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Thanksgiving Pie: You Can Do It!

I’ve been seeing a lot of pie sellers’ posts on social media announcing they’re not taking any more pie orders for Thanksgiving, that they’re sold out.

Didn’t order your pie in time? DON’T PANIC!

You can make your own and I promise it will turn out fine. Making dough is easier than you think.

Here’s my basic dough recipe and 10 tips to get you through.

Basic Pie Crust

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour + another 3/4 cup for rolling surface
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1/2 cup Crisco (or lard or butter, your choice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ice water (fill one cup but use only enough to moisten dough)

In a deep bowl, work the butter and shortening into the flour with your hands until you see marble-sized lumps form. Think mixed nuts, like peanut and almonds. Add ice water a little at a time, tossing it around the flour with your hands as if they’re salad tongs. Keep your movements light. When the dough feels moistened enough, do a “squeeze test” and when it holds together you’re done. Do not overwork the dough! You are not kneading it like bread. It takes very little time and you’ll be tempted to keep touching it, but don’t! Now divide the dough in two, form each half into a disk shape. (Coat your hands with flour to keep dough from sticking to them.) On a clean, dry workspace, sprinkle flour under and on top of your dough. Roll flat and thin to the point you can almost see through it. (Keep rolling surface and pin free from gunk to keep dough from sticking.) Carefully peel dough off surface into a half-moon, then place halfway across pie dish and unfold it, gently pressing air out from underneath. Trim excess dough to about 1 inch from the dish edge with a scissors.


ONE — When you’re mixing your (chilled) butter and shortening in with the flour, just use your fingertips to massage it all together. Leave it chunky like mixed nuts. This is quicker than you think, so don’t think you have to keep working it.
TWO — Add as much water as you need for the dough to hold together. Don’t bother measuring it one spoonful at a time, just drizzle the water in and toss it around like your hands are human salad tongs. If it’s too crumbly, then it’s too dry. Add more water.  (Water does not make dough tough, overworking it does.)
THREE — When you go to divide your dough and form it into a disk, coat your hands with flour to take the stickiness out of it. It’s so much easier to handle this way!
FOUR — When you roll out the dough, make sure you have a clean and dry workspace.

FIVETo keep dough from sticking, sprinkle flour under and on top of your disk of dough. Once you start rolling, periodically sprinkle more flour.
SIX — Stop and scrape the gunk off your rolling pin if your dough is sticking. Rub flour on the rolling pin if it gets greasy.
SEVEN — Clean the gunk off your workspace in between crusts. A bench scraper is a helpful tool for this. (It’s like a rectangular metal spatula with no handle.) You can get these for $1.25 at Dollar Tree. The scraper is also useful for lifting your dough off the surface when you’re ready to move it to your pie dish.

This is a Bench Scraper (I call it a Dough Scraper)
From my cookbook, MS. AMERICAN PIE

EIGHTDon’t fuss with foil around the rim of your pie. If it’s getting too brown, that means your oven is too hot, so just turn the temp down.
NINE — For my pumpkin pie, I use the recipe from the label of Libby’s pumpkin puree; it’s on the label. And for pecan pie, I use the recipe on the Karo (light) syrup label.
TENNeed a gluten-free pie crust? Use 1-to-1 flour to make the same recipe you’d use for any other pie. I made one a few weeks ago with Arrowhead Mills 1-to-1 and it was excellent! You’d never guess it was GF. Don’t worry about the brand.

I’ll keep my pie hotline open, so if you’re in need of urgent help, you can email or message me. Beth (at) theworldneedsmorepie (dot) com — Facebook Pie Page