There are a few things in my life that I have dismissed as being too difficult to make so I have avoided it all together. Even though everyone told me how simple it was to make, I just couldn’t bring myself to attempt it. Right now, that recipe is French macarons. I’ll let you know when I conquer those. About a year ago it was fresh pasta. Wow, was that a piece of cake. Why was I afraid of it? I have no idea. A few years ago it was homemade pie crust. Yes, with all my experience cooking and my history with food, I left pie making to the experts. Com’on am I the only one who’s avoided pie crust? I was embarrassed to let anyone know that I had never actually made my own pie crust. For this week’s “4PM Panic” post I am going to share the simplicity of making pie crust with my readers. If you are already a seasoned pie crust pro, stick around! This one has a unique ingredient that you may like to try.
IPA Pie Crust
- 2 cups and 2 Tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1/3 cup IPA beer
- In a bowl with a pastry cutter and your hands OR in a food processor add flour, salt and butter. Mix until the blend looks like small pebbles.
- Slowly add the beer, mixing until the ingredients form a ball of dough. In a food processor this will take less than a minute. (seriously easy)
- Note: Ok, super easy right? Four ingredients. Normal pie crust is made with flour, ICE water, salt and butter. Here we have replaced the ice water with beer. So it stands to reason that you want your beer to be really cold. You also want your butter to be really cold and cut into cubes or slices. when you mix the ingredients you want to leave some bits of butter visible. This will add to the texture of your crust. I’m not exactly sure what the beer does. This is a recipe that my friend Amy made and I loved, so I adopted it. There’s a richness and flakiness to this crust that is delicious.
- Now cut the ball of dough in half and press into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to allow the dough to rest and chill.
- Unwrap your chilled dough onto a floured surface.
- Roll the first piece into a circle about three inches bigger than your pie plate.
- Lay this crust into your buttered pie plate.
With the other crust you could make a second pie, but today we are going to make a Lattice pie top.
- FIRST add your pie filling. Pie fillings are simple and varied. Basically you need fruit, sweetener, some sort of thickener like corn starch or tapioca, and butter.
- So today I used this recipe for the filling. It was delicious and most importantly it held up to being sliced without falling apart.
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh black berries
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- Bring these ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- 3 cups frozen cherries (you may need a bit more depending on your pie plate size)
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 dashes of orange bitters
- Mix together and pour into pie shell
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter to dot the top of the fruit
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar to sprinkle on top of pie before baking
- To apply the lattice top, roll out the other chilled dough.
- With a dough or pizza cutter cut the dough into thin slices.
I use this simple chart to weave the top.
Simply adjust and continue the pattern if you are using more slices like we did. My son Mark made this top and although neither of us is ready for a job in the bakery at Heinen’s, I think he did a fine job.
I hope you’ll give it a try! It really is easy! Enjoy!