Desperate Times = Desperate Measures = Store Bought Pie Crust

Hi, my name is Patti, and I am a procrastinator.  Once again I waited until the last minute and ended up with a disaster.  Zach had to take a trip to the store late at night again, and I ended up baking late into the evening.  However, this time I cheated.  Last week, our department had our annual holiday celebration and of course, I signed up to bring something in for dessert.  Since there are so many good and willing bakers in our group, it’s like show and tell whenever there is an event, and everyone oooss and ahhss at the delicious creations.  So, I’m obligated to maintain (or hopefully improve) my reputation as an amateur baker.  I saw the list of goodies that people signed up to bring in and noticed that the list lacked a pie.  After careful consultation with my trusty taste testers and friends, it was decided that pumpkin pie would be festive and enjoyed by all.  Pie crust, pumpkin, and whipped cream seemed easy and fast enough.  Also, I wanted to use my new handmade pie plate by John Sellberg!

Forming pie dough is relatively easy when you have a food processor (which I have thanks to Santa last year), but baking it actually takes some experience and skill.

For the pie crust, I combined flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulsed it a few times to get it mixed up.  Then I added the butter and pulsed it again until the butter got chopped up and the mixture resembled course meal.  I then drizzled in the water while the food processor was on and pulsed just until the dough started to hold together (don’t over mix!).  Lastly, dump out the dough, roughly form it into 2 discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  DONE.  For measurements, see Martha Stewart’s Basic Pie Dough.

I was less successful in baking it.  I used this video by Cat Cora to help me understand how to pleat the edges.

But I guess sloppy pleating, using only a handful of random rocks (instead of a pie full of dry beans or pie weights) and taking the rocks off way too early results in this (a slouchy pie crust with a tumor in the middle).

I justified that since it wasn’t a competition and it was late at night, store-bought frozen pie crust would be just fine.  So off Zach went to the store (good thing it’s only 2 blocks away) while I mixed the pumpkin filling, and out came the Pillsbury!  I got to admit, it is rather easy and tastes just fine.

I do feel defeated, but only for now as I will conquer this homemade pleated pie crust quest within this holiday season.  Any tips from experienced experts or even successful novices?

PS.  Leftover pie dough makes very cute mini pies (baked in a muffin/cupcake pan)!


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