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No-Roll Pie Crust

Ask me to finely dice an onion, and I'll do it.  Tell me I have to strip the leaves off a huge bunch of thyme, and fine, it's done.  Command me to peel five pounds of potatoes, and your wish is granted!  But ask me to roll out a pie crust, and you can kiss my apples.

For some reason, rolling out dough is probably my least favorite kitchen task.  I don't make cut out cookies, perfectly round biscuits (only drop biscuits), or fancy pie crust.  Rolling out dough generally turns into a sticky mess for me, so I avoid it.

But you know, sometimes, I miss pie. My good friend pie.  So now, I make a press-in-the-pan pie crust so that pie and I can spend time together.  It's very simple--I haven't screwed one up yet--and tastes just as good as a rolled out crust.







Only downfall:  no top crust.  You still have to roll out a top crust...unless, you get around it by making a biscuit topped pie (I made a beef pot pie this way, and it was delicious), or maybe even a crumb topped pie.  But the best topping in my opinion, is whipped cream, unless you are making a meat pie.  Then it's gross, so don't do that.

Here is the recipe first.  If you care to see a more detailed description, I have pictures following the recipe.
 

No-Roll Pie Crust (Printable Version)


2 cups flour (you can use all-purpose, whole wheat, or a mixture of the two)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or lard (or other fat of your choice)
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons cold cream or milk


1.  In an 8 or 9 inch pie pan, mix flour and salt together.

2.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Remove from heat and stir in honey.

3.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture.  Pour in melted butter.  Stir slightly, and then add the cold cream.

4.  Mix until a press-able dough is formed.  Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.

5.  Prick dough all over with a fork.

6.  Use in any pie recipe calling for a single crust; or for a pre-baked pie crust, bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. 



The Details


I got out my grain mill, and freshly ground my flour for a whole wheat crust.  Then I put the flour and salt into the pie pan, and mixed it together with my fingers.  You can use a fork if you are dainty.



Next, I melted the butter.  I have tried this crust with both butter and lard, and they both turned out great, so take your pick.



Once the butter is melted, you can add your honey (or maple syrup or sugar or whatever).  Stir the two together.  You'll have a pan of slightly sweetened butter.  Don't drink it.



Now you must make a well in the center of your flour and pour in the sweet, golden butter.



And now the fun comes, and you can mix it together with your fingers.  Again, if you'd rather, use a fork or something.  Sometimes, you just don't want messy fingers.



The final ingredient is added at this point.  The cream or milk.  I don't think it makes a huge difference which one you use.  I just like cream because it's fatty and delicious.  Mix it together until it comes together and forms a dough.



Finally, you can press the dough into the pan.  This is so easy because the dough is not at all sticky.  Bonus.



Once the crust is all pressed in, you stab it with a fork.  I enjoyed this part.



And then you can fill it, or just bake it to use it as a pre-made crust (great for no-bake fillings).





So far, I've made two strawberry pies and a biscuit-topped beef pot pie, and it was enjoyed by all.  At least, that's what everyone said.

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