Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sugar Cookie Pie Crust -YUM!

I have been on a bit of a pie-making binge the past couple weeks: 6 pies total. It all started when a friend brought me some delicious Utah peaches... so I whipped up one of my peach pies + made an extra Sugar Cookie crust, which I filled with my homemade vanilla cream pie filling (initially I intended to make TWO peach pies, but didn't have enough cream cheese on hand). Yum - that crust was supa good with vanilla cream filling, too!

I had been promising another friend a chocolate cream pie, so with my pie crust momentum I made another couple of sugar cookie crusts (one for my friend + one for my family, since we enjoyed the previous pies so much). I filled them with chocolate and vanilla cream. That evening on a whim I invited my neighbors over for pie... I could always make more, right?

Did I think to take any pictures of a completed pie? NO.

But I did manage a few shots of the crusts.

In the past I have typically gone the easy route and used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, but this crust seems to be forgiving, therefore pretty simple to do. And it is crust that I actually want to eat!

Sugar Cookie Pie Crust

1 cup butter, softened (1 cup = 2 cubes = 2 sticks = 1/2 lb.)
6 Tbs. sugar
2 large egg yolks, room temp
6 Tbs. heavy cream
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl on low speed of an electric mixer (I use the paddle attachment on my KitchenAid), cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks and cream, mixing well. Add the flour and salt, mixing just until combined. Gather the dough into a ball, and divide into two equal pieces. You can TRY to roll this dough out on a floured surface and then transfer to your 9" glass pie plate. I have also resorted to just pressing it into the pie plate due to the stickiness of the dough. The good news is, both techniques produce a similar crust... nice and tender, comes out of the pie plate easily, and so so tasty. 

 (The pie on the left I was able to roll, so it looks nice and smooth. The pie on the right would NOT roll well, and I didn't want to add too much flour, making it tough, so I just pressed it into the pie plate.)

Fold the edges under all around the rim of the pie plate and crimp. Prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork. Cover the edges with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.

 I have found that making simple foil strips and holding them together with paper clips works amazingly well...

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (I usually do 15). Carefully remove the foil and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes more (I usually do 15), until the crust is crisp and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled, it's ready to fill! I have an amazing cream pie filling recipe, which I hope to post in the next couple of weeks... just in time for Thanksgiving :-)


Apple Dumplings a la Trisha Yearwood

I don't have a fabulous finished picture of these, but let me tell ya, they are the BOMB. Seriously so so good! My friend Susan brought these to our conference luncheon last month, and I've made them several times since. I think they will become my new breakfast menu item for special occasions. They are also totally awesome as a yummy dessert topped with ice cream. Either way, there is no losing on this one!
Thanks, Trisha ;-)

Apple Dumplings a la Trisha Yearwood
(adapted from this recipe)

2 Granny Smith apples (I would get 3 for good measure - I like my slices pretty thick)
1 lemon (you can use bottled lemon juice) + water
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 cube = 1 stick = 8 Tbs. = 1/2 cup = 1/4 lb... just to be clear!)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can Grands Flaky Layers Buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits total)
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice, peel, and core the apples into 8 slices each. Squeeze (or pour) the lemon juice into a bowl of water and add the apple slices to keep them from browning.

Separate each biscuit into 2 layers. (Don't miss this step!)

Wrap a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching the biscuit slightly to overlap, and seal the edges.

Place the wrapped slices in a 9" x 12" casserole dish.

In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, butter, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.

Pour the hot sugar mixture over the apple slices.

Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the apples.

Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Note: I think you could reduce the amount of cinnamon/sugar you sprinkle over the top. It makes a delicious crust, but the first time I made these, I didn't use all of the cinnamon/sugar mixture and they were still perfectly cinnamon-y and crusty, and I didn't have sections of un-dissolved/caramelized sugar as shown in the above pic. They come out looking a little "burnt," but it is only due to the amount of cinnamon in the topping... they don't taste burnt at all.

I'm telling you... delish!