Monday, November 23, 2015

Cooking for a Holiday - Thanksgiving, Part VIII - Three Days Before

Today I'm going to do one thing.  I'm going to roll out the pie crusts with the dough I made about a week and a half ago.

First thing this morning, I took the dough out of the fridge, where it's been waiting.  It should be at, or near, room temperature.  This takes about an hour or two.

The next thing I did was pull out the two new 9-inch deep dish pie plates I bought last year at Mariano's for $10 each, which was a quarter of the price that I saw them going for at the fancy kitchen store.  Pretty much the same dish, so why so cheap?  I'll tell you why.  Because I just spent a half an hour peeling off all the labels and price tags which were stuck on there like they wanted them to survive a zombie apocalypse.  Can someone please explain to me why companies do this?  It's like, why do they put scratchy tags on the back of the neck of a shirt?  And why are there seams on socks?  Right at the toe?  

Never mind, I just figured out it was water-soluble.  Too late for my nails, though.

Now, for those of you who hyperventilate at the thought of rolling out a pie crust, relax.  I've got some secrets:  

Secret #1:  I never put a crust on top of my pies.  I don't have the patience.  Fortunately, I make pumpkin and pecan pies for Thanksgiving, and neither of them need a crust on top.  So the only visible part of my pie crust is the rim and that's easy.  Seriously, NOBODY is going to see the mistakes, only taste the deliciousness.

Secret #2:  The King Arthur All-Butter Pie Crust.  If you made this, per my recommendation (you should listen to me), rolling out the dough is the easiest thing you're ever gonna do in your life.

You need a rolling pin.  If you don't have a rolling pin, you can use a wine bottle.  If you don't have a wine bottle, we're not friends.  Stop reading this and go away.

I roll out my dough on a big cutting board.  Put some flour on the board and rub some flour on the rolling pin.  Put the disk of dough on the board.  Now, working in one direction, from the center of the disk outward, go around the disk forming it into a big circle of dough.  It has to be about four inches across bigger than your pie pan, so about 13 inches across.  Gently wrap the circle of dough around your rolling pin and carefully unfold it on top of the pan.  Put some flour on your fingers and push it down and against the sides and rim.

Dip a fork into flour and press the dough down around the rim.  Keep dipping as necessary.  It should look pretty, and this helps to keep the dough from shrinking down into the pan when the pie is baking.  

Now take a sharp knife and trim off any excess dough.  Wrap the pie pans in Saran wrap and put them in the fridge.

Ecco!  That's it.  Aren't they things of beauty?  Could Martha Stewart do better?  Well, yeah, maybe.  But I could crochet a better poncho.

Tomorrow we bake!


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