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Healthier Pie Crust
Healthier Pie Crust is a must in our family. I adapted a pie crust recipe that came with my Kitchen Aid mixer last year, because I wanted to create a healthier pie crust with my new kitchen mixer that didn't have all of the lard or shortening in the pie crust that every crust recipe seems to contain. Some pie crusts even call for white sugar; you won't find white sugar in our house! Here is a recipe that you are sure to be proud of... I know I am! You might even make it year after year for your family and friends! Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!
INGREDIENTS FOR 2-CRUST PIE:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
½ cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
5-7 tablespoons ice-cold water
1) Place flour and salt in mixing bowl of a Kitchen Aid or mixing bowl-type of appliance. Attach flat beater to mixer. If you are using a Kitchen Aid mixer, turn the speed to the “stir” speed position, and mix the flour and salt for about 20 seconds.
2) Cut the coconut oil and butter into small pieces, and add it all to the flour/salt mixture inside of the Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. Reset mixer to “stir” speed, and mix for about 35 to 45 seconds. bump up speed to next setting, and mix for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will resemble the size of small peas when done.
3) Placing the mix back onto the “stir” speed, add chilled water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all pea-sized particles are moistened and dough starts to hold together... this may occur after only 5 tablespoons of water, depending on humidity in the air. Bump up the mixer speed to the next setting. If dough is not moistened after 5 tablespoons, continue adding water in 1 tablespoon increments, until dough is moistened and holds together.
4) Remove dough from Kitchen Aid bowl. Divide dough into 2 equal halves. Form a ball with each half, and pat each half down into a smooth ball, flattening slightly. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
5) Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper (one sheet goes underneath the pastry half, and one sheet goes on top of pastry half). Roll out the dough to 1/8th inch thickness. After dough is rolled out, gently fold it in half, and then in half again. Place it on top of a pie plate/dish, and unfold carefully, making sure not to tear or rip the dough. Press dough firmly against bottom and sides of the pie dish.
6) For a one-crust pie, fold edge under. Crimp with your fingers to make a pretty edge along the top of the pie crust. Add desired pie filling, and bake as your pie recipe directions instruct.
7) For a two-crust pie, place roll out both dough halves. Place first pie crust in bottom of pie plate/dish, as directed in step # 6, above. Add desired pie filling. Cover the pie with the second rolled-out pie crust. Tuck edges under, sealing the pie together. Crimp the pie crust edge to make a pretty design. Cut slits in top of pie to allow steam to escape, otherwise, your pie will burst at the seams and drip down into your hot oven and burn! Bake as directed per your pie recipe instructions.
8) For a baked pie crust with no filling: Place one rolled-out pie crust in bottom of pie dish. Crimp edges. Prick sides and bottom of pie crust with a toothpick so your crust doesn't bubble up while baking. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack and fill with desired pie recipe that does not require any cooking.
You can also prepare this pie crust by hand:
Instead of using a Kitchen Aid type mixer, use a regular large bowl, pastry cutter, or chilled fork. Follow the same directions, above, but instead of mixing dough for 30-45 seconds, you will mix twice as long by hand. The dough will still resemble pea-sized crumbles when mixed long enough. Before I received my Kitchen Aid from my wonderful husband last Christmas, I purchased a $3 pastry cutter/blender at Wal-Mart that works wonders when cutting shortening into the flour mix!
You can bake a pie in any type of pie dish that you have:
I make my pies with glass Pyrex pie plate dishes. You can use glass, ceramic, metal, or even cupcake pans! Just cut circles out of the dough with a round cookie cutter or a drinking glass after rolling it out, and place pie crust cut-outs in a cupcake pan sprayed with non-stick oil, such as Pam Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, or Coconut Oil spray. Place another round pastry cutout over the top, crimp edges, and bake! Michael’s Craft Store sells mini pie tins, as well.
Why use coconut oil?
Coconut oil is much healthier for you then Shortening! I baked my first holiday pies replacing shortening with coconut oil last year, and my entire family loved them! You can read on the internet all of the healthy benefits of coconut oil. It's a perfect shortening replacement, and it solidifies when chilled! I actually pre-measure and mix my butter and coconut oil together, and chill it in one container for this recipe. Be sure that you are using organic butter for the full benefits of healthy fats.
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