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Are you on pie duty this Thanksgiving? We have some pie crust hacks that will wow your crowd! These are easy to pull off – you can even use store bought, roll-out crust to save some time – but bakery level impressive. We encourage making pie crust from scratch, so grab a few kid helpers, roll up  your sleeves and get to work!

Holiday Pie Crust

 

Makes: enough dough for 1 double crust pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Chill time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

 

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

  • 21/4 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
  • About ⅓ cup ice cold water

 

Apple Pie filling:

  • 6 cups apples, peeled, cored, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour

 

Sweet Potato Pie filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, boiled sweet potato chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup half and half or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar

 

Pie Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse flour, butter chunks, and salt together 4 or 5 times until crumbly.
  2. Run processor on low, and drizzle the ice water in slowly until the dough comes together and starts to thump around.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into two balls with your hands, then flatten each slightly into a disk.. Wrap both disks in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so.
  4. Make your filling while the dough chills. For the apple, toss all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. For the sweet potato, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend on high until smooth.
  5. When you’re ready to roll, flatten each dough disk with your palm, then roll out with a floured rolling pin. Move from the center to the edges, turning the dough as you work. If you get cracks around the edges, seal with a bit of cold water – pressing with your fingers, and keep rolling. You want a circle roughly 12 inches in diameter for a 9 inch pie plate.
  6. Place the first crust in the plate, and gently press in, leaving an overhang on the rim. Trim the excess off, and set aside.
  7. Put in the filling, and get to work on your fancy top crust!
  8. For Lattice: cut 4 thin strips and 4 wide strips. Lay them down over the filling gently from left to right, then peel back two at a time to lay horizontal strips from top to bottom, creating the woven effect. For the “ribbons”, cut three thin strips and bunch up, making a wavy ribbon of dough, then press down lightly in the corner of the lattice. Repeat with two more strips.
  9. For the cut out – use your favorite mini cookie cutters to cut out 10-12 shapes in the center of the rolled out crust. Make sure you leave at least an inch around the edge of the circle intact. Save the cut out shapes! Move the cut0out crust gently onto the top of the pie. Seal the crust edges and trim off any excess, setting aside. Line the edge of the crust all the way around with your cut out shapes!
  10. For the spirals, cut your rolled out top crust into as many ¼ inch wide strips as you can. One at a time, roll 12-13 of them into tight spirals  and place in a pattern on top of your filling. This method works best with a flat, custard based pie like sweet potato so you have a nice even surface. Trim the excess off the edges of your bottom crust, and crimp with the tines of a fork. Use your remaining strips to make a wavy border, folding each strip back on itself as you move around the pie.
  11. For all pies: Apply an egg wash to the top crust and edges! Beat one egg in a small bowl and use a small pastry brush to gently paint the top crust and the edges.  Sprinkle generously with granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  12. For all pies: Bake on a large cookie sheet at 375 for 45-50 minutes, or until sweet potato filling has puffed up and set, apple filling is bubbling and fragrant, and crusts are deep golden brown and shiny. Pie perfection!
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