As you can see, I used dried garbanzo beans. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil, then bake 10-15 minutes longer. My edges ended up a bit dark, so next time I would leave tin foil around them for this last 10-15, or cover them when baking the filling.
Add your fillings and bake until the centers are set. This took about 35-40 minutes in my oven. Yours may differ.
Overall, my pie crusts were quite good. The best part came with the pie dough scraps which I rolled out, spread with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. I then rolled it up and baked until golden. My Gram always does this with pie scraps and it is delicious. She calls it Schnikerhausen. I call it yum!
What are your favorite quiche add-ins? Leave comments below so we can try different combinations!