Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pretty Perfect Pumpkin Pie Crust

TL;DR  Making pie dough into cinnamon rolls is awesome for pumpkin pies. Inspiration came from
Giggling Chef cinnamon roll pie crust
 Roll out crust dough, slather with butter and slices, roll into log, cut into slices, press slices into buttered* pie plate, and bake as needed for pie recipe.

My ADD brain is always searching for new stuff to learn or to do. I hit a sale at the HyVee on pumpkin pie supplies, and since the dog also likes canned pumpkin, I picked up a stash. Then remembered I'm living in a construction zone with a mini fridge so I'm not keeping eggs for the most part, and I'm cooking with a kettle and a toaster oven. (I could plug in a microwave but am saving that as s reward for getting the 2nd bedroom drywalled. And I have to blow construction dust off it.)

Anyhow, we spent Thanksgiving and then some at grandma's house so I took my pie fixings along. But the problem is, I don't like pie crust. My mom gets complimented on hers regularly, and her next door neighbor ran the Home Ec dept of a state university and she taught me to bake bread, so I've had ideal pie crusts. I've tried crusts made with butter, lard, Crisco, coconut oil, olive oil, and vodka.  I still don't like pie crust. (I do like pie crusts made with dates and crushed pecans, but it's too sweet for many pies, and was not an option here.). As I was waffling about whether to make the pie with or without crust (pumpkin quiche?), I remembered that Google might have a better idea.

Thankfully, I ran across the Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust. Because it looks spectacular, tastes great, and is relatively easy. Here's mine!

(Um, picture?)

I only have this picture because we were too busy eating it to take a photo after baking. Even with the aid of the glass pie plate, and making a second one,  it didn't happen.

Cranky Otter's Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust.
At Aldi's we could buy a 3 year supply of Crisco for $3.39 or a box of 2 pie crusts for $1.29. We bought 4 pie crusts. Turns out the Aldi's pie crusts are good. And cheap & easy - just the way we like 'em. (I have no problems eating raw pie dough. Go figure.)

- raw pie crust, rolled out
- 2T or so cinnamon
- add sprinkles of other "pumpkin pie spices" like clove, nutmeg, & ginger if you need the excuse to stock up at Penzey's.
- dash of paprika or cayenne pepper
- dash of salt
- 2-4 T butter*, melted.
     * Butter can be subbed out. Because it's melted, texture is not an issue. Use whichever fat you like. Coconut or olive oil for vegans.

- work surface
- flexible spreader
- glass pie plate (serve pie tilted on the side if your pie plate is metal)
- clean fingers
- cutting tool
- rolling pin (for homemade crusts)

- If you made pie dough, roll it out to a square or rectangle, then chill it while getting out your ingredients to fix it. Make enough for a pie about a cm larger in diameter than your pan, just in case.
- Toss as many Tbsps of butter as you are comfortable using in your glass pie plate. Microwave butter until melted.
- Lay out pie dough on work surface. Trim back about a half inch on 4 sides to square it up slightly.
- Swish or spread butter around pie plate. Pour excess onto pie crust and spread evenly.
- Liberally douse the raw, buttered crust with cinnamon. Rub it in with your fingers or spreader to get to the edges. Don't be shy, make a paste you can't see through.
        - If you want to get fancy, sprinkle lightly also with any or all of the "pumpkin pie spices" and include the hot pepper and a pinch of salt.
        - Please do NOT add sugar. It is too likely to burn when in contact with the pan. Unless you like that sort of thing. But it's not needed.

- roll up the spiced crust into a log. Cut slices about 3/8" (1cm) thick.
- place one in the bottom of the pie plate and squish it with your fingers (or a clean glass) to be about half as thick. It will spread out. If gaps open in the spice layer just scootch it over a bit to close. In the future, use more down force, less sideways force.
- Repeat with remaining slices, going up the edge also. If you have enough to cover, yay! You're done! If you're shy a bit, use the pieces cut off the round to make a lip around the top and fill in any scary gaps. Or frantically re-squish everything just a little more.
- Fill with pumpkin pie filling, or prebake, whatever your pie calls for. Bake per pie instructions.
- Eat & Enjoy!
Introverts: Put glass pie plate on small elevated stand to show off crust.
Extroverts: Walk it around to all the relatives/ diners and insist they admire your crust before and after baking, like I did.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting! I miss you!