Wellllllllll, here gooooooooooooooooes!!!! As you can see over on the right side there, I started my second little bloggie-poo because I need my recipes while I'm in China. I'm just going to hope/assume that there are western markets in my future city of Baoding and that I can continue to cook what I like and won't have to try to incorporate dried reptile parts into our daily meal plans while we're over there. :)
And, as I also said, I often have friends and family who ask for recipes. This way, I can send them a link and badda-bing, badda-boom, done.
I'll just have to add photos as I cook things, mmmmmkay? Maybe I'll pirate photos from the web for awhile.
And can I say thanks to Patty and Julie for teaching us technophobes how to put tabs on our blogs. I have a leetle tab up there that will be my index. As I add recipes, they'll be easily found in my index, hopefully.
Alright. Cracking my knuckles.
I like pies a LOT. I prefer them over any other kind of dessert or goodie. I'm not really a chocolate girl. I prefer fruity stuff, especially pies. I inherited this trait from ma mere. If I knew what "my mom" was in Mandarin, I'd put it here. But for now, all I know how to say is, "Excuse me," "can I ask," "hello," and "Do you speak English?" It took me three times listening to Rosetta Stone's first lesson for me to catch that. I am NOT an auditory learner.
I came across a recipe for Apple Dumplings awhile back in my mom's Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Though I wasn't a fan of the dumpling innards (I just really hate walnuts, I've decided. And I'd rather have apple chunks than whole apples inside of things like this), I couldn't get over how wonderfully flakey and tastey the pastry was for them. I've used it for my whole pies ever since, and I've gotten lots of compliments on it.
I told Patster I was starting this blog, and the first thing she said was, "Put up the pie crust recipe!" So that's what I'm-a-gonna do. With a pirated pie crust picture, for now. I saw this picture when I binged "pie crust," and I was like, "What an epiphany!!!" I'm always cutting out really stupid designs with my paring knife in my top pie crusts (when I don't do lattice-top), and they look really dumb. What a stinkin' good idea - using small cookie cutters! Duh! Why didn't I think of that??? So you get this pretty pie crust picture to go with my recipe. And hopefully I won't get into trouble.
The Best Pie Crust Recipe EVER!!!
(makes one pie crust)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 - 1/2 cup half & half, light cream, or whole milk (actually, I've often used 1% milk for this, and it's been totally fine)
Sift the flour and salt together. Add shortening and use your mixer to mix them all together until it looks like you have millions of little white peas in your bowl. Pour your milk in, then use a fork to moosh the milk into the "white peas" until you have a nice, thick pastry dough. Roll it out until it's pretty thin - 1/8" thick or so.
You know the rest. If you want me to put in a tutorial on what to do from here - putting it in the pie tin, stabbing the bottom with the fork, how to make a lattice-top, how to make fluted edges, etc., lemme know, and maybe I'll get all ambitious and put a tutorial tab up at the top and help ya out.
To cook a single-crust pie shell for cream pies, put in the oven at 425 degrees and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
So there ya have it. I think it's the coldness of the milk that makes it extra flakey. I don't like to munch on dough that has milk in it as much as dough that has used cold water (I'm a renowned dough-eater), but the cooked, finished product is so much nicer than what icewater dough yields.