Meg’s Cooking Corner

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

I love the flavor combo of warm chocolate fudge and cool peppermint ice cream at Christmastime. I made this ice cream cake I saw on dinnersonme for my son's December birthday.  A great tip for making ice cream cakes is softening the ice cream, spreading it into a cake pan, and then re-freezing so it will fit perfectly between the cake layers. Enjoy the holiday season!

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
*instead of putting the fudge below and above the ice cream layer, I torted my two cake layers to make four layers, and layered my cake as follows: cake, hot fudge, cake, ice cream, cake, hot fudge, cake, cool whip

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 jar hot fudge sauce
3 1/2 cups Dreyers Peppermint Ice Cream -softened
4 cups Cool Whip
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
candy canes, crushed

Prepare chocolate cake according to directions on box. Use 8-inch round pans. Bake & cool. When cakes are cool, slice off top to flatten cake a bit. Make sure you cut it fairly level.  Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.

While cakes are freezing, line an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap. Spread softened ice cream into pan, making sure it's fairly level. Cover and freeze until firm (2-4 hours).
In a bowl, combine Cool Whip with peppermint extract. Stir just until combined. Place in fridge.

Remove frozen cakes from freezer, but leave ice cream layer in freezer until it's needed. Microwave hot fudge just until it's spreadable. If it's too hot it will melt ice cream.  Unwrap one cake layer and place (bottom side up) on plate. Cover with a layer of hot fudge - almost to the edge of the cake. Remove ice cream layer from freezer and unwrap. Place on top of cake and fudge. Drizzle a layer of hot fudge on top of ice cream until it is mostly covered.  Top with final cake layer, bottom side up. Spread peppermint Cool Whip over top and sides of cake, covering as best you can. Sprinkle top with crushed candy cane.

Freeze until ready to serve.  Then remove cake from freezer and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Run your knife under hot water for 30 seconds to heat it up. Shake off excess water and slice cake! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Candy Corn Cupcakes

With Halloween around the corner, life is busy with finding those perfect costumes, making treats for halloween parties and building excitment for the big night. I have become hooked on Pinterest, and it's been fun to find lots of great Halloween ideas there. I wanted to make some cute but simple cupcakes and loved this idea I saw here to make layers of color like candy corn. Dress up my favorite white wedding cupcake recipe with food gel, halloween liners, sprinkles and of course candy corn, and it made some cute little cupcakes!

Candy Corn Cupcakes

1 Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites
-Add a tsp of almond extract (in addition to the vanilla) if you wish to have a different flavor.
Yellow and orange Wilton food gel (about a 1/2 tsp. of each)

Preheat oven to 325F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need up to 36). In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients except for food coloring and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.

Divide batter equally into two bowls. Mix about 1/2 heaping tsp. of yellow coloring into one bowl of batter and 1/2 heaping tsp. of orange coloring into the other bowl. Stir until colors are to your liking.
Divide the yellow batter evenly among the muffin tins. I used a standard cookie scoop, which measures about 1 Tbsp. Holding the edges of each pan firmly, bang the pan a few times on the counter to level out the batter. Repeat the process with the orange batter. Fill cupcake liner about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. When ready, swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes using an Wilton 1M tip and garnish with sprinkles and a candy corn. Here's what the cupcake colors look like:

Frost with your favorite white frosting or use this recipe:

Wedding Cupcake Buttercream3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 Tbsp whipping cream

In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another three minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for desired spreading/piping consistency. Yield: Enough to frost 12 cupcakes    

*This recipe doubles or triples well

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

Now that my oldest son is a teenager, he wants to eat all the time. And to my dismay, he constantly asks for unhealthy things I don't buy like hot pockets and frozen pizzas rolls. So I was excited to find on the blog Our Best Bites a recipe for homemade stuffed pizza rolls. This recipe is very quick to make, easy to adapt, healthier than the storebought stuff and makes a teenage boy happy and full (for the moment).

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (or make your own)
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil or melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
mozzarella cheese
marinara/pizza sauce for dipping
Pizza toppings of choice: pepperoni, sausage, vegetables, etc.

*For a different variation: try chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese and dip in ranch sauce

Preheat oven to 400. Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" x 8". Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares (6 x 4 rows).

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. Carefully lift up the corners of each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place seam side down in  lightly sprayed pie pans (or similiar sized dishes). Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter. Sprinkle on garlic and Italian seasoning and top with parmesan cheese. Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Orange Chocolate Cake

My oldest son has all the makings of a foodie. Although he loves the typical teen fare of junk food, he will try everything and even loves foods such as octopus and shrimp with ice cream (don't ask!) I love it when his birthday comes around because he always has an unusual birthday cake request. This year he wanted an orange and chocolate cake. I wasn't too sure about the combo, but was pleased to find this cake by Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa). I knew she wouldn't let me down, and sure enough, it was wonderful: orange cake dotted with chocolate chips, an orange glaze to keep the cake moist, and a chocolate ganache to top it all off! Thanks for another great cake request, Jake!

Orange Chocolate Cake

*This cake would also be wonderful baked in mini bundt cake pans for a delicious fall treat for friends!

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temp
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temp
1/4 cup grated orange zest (from 4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp instant coffee granules (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 (175C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.

Sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks or chips with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pan, set it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Tomato Basil Pizza

We love to make homemade pizzas around our house. I usually will make one kid-friendly (a.k.a. boring pepperoni) pizza for the kids, and one fun pizza for my husband and I. Our favorites are bbq chicken bacon, chicken pesto, or my new favorite creation: tomato basil pizza. I had a bunch of leftover fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil leaves from making my favorite tomato caprese salad, and decided to use them in a pizza. The result was a pizza that is fresh, satisfying, simple to make and so good!

Fresh Tomato Basil Pizza

fresh mozzarella cheese, grate a little and cut the rest into slices
1-2 tomatoes, sliced thin
fresh basil leaves, cut into long strips
fresh grated parmesan cheese

pizza crust (try my favorite bread machine dough recipe or this one)

Pizza sauce: (makes enough sauce for 2 pizzas)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400. Make pizza dough as directed. Roll dough out onto pizza pan. Set aside. Combine all pizza sauce ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour over crust. Sprinkle some grated mozzarella cheese over sauce. Arrange fresh mozzarella slices, tomato slices and fresh basil leaves around pizza (see picture). Sprinkle with more grated mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-25 min until golden brown and bubbling.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tomato Caprese Salad

It's finally summer here! I have to share my favorite salad that's so good I could eat it every day. The classic Caprese salad of slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar is good, but this version gets all the fresh flavors in every bite. Perfect for lunch or served for dinner alongside your favorite bbq or Italian meal. This recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and is light, fresh and delicious. Enjoy!

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 tsp sugar
1Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and patted dry
1 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, sugar and 1/4 tsp salt together. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes so that the tomatoes give up some of their juices. Transfer the tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to a salad spinner and spin to remove the seeds and the liquid.

Pour the accumulated seeds and liquid into a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds, reserving the liquid. Return the tomatoes to the original bowl and pour the tomato liquid into a small saucepan (you should have between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of liquid). To the small saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and garlic. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. This will take about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then whisk in the olive oil.

Add the mozzarella cheese, basil and cooled dressing to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bear Lake Raspberry Crepes

We love making crepes, and this recipe that combines a pudding filling and raspberry sauce is a favorite with my boys. This recipe comes from my good friend Maria at Rainy Day Farm. For other tips and recipes on crepes, click here.

Bear Lake Raspberry Crepes

Crepe Batter:

1 1/2 c. Flour

2 T. Sugar

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 t. vanilla

2 c. milk

2 eggs, beaten


1 (3oz.) pkg. vanilla instant pudding

2 c. half and half

1/2 tsp. Almond extract


3 c. raspberries

2 T. cornstarch

1/2 c. sugar

Crepe Batter: Combine flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and salt. Add beaten eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Lightly oil skillet (or use crepe maker). Pour 1/4 c. batter into hot skillet. Tip skillet to coat bottom of pan. Cook over medium heat until light brown. Loosen edges with spatula. Turn and brown opposite side of crepe. Stack cooked crepes on a plate until ready to serve. (Crepes may be frozen for later use)

Filling:Combine pudding and half & half and almond extract. Beat until smooth and pudding begins to thicken. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sauce: Mix together sugar and cornstarch. Place raspberries in sauce-pan. Mash and heat until bubbly. If using fresh berries,m ad 1/4 c. water. Stir sugar and cornstarch mixture into bubbly raspberries. Stir constantly. Bring mixture to a boil. Cool.

To serve: Place 2-3 T. pudding in center of each crepe. Pour a little of the raspberry sauce over top and roll or fold crepe ends over. Place 2 crepes on serving plate. Top with additional whole raspberries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken or Steak Fajitas

I'm too late for Cinco de Mayo, but this recipe from Our Best Bites is a winner anytime at our house. It's very easy to adapt to your preferences: make with chicken or carne asada steak (I usually do both), add some shrimp/seafood, or change up the vegetables.
This recipe is also shared at Blessed with Grace, Tuesdays at the Table,Made from Scratch and Hearth and Soul.

Chicken/Steak Fajitas

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs or steak
2 bell peppers, (any color) stem and membranes removed and peppers sliced into strips
1 large onion, sliced into thin slices
(any other vegetables or meat/seafood as desired)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
3 tsp vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp liquid smoke (find near bbq sauces)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder, or chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder

Place meat in ziplock bag or shallow dish. Place vegetables in another. In a medium bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and whisk well. Reserve 3-4 Tbsp of marinade for later use. With remaining marinade, add a splash to the vegetables (enough for a light coating) and the remaining to the meat. Marinate for 4-6 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat bbq grill, indoor grill pan, or large skilled. If you're using a grill, place everything on at the same time. If using a skillet, cook vegetables first until crisp tender. Cook chicken/steak for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. Slice meat. Toss with reserved marinade and serve meat and vegetables on large platter.

Serve with your favorites: flour/corn tortillas, black beans, rice, mango pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole or diced avocados, sour cream, shredded cheese.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mango Pico de Gallo

This fresh mango pico de gallo is wonderful. It is great on fish tacos, fajitas and tacos, as a garnish on salads, or of course, paired with tortilla chips! If you prefer regular Pico de Gallo, just substitute tomatoes for the mangoes. Recipe from Our Best Bites.

Mango Pico de Gallo

1 cup small cubes of mango (about 1 medium to large mango)
1/2 - 1 large jalapeno pepper (I used 1/2 without seeds to make a nice mild-med heat, add more later if you want it hotter)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Combine ingredients. Serve. Will keep for a day or so until the magoes get mushy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

This quick poppy seed bread is rich and buttery and oh, so divine. I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe until now as I make it all the time. Perfect for that Mother's Day brunch, spring luncheon or for anytime as a snack/dessert. I usually make it in mini loaf pans so I can share some with friends. This recipe comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Glazed Poppy Seed Bread
(Makes 2 regular loaves, 5 mini loaves or lots of muffins)

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 1/2 tsp butter extract or 1 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp poppy seeds

1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp pure almond extract
3/4 tsp butter extract or 1/2 Tbsp melted butter

Line the bottom of the loaf pans with waxed or parchment paper and then grease and flour the entire loaf pan well.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg/oil mixture and whisk to combine. Add 1/2 of the milk and stir together. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the last half of the milk and stir. Finally add the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix. Add the extracts and poppy seeds and mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans, filling about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, checking often the last 10 minutes of baking to ensure the bread doesn't overbake. When completely baked, a toothpick inserted in the middle should pull out moist crumbs but not wet batter.

While the bread is baking, combine the glaze ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Let the bread sit in the pan for five minutes. Run a thin-edged knife around the edges of the bread and carefully remove the bread from the pans onto a wire rack set atop a layer of paper towels. Brush the tops of the bread with the glaze while the bread is still warm. Continue brushing and/or gently pouring until all the glaze is on the bread. Cool completely before slicing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

My husband loves peanut butter and chocolate. Loves it. It's usually too rich for me, so when he requested a peanut butter chocolate cake for his birthday, I grudgingly agreed and set out to find a great homemade one. When I saw this beauty from Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had found it. It's chocolate-peanut butter ganache and fluffy cream cheese peanut butter frosting makes this cake unbelievably moist, rich, and somehow perfect even for PB avoiders like me.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
From Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it slightly from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (can serve more if you slice it thin -rich cake!)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Note: These cakes are soft. It's easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle, if desired, or chocolate curls.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I haven't been a fan of chicken pot pies, but all that changed when a dear friend brought a beautiful homemade one to us for dinner. It just spelled out comfort and love when I was sick.  I resolved to immediately change my ways and found a recipe from The Pioneer Woman that we all love. The flaky homemade crust is the secret weapon, but you could always use a storebought crust to save time. Her recipe calls for just putting a crust on top, but I've also made it adding a bottom crust, both ways are wonderful.  Perfect meal for these cold winter nights!

Turkey/Chicken Pot Pie

1 pie crust (1/2 of Perfect Pie Crust recipe)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded (or chicken)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Frozen peas (optional)
Fresh thyme, chopped (or use dried)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.) Add turkey/chicken and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Pour in cream. (May add frozen peas at this point if you’d like.) Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and fresh or dried thyme to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs. Pour mixture into a deep pie pan.

Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using. Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until very golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.

Perfect Pie Crust

■1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
■3 cups All-purpose Flour
■1 whole Egg
■5 Tablespoons Cold Water
■1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
■1 teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.

With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.