There are some recipes I always avoid or just plain refuse to do. This is because they appear to be too difficult or have ingredients I wouldn’t be able to obtain in our rural region/grocery store. However, I took on one of my fears last week and made a pie! Pie crust falls into one of those areas that has always freaked me out. I think it has something to do with all the tiny precise measurements. I consider myself to be more along the lines of a
sloppy/lazy rustic cook and I usually bypass recipes with lots of measurements or complicated presentations. Additionally, my avoidance of pie recipes could be due to the fact that my mother is an extraordinary pie maker and I can be a slacker and just enjoy her desserts. She usually makes an extra one for us to take home 🙂 Since I really like to eat pumpkin pie, I decided it was high time I learned how to make one. I took a step by step approach to challenge my fears/irrational issues and did a trial run at a pumpkin pie. I’m pleased to say I made it through the recipe without failure. One morning I did the filling, the next afternoon I mixed up the crust and in the evening I assembled and baked. The filling was delicious but I thought the pie crust was bland and sort of like waxy cardboard. (It did disappear rather rapidly). All in all, not a bad trial and there will be more pies in my future!
This weekend I decided to continue on my roll of crushing my avoidance behavior and gave a pie crust recipe another go. I embarked on a quiche crust. Doing half-crusts like for my pumpkin pie or this quiche was a more manageable way to start my foray into the world of pie crust. Two crusts – well, that is still a bit intimidating but I’m working on my issue. My quiche turned out to be delicious – both the filling and the crust and it was simple to make. I still haven’t mastered the crimping of the crust but I didn’t really put my heart into it. Plus, there is something nice about a homemade look to food (or at least that is what I’ll keep telling myself.)
6 Tablespoons butter chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 Tbs milk
a little oil or butter for you saute pan
med/large onion chopped
4 oz mushrooms sliced
1/2 red pepper minced
1 tsp salt
2 dashes of paprika plus a little for the top
2 dashes of thyme
1/2 tsp dry mustard
4 large eggs
1.5 cups of milk
2 Tbs flour
1/2 – 1 cup razor sharp cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Use two forks or a food processor to cut butter and flour. My food processor did this with a couple quick pulses. The mixture should look like coarse cornmeal. Add milk to hold dough together. Roll out so it fits nicely in the bottom of your pie pan.
3. Melt butter/oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add onions for about 3 minutes and then add pepper, mushrooms and salt for a couple of minutes. Once everything is softened, add paprika, thyme and dry mustard for the last minute or two. Turn off heat.
4. Combine eggs, milk and flour and beat well. (I did this in a blender – very easy!)
5. Put the cheddar on the bottom of the unbaked crust. Spread the veggie mix on top. Pour the milk mixture over it and top with a couple more dashes of paprika or cayenne.
6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is firm. Dig in at your preferred temperature. I like it warm.