Make it in the Pan Pie Crust

Pie crusts can be so intimidating.  Lard, shortening, butter which fat is best?  There are tomes of books written on the subject.  Then there is the mess of rolling it out and getting it in the pan.  I have to admit, one of my proudest moments in culinary school was turning out a truly flaky pie crust which should ideally be done with every pie that comes out of your kitchen.  In the real world, sometimes I want a shortcut that does not shortcut on flavor.  Store bought is NOT an option.  Especially when homemade is this easy.

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 2 tbsp. milk

Mix dry ingredients in bottom of 9 inch pie pan.  Make a well in the center and add milk and oil.  Use a fork to mix and spread pie crust into bottom of tin and up the sides.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown if recipe calls for baked pie crust.

That flaky culinary school pie?  The secrets were BIG chunks of COLD butter.  When you rolled out the crust, you could literally see the chunks, which create pockets of steamy butter and flakes in the crust.  Wet fillings, like berry pies, tend to turn flaky crusts into a soggy mess.  The oil crust is actually ideal for this kind of pie and gives a tender, crispy, crumbly crust.

5 minute Chocolate Pudding

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces 70% chocolate

In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in butter, chocolate and vanilla. Let cool briefly, and serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.

This recipe is so much easier and better than pudding from a box.  I like the depth of flavor that the brown sugar gives as well as the addition of dark chocolate at the end which also serves to thicken the pudding.  Pour it into a baked pie crust for a delicious chocolate pie.

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