A SIMPLE SECRET WAY TO ROLL OUT PASTRY DOUGH -WITHOUT THE MESS!!

I would like to share my own, unique way of rolling out a pie pastry dough that is mess- free with you all.  I also understand how hard it is to learn how to cook in the old fashioned ways for a generation that is used to microwave ovens and pre-frozen meals from the grocery store.  Sometimes it is good to slow down.  Cooking is alot of fun!  If you are in a hurry, and just want to find out my secret that’s ok, too! Just scan down to the bold writing and the italics and you can read it now.  I have whipped up an easy, very delicious dessert that I call “chocolate pudding pie cups”; and I’ve included exactly how I do it with lots of pictures so that it’s easy to follow! 

Learning how to make pie pastry takes some practice. Since it is kindof hard at first, I want to show you step-by-step how to make a pie crust pastry dough.  And, once you “get it” you’ll be amazed at how easy it is and how few ingredients it takes. 

LET’S DO THIS ~

Chill a large mixing bowl in the freezer.

Mix these two items together in the cold bowl:
2 & 2/3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt

Next, cut in 1 cup of shortening

(Basically, what that means, is to drop a spoon of shortening onto the flour mix and then cover it with flour; then using the edge of your fork, cut it in half, then keep cutting it until it kind of looks like small peas size)  Like this:

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Then, one at a time, add 8 or 9 tablespoons of water. After each tablespoon, kind of toss the wet flour balls to the side of the bowl.  Afterward, it should look something like this:

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I will show you how to roll out pastry dough without getting your table or even your rolling pin dirty! Here is my secret that I can’t wait to share with my readers:
I use the clear, plastic bags from the meat dept at the grocery store. They are on the rolls above the meat display, the ones you can put your meat into before you set it in your cart. The bags are free! But don’t get greedy. I just take 3 or 4 when I am in that area of the store. The largest ones are the best. They are perfect for the next part of my recipe. Here’s how:

Heat up your oven to about 450 degrees.

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So, just drop a spoonful or so of flour in to the bag and shake it around.

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Next, take 1/2 of the pastry dough that we made above and gently ball it up and set it inside the bag. It will be kind of crumbly…and that’s o.k.

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Leave the dough inside the bag and roll it out, using a rolling pin.

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It is super-easy to manipulate the dough through the bag! If you want to make a regular pie crust, just roll out the dough until it is the size of your pie pan and use the technique I am showing here below to get smooth edges.
This is how I get great- looking, smooth, straight lines:
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Now, cut through the top portion of the bag to open it up! Like so…..
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Are ya still with me? This is easy stuff, isn’t it? So just slide your hands underneath of the bag and flip it on to a cookie sheet (or a pie pan, if you wish).
As long as the plastic bag is left on the top of the pastry, you can move the whole thing around easily to fit your pan. When it is just right, lift off the plastic.

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For a sugar cookie-like pastry, add a capful of milk to the top of the dough and rub it in….

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…and a generous helping of sugar….and rub that in.
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If you are a lucky duck, it ought to come out looking a little something like this ~
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But for a sweet, regular pie crust, add just a little bit of milk.
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and a lighter amount of sugar.
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And your crust should look like this one:
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If you’d rather not use sugar, you can mix a little milk with an egg and brush the top of your crust with that to brown it nicely.
(If you are making a regular pie crust, only brush it on the outer edges. And cover the edges with aluminum foil after they brown so that they don’t burn. Also use a fork to poke holes in the bottom and sides of your crust for a regular pie crust.)

Well, whichever way you chose to top it, cook on 450 for about 10 minutes.
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Use a pizza cutter to make squares or diamond shapes. Just be your creative self, these don’t have to be perfect.
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You can store the crusts that you haven’t yet used in the refrigerator in a plastic baggie for several days so that they are handy when you want a great dessert.
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Find yourself a few big mugs, or dessert dishes, or even a regular bowl will work, if you’re not worried about being fancy.
My favorite way to make these are to layer either hot, cooked chocolate pudding or hot cherry pie filling and to top with cool whip. Oh, my Goddess, it is so delicious!!!
Take a look at this. You might see the steam rising up off the pudding in the last pic. Mmmmmmmmm.
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My daughter suggested using the whipped cream in a spray can to make it look even nicer. You should try it that way. I know it would look and taste great like that! However, I just wanted to show you how I really make it.
This could also be a fun project for you and your kids to do together, once you get the hang of what you are doing. Practice makes perfect. Experience makes it easy. Experimenting with various amounts of milk and sugar, pie fillings and puddings make it delicious. I’d love to see your pics of your creations in the comments!