Posted: Jan 23, 2013 6:00 AM
 
The holidays may be over, but for pie lovers everywhere there is another reason to celebrate! January 23 marks National Pie Day. Pie is a piece of American culture... and has been for centuries. We found a few great pie recipes to help you celebrate the occasion.

Do you know how integral pie is to American culture? Especially when it comes to popular phrases we don't think twice about? Before pie was America's favorite dessert, fruit pies were commonly eaten as part of breakfast in the 19th century. The term, "as American as apple pie" traces back to 14th century England. The pilgrims brought their pie-making skills, along with the apple seeds to America.

As the popularity of apple pie spread throughout the nation, the phrase grew to symbolize American prosperity. The term "upper crust" refers to early America when the economy was difficult and supplies were hard to come by. Only affluent households could afford ingredients for both the upper and lower crusts of a pie — thus, the term "upper crust" was born.

making a pie crust

Classic Crisco pie crust

Single crust ingredients: 

  • 1-1/3 cups Pillsbury BEST all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick well-chilled Crisco Baking Sticks all-vegetable shortening or 1/2 cup well-chilled Crisco all-vegetable shortening
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water

Double crust ingredients:

  • 2 cups Pillsbury BEST all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick well-chilled Crisco Baking Sticks all-vegetable shortening or 3/4 cup well-chilled Crisco all-vegetable shortening
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water

Deep dish double crust ingredients:

  • 2-2/3 cups Pillsbury BEST all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick well-chilled Crisco Baking Sticks all-vegetable shortening or 1 cup well-chilled Crisco all-vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 10 tablespoons ice cold water

Directions:

  1. Blend the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Cut the chilled shortening into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut in the chilled shortening cubes into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender, in an up and down chopping motion, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some small pea-sized pieces remaining.
  3. Sprinkle half the maximum recommended amount of ice cold water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from the bottom of the bowl to the top, distributing moisture evenly into the flour. Press the chunks down to the bottom of the bowl with a fork. Add more water by the tablespoon, until the dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together.
  4. Test the dough for proper moistness by squeezing a marble-sized ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together firmly, do not add any additional water. If the dough crumbles, add more water by the tablespoonful, until the dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball when pressed together.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball for single pie crust. Divide the dough in two for a double crust or a double deep-dish crust, one ball slightly larger than the other.
  6. Flatten the ball(s) into 1/2-inch thick round disk(s). For ease in rolling, wrap the dough in plastic wrap.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  8. Roll the dough (larger ball of dough for double crust pie) from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface (or between two sheets of wax or parchment paper) into a circle 2-inches wider than the pie plate for the bottom crust.
  9. Transfer the dough to the pie plate by loosely rolling around rolling pin. Center the rolling pin over the pie plate, and then unroll, easing the dough into the pie plate.
  10. For a single pie crust, trim the edges of the dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold the edge under. Flute the dough as desired. Bake according to specific recipe directions.
  11. For a double pie crust, roll the larger disk for bottom crust, trimming the edges of the dough even with outer edge of pie plate. Fill the unbaked pie crust according to the recipe directions. Roll out the smaller dough disk. Transfer the dough carefully onto a filled pie. Trim the edges of the dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold the top edge under the bottom crust. Press the edges together to seal and flute as desired. Cut slits in the top crust or prick with a fork to vent the steam.
  12. Bake according to specific recipe directions.

Two methods for pre-baking pie crusts (cream pies):

Pre-baking without weights: Thoroughly prick the bottom and sides of the unbaked pie dough with a fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Bake the crust in the lower third of oven, at 425 degrees F, for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges and bottom are golden brown.

Pre-baking with weights: Thoroughly prick the bottom and sides of the unbaked pie dough with a fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Chill or freeze for 30 minutes. Line the pie dough snugly with foil or parchment paper. Fill with the dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until the edges and bottom are golden brown.

Apple cranberry raspberry pie

Apple cranberry raspberry pie

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • Double Crust Classic Crisco pie crust
  • 3 cups cored, peeled, chopped Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen dry pack raspberries, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Sugar

Directions:

  1. Prepare the recipe for double crust pie.
  2. Roll out the dough for the bottom crust and place it in a 9-inch pie plate. Press to fit without stretching the dough. Trim even with the pie plate. Do not bake.
  3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Combine the apples, cranberries and raspberries in a large bowl.
  5. Mix the sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, salt and almond extract in small bowl. Add to the fruit mixture and toss well.
  6. Spoon the filling into the unbaked crust.
  7. Roll out the dough for the top crust. Place onto the filled pie. Trim 1/2-inch beyond the edge. Fold the top crust under the bottom crust edge to seal. Crimp and flute the edges. Cut slits in the top crust or prick with fork to allow steam to escape.
  8. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush on the surface of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Cover edge with foil to prevent over-browning. Bake 25 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil. Bake an additional 25 to 35 minutes or until the filling in the center is bubbly. Serve warm.

A touch of orange apple pie

A touch of orange apple pie

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • Double Crust Classic Crisco pie crust
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples, about 2 pounds or 7 medium
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Milk
  • Sugar

Directions:

  1. Prepare the recipe for double crust pie, using a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out the dough for the bottom crust and place in the pie plate according to the recipe directions.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, orange peel, salt and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  4. Place the apples in the unbaked pie crust.
  5. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and dot with butter.
  6. Moisten the pastry edge with water.
  7. Roll out the dough for the top crust, place onto the filled pie and finish the edges according to the recipe directions. Cut slits in the top crust or prick with fork to vent the steam.
  8. Bake 35 minutes.
  9. Remove the pie from the oven. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  10. Cover the edge of the pie with foil, if necessary, to prevent overbrowning. Bake 10 minutes or until the filling in the center is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Get more!^ Aspiring pie pros and kitchen connoisseurs can also visit Pie Central at Crisco.com for recipes, visual demonstrations and helpful hints.

More dessert recipes

Mini apple pie bites
Simple peanut butter fudge chocolate brownies
Boston cream pie cupcakes

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