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Old 10-23-2005, 11:28 PM   #1
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What's a Pie Crust?

OK. We all know what a pie crust is, right? It's a flaky flour and fat based pastry used to hold some type of filling, right?

Well, partly. The pie crust described ablove is great for apple pies, cherry pies, peach pies, etc. But does it have to be made from flour and fat? I say, NO.

I have made pie crusts from fruit crisp topping recipes, from granola recipes, from graham crackers, etc. As long as they have enough fat and starch to hold them together, you can make a pie crust from all kinds of things.

Imagine making a choclolate pie crust from crushed oreo's and filling it with a luscious white chocolate pudding filling, or making a lemon flavored shortbread dough, lining a pie pan with it, and filling it with lemon curd. Or, you can mix together butter, brown sugar, flour, and oatmeal, and form it into a wonderful crust for pumpkin pie. The variations are endless.

My latest experiment came out wonderful. I used 1/2 cup AP flour, 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup dark rye flour, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup Splenda, 1 tbs. mollases, and 1 cup melted butter. I combined all of the ingredients and made 6 golf ball size balls. I flattened them and pressed the mixture into the 6 molds of a pumpkin shaped muffin pan. I made sure the crust was of equal thickness and filled the crusts to the top with a modified Libbey's Pumpkin Pie recipe. For the recipe, I added 1 extra egg, used Splenda instead of sugar, and cut the canned milk in half. I baked acording to the canned directions. They came out wonderful. I even got kudo's from my wife, and let me tell you, when it comes to pumpkin pie, if it's not the original Libby's recipe, I hear about it.

So when you're worrying about your flour and fat pie crust not coming out right, think about your last batch of chocolate no-bake cookies, and use that mixture to make your crust (filling has to compliment the chocolate of course).

The beauty of cooking isn't perfecting your execution of someone else's recipe, it's adapting the things you know to get what you want.

Tonight, I used the Nestle's Toll House Cookie recipe as a beginning for chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches for my daughter's birthday dinner tomorrow night. But I knew the original recipe was a bit too gooey for the sandwich. So I added 1 extra egg, an extra cup of AP Flour, and 2 tsp. double acting baking powder. Finally, I added 2 tbs. water to activate the baking powder. The resultant cookies are light and fluffy, but with enough body to hold together as an ice cream sandwich. They're kind of like very large vanilla wafers, but with that great Toll House cookie flavor, and all of those semi-sweet chocolate chips.

So, be creative, and learn how different ingredients react with one another. You will then be able to make whatever you want, so long as you have the ingredients. And you will be able to substitute when you don't.

Seeeeeya' Goodweed of the North


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Old 10-24-2005, 08:42 AM   #2
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Last time I made shepherd's pie, I made a pie crust out of mashed potatoes.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:17 AM   #3
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I've made crusts for dishes out of (already cooked) rice (& any seasonings I'm using) and cheese! This is actually fantastically good on shepard's pie and cottage pie (which Andy's post reminded me of), as well as veggie dishes and things with lots of tomatoes in them.

"The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love, for those you are cooking for" ~ Sophia Loren
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