The picture shows a pie without top crust. At this point, I could have done many types of top crusts. You can cut the dough into strips and weave it with a basket design over the top, make a circle with slits, or a decorative design. You need enough cuts to let the steam out.
The crust is what takes the time with this pie. If you are short on time, buy a frozen crust but make your own filling. The homemade pie filling is quick and easy and tastes so much better than the pie filling in a can.
The secret to a good pie crust is to handle the dough as little as possible. The crust starts to get tough if you handle it too much. Do not over mix it or keep rolling it out over and over. I use a fork to mix everything together and then use a pastry cutter like the Oxo Good Grips Dough Blender to get the pieces of dough to pea size.
Pie Crust (For 9-inch pie double crust pie)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups shortening
1/4-1/2 cups cold water
In a medium bowl add the flour and salt. Mix together with a fork or pastry cutter.
Add shortening and blend with a fork or pastry cutter until the pieces are the size of small peas.
Add one tablespoon of water and gently toss with a fork. Continue to add a tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture is all moistened.
Pick up the mixture and shape into a ball. For two pie crusts, divide the mixture in half and shape each piece into a ball.
Place one of the balls onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten slightly with your hand. Rub a small amount of flour on the rolling pin and drizzle the top of the ball lightly with flour. Roll the mixture until it is 1/8 inch thick. Roll the dough lightly from the center to the edge.
When you have a circle, put the rolling pin in the center of the dough. Carefully lift one side of the dough and gently place it over the rolling pin. Place the rolling pin near the center of the pie pan and gently fit the dough into the pie pan. With you fingers, gently smooth out the dough on the bottom and sides of the pie pan.
Repeat for the top crust. Set the dough aside until you have made your filling.
Filling for 9-inch pie with top and bottom crusts
2 1 pound 13 ounces cans of peaches, sliced and drained
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Heat over to 425 degrees
Make your crust first and put the bottom dough into the pie pan. Set the pie pan and top crust aside.
Put the peaches and lemon juice in a medium bowl and mix slightly.
In a separate bowl, add the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Mix together. Add the dry ingredients into the peaches and mix gently.
Pour the peach filling into the pie pan. Dot the peaches with butter.
Cut 2 or 3 slits in the top crust or make a design of your choice.
Gently move the dough to the pie pan as you did for the bottom to cover the peaches. Lay the dough carefully over the filling.
Take your fingers and go around the edges of the pie dough pressing the edges together. Take a fork and go around the edges that you pushed together and press them together again with the tines of the fork.
There are many ways to seal the edges:
You can make the pie crust edges scalloped by leaving about an inch of dough and pressing the dough with a fork.
Make a v-shape by pinching the dough together with your thump and index finger and pushing gently on the pie crust with you other index finger.
Make a rope around the pie by pressing the dough together with your thumb and index finger while pressing down on the dough with the knuckle and pressing toward the thumb.
You can freeze pie shells baked or unbaked. To defrost unwrap the pie crust and let it stand for about an hour at room temperature. You can also put them in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
Bake fruit pies before you freeze them.