Making Thanksgiving sweets is easy as pie
Pie is easy if you know how, so join me in my virtual kitchen as we whip up the Thanksgiving pies. First of all, do it ahead of timenever, never leave them until Thanksgiving day unless you are lucky enough that pies are all you have to contribute or you are using the crustless recipe below. In fact, the crusts could be made and frozen right now. Just be sure to wrap in a container so that you don't get freezer burn.
My nine-inch pie crust calls for 1 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco, but I used to use lard), and four to five tablespoons cold water. Sift dry ingredients into a good size bowl, cut in shortening until size of frozen peas. A pastry cutter (the thing with a bunch of U shaped wires attached to a wooden handle) works best, or use two knives. Never, never use a spoon when mixing pie crust. Add water small amounts at a time (one to two teaspoon) and mix with a fork or the pastry cutter. When it forms a ball, it is time to rock and roll.
Lightly flour the surface and take a bit more than half for the bottom crust. Roll from the middle out, turning as you go. Do not roll from side to side. When it is large enough (lay pie pan on top to judge), fold dough lightly in half and half again. Aim the center point to center of pie pan and unfold. Pinch up the edge to form the crimping, and cut off with a sharp knife. Freeze at this point, well wrapped. For two crust pies, roll out, again from the middle outward. Be sure crust is big enough to cover the panI usually lightly mark with a table knife. Do your design, and put filling in bottom crust.
Now, to get the top crust on, roll the designed crust around your rolling pin, dampen the edge of the bottom crust, and lay far edge of top crust on top, and unroll. You never have the top crust not on the filling this way. Pinch top and bottom edges together, and form a design. If you don't do this firmly, the pie boils out the edges. Now, wasn't that easy. Note: when I am making two pumpkin pies, I use the 10 inch crust recipe, and a deep pie pan, really a quiche pan. Ten inch recipe is two cups flour, one teaspoon salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 3/4 cup shortening, five to six tablespoons of cold water)
Now, if you are watching fat or energy, try Aunt Berta Romine's crustless pumpkin pie which is almost a custard, with just a bit of something to get it out of the pan. Don't think I have mentioned recently the necessity of preheating an oven. Most ovens zoom up to about 600 degrees when first started, then drop down to proper setting which can result in a burnt offering. Just turn on your oven when you start to make the whatever for best results.