Homemade Flaky Pie Crust

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Pies, both sweet and savory, are a special treat for our family.  My husband and I both love a good, flaky pie crust.  Anytime I make a pie for dinner or dessert, my husband is a happy man!

Two of his favorite dinner pies are this Spinach Ricotta Pie and this Homemade Chicken Pot PieThe thing that really makes them special though is the buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, homemade pie crust. Yum!  I could seriously just eat this pie crust plain it is so good.  In fact if there is leftover pie dough, I just roll it out and bake it either plain or glazed with honey and cinnamon, and it is AMAZING!

FlakyPieCrust1

 

Homemade Flaky Pie Crust

Yeild:  2 – 9 in. pie crusts

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), cubed and chilled
  • 1/4 cup duck fat (This is my favorite, but you could also use lard.  DON’T use shortening!), chilled
  • 6-10 TBSP ice water

Preparation:

Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse a few times to mix.  Add the cold butter and duck fat to the flour.  Quickly and lightly pulse a few times.  You still want to have some fairly large chunks of butter and fat in there.  They will continue to get mixed in as we add the water.

Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. You will keep adding water and pulsing after each addition until the dough just begins to gather together into larger clumps.

Gently gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Divide in half.  Roll out to a 10-in circle on a lightly floured surface.  Repeat with the other half of dough.  Use as desired.

Notes and Tips:

  • The duck fat combined with the butter in this recipe makes the most flaky, tender crust that I have ever had.  That being said you can also make this recipe with all butter if you do not have duck fat or lard.  It will still be very good, but using the duck fat just brings it up a notch!
  • You should be able to purchase duck fat at the meat counter of Whole Foods or other places that carry quality meat.
  • The amount of water that you use could vary from pie crust to pie crust.  Don’t be alarmed if one time you use 6 TBSP and the next time you have to use 10 TBSP.  Many factors, including the weather, will determine how much water you need to use.  The key is to stop adding water just when the dough starts to come together.  You don’t want it to be too wet, but you don’t want it to be dry either.
  • Don’t overmix!  You want to be able to see flecks of butter when you roll out your final dough.  This is what creates the a flaky crust.
  • Make sure that you use COLD butter, duck fat, and water.  This also contributes to a flaky crust.  If it is warm, your butter and fat will melt, and you won’t get those flecks of butter in your final dough.

ENJOY!

This post has been shared with Full Plate Thursday, Commercial Break Thursday, Cooking Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Making it with Allie, Under $100, Thrifty Thursday, and Delightfully Inspiring Thursday.

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Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

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HomemadeChickenPotPie

As I mentioned in my menu plan this week, my family was visiting over the weekend in honor of our son’s first birthday!  I stressed and stressed over the menu and finally settled on a lovely dinner of chicken, salad, creamed peas, scalloped potatoes, and biscuits.  You can see all the details and recipes I had picked out here on my Pinterest board

While I was making out my grocery list for everything that I would need to make this birthday dinner, I started to realize that it was going to be a little pricey!  The scalloped potatoes recipe alone called for four different types of fancy cheese and two cups of heavy cream.  And while the chicken recipe looked simple and delicious, I was going to have to buy ten chicken breasts and some white wine to make that dish.  A nagging voice in my head kept telling me that I shouldn’t spend that much money, but I tried my best to ignore it as I continued making out the grocery list. 

When Trevor got home from work that night I told him what I was planning on making for the birthday dinner.  He smiled and said it sounded delicious.  I proceeded to tell him that it was going to be a little more expensive than what I had planned on, but I thought that we could splurge a little for our son’s first birthday.  I mean he is only going to turn “1” once, right?!  My husband graciously said that was fine, but for some reason, I just did not have a peace about the menu that I had planned. 

Not only was my planned menu a bit pricey, but it was also going to keep me very busy in the kitchen.  I would much rather be spending time with my family and friends, than spend the whole party in the kitchen! 

As I was trying to decide if I should start over on the whole menu or just go with what I had already planned, I suddenly had an idea! 

What if I just kind of combined all of the elements of the dinner I had planned into one dish – a chicken pot pie!  Yes!  That was what I was going to do.  It would be perfect! I could make the filling and pie crust ahead of time, and then just assemble and bake the pies right before the party.

This option was the winner!  Not only would it be MUCH more frugal (I already had a whole chicken in the freezer for the meat and broth!), but it would also allow me to spend time with our guests.  PERFECT!

I adapted my recipe off of Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie recipeIt was delicious, comforting, easy to make, and will have a permanent spot in our family’s meal rotation. 

It makes a LOT of filling.  I made three pot pies out of it, and we ate everything but half of one pie.  We had the leftovers last night (two nights later) for dinner and they were just as good if not better than they were the first night.  If you don’t want to make three pie, you could freeze the extra filling to make a pie at a later date.  That is what I will do when we’re not feeding a crowd with this recipe.

 

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

adapted from Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe makes enough to fill three pie shells.  The leftovers warm up beautifully in the over.  You could just make one pot pie and serve the leftover filling on biscuits or toast, or you could freeze the extra filling to use in a pie shell at a later date.

Ingredients:

  • 12 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onions (2 small onions or 1 large onion)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 3 tsp salt (use less if you are using store-bought or previously salted chicken broth)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 6 cups shredded chicken (this is about how much you get from an average whole chicken)
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 3 cups small-cubed potatoes, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 (10 to 12-ounce) package frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 recipes for a 9 inch double crust pie (here is my recipe for a super flaky pie crust)
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat over to 350o.  In a large pot, melt the butter.  Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly, add the chicken broth to the butter mixture, stirring constantly.  Bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring, until thick.  Add 3 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the 1/2 cup cream.  Add the shredded chicken, carrots, peas, potatoes and parsley. Mix well.  Remove from heat.

Line the bottom of three – 9 in. pie pans with pie crust.  Fill each pie crust with 1/3 of the chicken mixture.  Cover each pie with the top crust and seal and crimp the edges.  Brush the crusts with the egg wash and cut several slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.  Sprinkle the top of each pie with the coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Bake the pot pies in the preheated over for 60-75 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and very hot.  Allow to cool for at least ten minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

This post has been shared with Full Plate Thursday, Commercial Break Thursday, Cooking Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Making it with Allie, Under $100, Thrifty Thursday, Delightfully Inspiring Thursday, Raising Homemakers, Simple Lives Thursday, and Pennywise Platter.

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