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Perfect pies with Fran Schaffer

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Fran Schaffer - Shortcuts to Gourmet Cooking nonnas@hamilton.net 308-380-5381

Perfect Pie Pastry

Makes 2- 9 inch crusts

In your mixer bowl with the wire whip attachment, add:

2 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup solid fat (lard, butter or shortening). I used lard. With your mixer on stir or low setting, mix until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs.

Remove from the mixer, sprinkle over the top of the mixture:

¼ cup cold milk

Mix with a fork until the dough comes together.

Removed the dough from the mixer and squeeze it gently with your hands a couple of times to form a ball. Allow it to rest in a cool place for about 1 hour.

Divide the dough in half for the upper and lower crusts. On a lightly floured board, flatten half of the dough with your hand and roll out about 1/8 -inch thickness, forming a 12-inch circle. Carefully place into a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold and pat, fitting the pastry into the pan. AVOID STRETCHING.

For the top crust, repeat the above instruction, except the crust should be slightly thinner than the bottom crust. Cut designs or slits on the crust to allow steam to escape. Fold over and place over the top of the filling.

Trim both crusts to ½ inch beyond the edge of the pie. Fold the top crust under the bottom crust. Seal and crimp the edges.

Pumpkin Pie

Makes one pie

Have prepared 9-inch glass deep pie dish lined with unbaked pie shell. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine:

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Then set aside.

In mixer bowl, combine:

3/4 cup sugar

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

2 large eggs

Above spices in small bowl

Pour into above prepared pie shell

Bake in preheated oven at 425 degree for 15 minutes; be sure to set your timer.

Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the knife inserted near the center comes out clear. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Coconut Cream Pie

Makes 1 pie

Have ready baked pastry shell, set aside.

In an 8-cup Pyrex glass bowl, combine and mix well:

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup corn starch

dash of salt

Gradually add, mixing well:

1 1/2 cups milk

Microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes. Stir. Return the mixture to the microwave and continue to cook on high in 1-minute intervals until thickens.

Separate into 2 separate bowls:

4 eggs

Reserve the egg whites for the meringue in one bowl.

Temper the egg yolks in other bowl, add:

1/2 milk

Mix well. Return egg yolk mixture to the pudding, mixing well. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on high; stir well.

Stir in :

2 Tablespoon butter

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Pour into prepared shell. Set aside.

Meringue

Bake: Preheat 400 degree oven

Time: 8 to 10 minutes

In mixer bowl with wire whip, beat until soft peaks form:

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream tartar

Dash of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gradually add a little at a time:

1/2 cup sugar

Bear until all sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Spread on filled pie to edge of crust, sealing it to the pastry. Bake as directed above or until meringue is golden brown. Cool gradually in a slightly warm place.


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