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Monday, December 5, 2016

Stuffed French Toast-A Decadent Breakfast

Apple and Pecan Stuffed French Toast


Once a year I make this Apple and Pecan Stuffed French toast.  It is delicious, but not exactly a healthy breakfast.  Decadent...yes, healthy....no.  But, this stuffed French Toast is oh, so good.  You must have it at least once a year.  It's perfect for a holiday brunch.  I usually save it for Christmas.

Decadent Stuffed French Toast
Yummy Stuffed French Toast

There are a number of reasons this Apple and Pecan Stuffed French Toast is a perfect for a holiday breakfast or brunch.

  • You make it in advance.
  • It's a one pan dish.
  • It can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature.
  • It tastes like you went to a lot of effort. 
Decadent Apple and Pecan French Toast

This French Toast would make a perfect, over the top breakfast for New Year's Day, especially because you can make it ahead of time.  That way you can just pop it in the oven New Year's Day morning and 40 minutes later you'll taste heaven in your mouth.


Stuffed French Toast

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 8-10

For the French Toast

The Custard for the French Toast
The Yummy Spiced Custard
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 2 cups fruit preserve, or cooked fruit (I prefer canned apple pie filling)
  • 1 loaf day old bread

For the Topping

  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • sweetened whipped cream, optional

Directions
Prepare a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with butter or non-stick spray.  Slice your bread.  You can use any firm textured white bread you like.  This year I used my honey-oat bread, but I have used many different store-bought breads in the past.  You'll want your bread to be a little stale so that it will absorb the custard well.  Line the bottom of your pan with slices of the bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices.

The Bread for the French Toast
Cut the Bread to Fit the Pan


Next, add dollops of the cold cream cheese all over the bread.  Use the entire eight ounces of the cream cheese.

The Cream Cheese
Use All of the Cream Cheese
Then spread the fruit evenly over the bread slices.

Apples for the stuffed French Toast
The Apple Filling
Add a second layer of bread, cutting the bread to fit your pan.  Beat together the eggs, half and half, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour the mixture over the bread in the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Mix together the 2 tablespoons of dark corn syrup, brown sugar, and pecans for the topping.  Cover and set aside.  You are all set for the morning.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and take the pan with the bread out of the refrigerator to warm for about 30 minutes.  While the French Toast is warming,  melt the butter and mix it with the other topping ingredients.  Spread the topping evenly over the bread in the pan.

Bake about 40 minutes, or until set in the middle.  Your stuffed French Toast will puff up and may spill over, so you might want to set it on a baking sheet in your oven.  Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest.  You'll want to let it rest at least 15 minutes, but it can rest for 30 minutes or more.  I think it is best when it is not piping hot.

Apple and Pecan French Toast
Serve Warm or at Room Temperature


Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream.  I told you, this is decadent.

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Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup Three Ways


Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite fall and winter soups.  It actually may be my favorite soup of all, but sometimes I think my favorite soup is whatever one I am eating that day.  Over the years I've made multiple versions of butternut squash soup.  The one I favor often depends on the ingredients I have on hand,  the weather, or how much effort I am wanting to expend.  Today I'm sharing my three favorite versions of butternut squash soup.  The first is quick and easy, the second is spicy, and the third is decadent.

Three Butternut Squash Soups

Easy Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup


Some of my recipes for butternut squash soup take a little time to make but there are those days when I am just too busy for my usual butternut squash soup preparation.  This recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is perfect for those days when you are in a hurry, and crave butternut squash soup!

Easy Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

This recipe for butternut squash soup cuts your preparation time dramatically.  Most of the approximately one hour it takes to make this soup is time you are waiting for the vegetables to roast in your oven.  You don't need to watch the roasting process so you are free to multi-task while your oven does all the work.

Don't leave out the apple.  Use a favorite apple, either sweet or tart, for a subtle background flavor.  Feel free to substitute a pear.  Pears are yummy in this soup, too.  If you don't have a sweet potato, go ahead and substitue one or two carrots.  They work in this soup, too.

Another reason to love this soup is that each of the six servings is only about 90 calories.  That makes this soup a perfect addition to your health conscious menu, while still being satisfying and delicious.  It will taste more like a treat than a healthy addition to your daily menu.

Easy Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 6
Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients
Roasted Butternut Squash Ingredients
  • 1 lb butternut squash chunks
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (a pear would be nice, too)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 6-8 chunks
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, optional for garnish

Directions
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with a cooking spray.  Place the squash, sweet potato, apple, onion and garlic into a bowl and sprinkle with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss the vegetables well to be sure they are coated with the oil, salt and pepper.

Place the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet and roast on the center rack of your oven for 30-40 minutes, until they are for tender.  Remove the the vegetables from the oven and allow them to cool on your counter for 10-15 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooling, place the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat on your stove top.  Heat them, stirring occasionally, until you smell the aroma of the nuts, about 5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, tossing the nuts so they don't burn.  Set the nuts aside to cool.

Toasting Pine Nuts
Toasted Pine Nuts

Place the vegetables and thyme in the bowl of your blender.  Add approximately 2 cups of the chicken broth and puree the mixture until it is smooth with no visible chunks.  Pour the vegetable mixture into a medium sauce pan.  Add the remaining chicken broth to the mixture, stirring to combine.  Heat the mixture over medium heat until bubbly.  Serve hot, garnished with a few toasted pine nuts for a little extra nutty flavor.


Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup


When it is January and winter is showing its true colors you'll want a soup that really warms you up. When the temperature outside has plummeted, the wind is howling, and snow is on the way a steaming pot of soup is what you need.

This chipotle butternut squash soup will be perfect for those cold-down-to-your-toes days.  It's spicy, so add the chipotle in adobo in small amounts.  Pair it with a grilled cheddar and caramelized onion sandwich for a meatless meal.  Yum!

I call this my easy chipotle butternut squash soup because I developed this recipe to reduce the soup's preparation time and effort.  Here's how to make this a quick and easy to prepare soup:
  • First, use frozen butternut squash and you won't have to struggle with peeling and dicing a whole squash.  
  • Buy a bag of carrot matchsticks from the produce section of your grocery store and you won't need to peel and slice your carrots. 
  • Buy peeled garlic cloves packaged in bags from the produce section of your grocery store.  I've never liked peeling garlic.  If you have a garlic press, this is a good time to use it rather than taking the time to mince your garlic cloves. 
  • Keep pureed chipotle in adobo in tablespoon portions in your freezer so they are always ready for recipes.  Just puree canned chipotle in adobo sauce using your food processor or blender.  Measure tablespoon portions into snack-size plastic bags and freeze for later use. 
  • Finally, saute the vegetables, bring the soup to a simmer and cook all in one pot.
The preparation is easy and the cleanup is minimal.  There is no reason not to make this soup when you want to spice up your life.

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 6
Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup
Easy Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup
  • 3 lbs frozen, diced butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot matchsticks, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth, your favorite brand
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons pureed chipotle in adobo
Garnish
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pureed chipotle in adobo 
  • toasted pine nuts
Directions
Saute the onion, celery, and carrots in a Dutch oven until tender, about five minutes over medium high heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the apple and garlic, cooking for another two minutes.  Stir in the chipotle in adobo, honey and chicken broth.  Start with one teaspoon of the chipotle in adobe and taste until you get the level of heat you like.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.  Taste again for seasoning and adjust as needed.  Simmer for 30 minutes until the squash is tender.  

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, and chipotle in adobo, if necessary.  Keep warm until ready to serve.  Meanwhile, mix the sour cream and remaining chipotle in adobo together.  Top each bowl of soup with a dollop of the chipotle cream or toasted pine nuts when serving.

Decadent Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider


The last butternut squash soup  is a bit more decadent and would make a nice start a special dinner, like Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  The apple flavors in this soup are equal in prominence to the butternut squash flavors.  

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider


It is a sweet soup, enhanced by cinnamon and nutmeg.  This soup screams of fall, comfort food and warmth as the weather turns colder. It is easy to make.  The only work comes from chopping the onion, celery and apple.  If you buy your butternut squash already peeled and diced you won't have to struggle with that.  I used a whole butternut squash that I cut in half and roasted.  That made it easy to remove the peel before adding the roasted squash to my soup.


Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients
The Soup Ingredients

Decadent Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider

  • 2 pounds butternut squash
  • 2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil 
  • 1 apple
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 1 Onion, diced 
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped pistachio nuts for garnish, optional

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  If you are using a whole butternut squash, cut the squash in half.  Rub the cut side with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Roasting Butternut Squash
Prepare the Squash for Roasting

Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the squash meets no resistance.  If using peeled and chunked butternut squash, toss the chunks in a tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread on a single layer and roast until tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove the squash from the oven, peel if necessary and set aside. 

Meanwhile sauté the apples, celery and onion in a large, heavy pot until the onion is translucent and the celery and apple are tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add the butternut squash, cider and chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Add spices and season with salt and pepper.  Blend with an immersion blender, or in a blender at high speed until smooth and creamy.  If using a blender, you'll want to cool the soup first.  Stir in the heavy cream.  Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts, if desired.

There you have it.  Three butternut squash soups for whatever mood you are in.  They are all yummy.  You can't go wrong.

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Sweet and Tart Cranberry Quick Bread

Cranberry Bread for and Easy Breakfast


Cranberry bread is a delightful alternative to muffins this time of year.  It's cranberry season so there is no better time to make this bread.  This recipe is a perfect way to use any fresh cranberries you may have left from Thanksgiving.  The combination of sweet and tart flavors make this a favorite of mine.  The addition of orange and nuts makes the aroma divine while adding a healthy twist.  Each slice of this cranberry bread has 228 calories.

Cranberry Bread for Breakfast


This cranberry bread recipe is a tradition in my family.  This recipe comes to you via my mom who always had a platter of various quick breads ready for us for holiday breakfasts.  This is a festive way to keep the family satisfied on mornings when you may be too busy for a big breakfast.  Make a loaf or two now and pop them in the freezer for Christmas morning.  Yum!
Cranberry Quick Bread

This cranberry bread really is quick to make.  I make this entirely by hand, without the assistance of any electric kitchen gadgets.  A pastry blender makes the process of cutting in the vegetable shortening a breeze.  The technique is simple as well.  Just combine the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients all at once and fold in the nuts and berries.  One..two...three...let's make it!


Cranberry Bread

Printer Friendly Recipe
Cranberry Quick Bread
Serves 12
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, walnuts or pistachios
  • Raw or sparkling sugar, for topping, optional
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a standard loaf pan.  In a medium bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir with a whisk to combine well.  Cut is the shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

A Pastry Blender Works Great
Zest the orange and squeeze the juice. Take a deep breath as you zest that orange.  The scent of the orange will brighten your day as well as add flavor to this yummy bread.  Measure the juice in a measuring cup.  Depending on the juiciness of your orange, you may need to add more juice to get 3/4 cups.   Add the zest and the egg to the juice and mix to combine.  Add the juice mixture to the dry mixture all at once and stir just to combine.

Add the cranberries and nuts to the mixture all at once.  Using a spatula, fold in the nuts and cranberries to distribute.  Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.  Sprinkle with raw or sparkling sugar, if you desire.

The Sugar Makes a Crunchy Topping

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before serving.

Are you looking for some other morning pastry suggestions?
Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Muffins
Morning Glory Muffins
Pumpkin Scones
Cran-apple Muffins


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Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Caramelized Onion Dip-The Only Dip You will Ever Need


Make Caramelized Onion Dip Your Signature Dip

This is the entertaining season.  Whether it is holiday gatherings with your family or football parties to watch your favorite team, you'll be needing a go-to dip for a satisfying appetizer or snack.  I've been making this caramelized onion dip for years and it is the hands-down favorite of all my dips.

Caramelized Onion Dip
Caramelized Onion Dip

I swear to you that if you bring this dip to a party it will be the first to go and you will be asked to bring it to every party you attend from now to eternity.  It's a good thing this is a pretty easy dip to make.  The only real effort is in making the caramelized onions and that's because it takes a little time to get a proper caramelization.  You don't want to rush it.  It takes about 45 minutes for the onions to develop their sugars and to reach a brown, yummy color.  
Caramelized Onion Dip

If you make the full recipe you will have enough for a big party or enough to serve now and freeze for later.  Yes, you can freeze this dip.  I do it all the time, so I always have a dip ready to go during this busy time of year.  

Don't make this dip the day you will be serving it.  Trust me on this.  Caramelized onion dip gets better as it sit in your fridge.  You definitely want to make it the day before you need it.  Three days before you need it will be even better!  You also might want to skip the cayenne pepper.  Don't do that either!

Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized Onions
Caramelized Onions
Printer Friendly Recipe
Ingredients

  • 4 large yellow onions, halved and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 Tablespoons olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Directions
Cut onions in half and slice thinly.  Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.   Add onions, cayenne, salt & pepper and saute for 10 minutes, until softened and translucent. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the onions, stirring occasionally for 20-40 minutes more, until the onions are deeply browned and caramelized.   Chop the onions with the back of your spoon when you stir them.  Don't rush the cooking.  Cool the onions completely.

Beat cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise together until smooth.   Add the cooled onion mixture to the cream cheese mixture and mix well.

Chill for a couple hours, or overnight prior to serving.   This dip gets better after sitting in the refrigerator, so make it a day, or more, ahead of when you will serve it.  Serve with potato chips, crackers or toasted French bread slices.


Caramelized Onion Dip Ready to Enjoy
Serve Caramelized Onion Dip with Your Favorite Crackers

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Enjoy!


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Monday, November 21, 2016

Killer Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Ginger

A Delicious Chunky Cranberry Sauce


Cranberry sauce is a funny thing.  Do you prefer chunky or jellied? Ask folks and they will have a definite preference.  It seems to be related to whichever is served at their family's traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  In my family it was always jellied cranberry sauce, sliced perfectly.  It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.  As a matter of fact, I always refused to eat chunky cranberry sauce, not being able to fathom how I could possibly enjoy chunks in my cranberry sauce.

Killer Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Ginger
Killer Cranberry Sauce

I'm evidence that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  Yes, sirree.  Several years ago, I decided to step out of my comfort zone by making a chunky cranberry sauce.
Chunky Cranberry Sauce

One bite of this cranberry sauce, and I became a lover of chunky cranberry sauce.  The orange and ginger will hook you.  Oh, we still serve the jellied kind at my house, but now there is a choice of either, or both.  It's the best of both worlds.

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
Four Simple Ingredients

Killer Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 navel orange, jested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, optional

Directions
Grate the zest of the orange and add to a pot with the sugar and the ginger.  Juice the orange and add the juice to the pot with the sugar.

Simmer the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the cranberries and cook until the cranberries pop.  That usually takes about five minutes.  Add the pecans, if desired, and cool.   I chose not to add nuts to this batch of cranberry sauce.

Cooking Cranberries
Cook until the Cranberries Pop
Of course this makes the perfect accompaniment for your Thanksgiving dinner, but it can also be enjoyed beyond your Thanksgiving dinner.

Some ideas for using your cranberry sauce:
  • Spoon warm sauce over vanilla ice cream, or mix in with plain or vanilla flavored yogurt for a tasty dessert. 
  • Jazz up your deli turkey.  Make a sandwich using the cranberry sauce as your sandwich spread.   
  • Mix 1/4 cup in with your morning oatmeal to put some zip in your morning.
Go ahead and make some of this yummy cranberry sauce today.  You will love it!

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Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

A Tasty Stuffed Chicken Recipe

The other day I was faced with the challenge of preparing another chicken dinner.  I looked at the boneless chicken breasts in the refrigerator and asked myself what in the world was I going to do with them.  Earlier, while doing some yard work I found a few jalapeno peppers still growing in my vegetable garden.  They were now sitting on my kitchen counter.  The wheels in my brain started turning and this Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken recipe is the result.

A Bacon and Barbecue Sauce Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with a Jalapeno Cheese Mixture.
A Bacon and Barbecue Sauce Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with a Jalapeno Cheese Mixture.

Increase or decrease the heat index in these stuffed chickens by adjusting the amount of jalapeno in the cheese mixture.  You can leave the jalapeno peppers out of the recipe completely if you are making these for a dinner that will include children.  Just make two batches of the cheese mixture, one with jalapenos the other without.

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

This recipe can be prepared in advance.  That makes it a a good meal for guests.  You can even freeze the prepared popper chickens to have them on hand for your weeknight meal planning.  Leftovers reheat well in the microwave, as well.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves Four
Jalapeno Popper Chicken
Jalapeno Popper Chicken


  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 8 strips of bacon
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
  • 4 ounces Mexican shredded cheese mix
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • barbecue sauce
  • southwest seasoning
Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, Mexican shredded cheese, jalapeno peppers, and red onion until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate.  Any leftovers of the cheese mixture will make a tasty spread for crackers.

Butterfly each chicken breast and pound flat gently between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Season both sides of the chicken breasts with Southwest seasoning.  Roll 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into four short logs.  Place one log in the center of each chicken breast.  Roll the breast over the filling, placing the seam side down.  Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon to hold them together.  Place each chicken breast on a foil covered, greased baking sheet.  Spoon a generous amount of barbecue sauce onto each chicken breast. Chill until ready to cook.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the chicken breasts for one hour and check for doneness.  You want the outsides to be browned and crispy with an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.  Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.


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Monday, November 14, 2016

How to Make Food Processor Pie Crust

Four Easy Steps to Making Pie Dough with a Food Processor


It's pie season and with pie season I often hear people debating whether to make or buy their pie dough.  Let's get one thing out of the way right off the bat with this post.   You don't have to be an expert to make pie crust.  I know from talking with friends, family, and co-workers year after year, that making pie crust fills more people than not with dread and fear.  The same used to be true with me.
Making Pie Crust with a Food Processor.
Making Food Processor Pie Dough


Making pie dough is not rocket science.  A simple combination of flour, fat, salt, sugar, and water magically comes together to create the foundation for a delectable filling.  What's so hard about that?  Well, it seems that far too many of us overwork our dough.  Too much handling of the dough makes it tough.  Others of us add either too much water or too little water.  Still others of us don't keep our ingredients chilled.  Wow, there sure is a lot we can do wrong with so few ingredients!
How to Make Food Processor Pie Dough

Enter the food processor.  Before using the food processor,  I cut the shortening and butter into my flour mixture with a pastry cutter.  Do you have one of these?

A Pastry Cutter
My Trusty Pastry Cutter
I know, the pastry cutter itself is enough reason to run screaming from the kitchen!  Luckily, I discovered the food processor for making pie dough and with it, fear gave way to confidence.  I still have this pastry cutter, but it has been relegated to a box with seldom used kitchen tools in the back of a kitchen cabinet.

Making pie dough with a food processor is a quick and easy four step process:
  • Step 1:  Mix the dry ingredients with the fat
  • Step 2:  Add the water
  • Step 3:  Chill the dough
  • Step 4:   Roll the dough
Simple, right?  Let's make some pie crust!

A few simple ingredients are used to make pie dough.
Make Pie Dough with Few Simple Ingredients

Food Processor Pie Crust

Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 2, 9-inch pie crusts

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • Ice water

Directions

Mix (pulse) together the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your food processor.  Cut the cold butter and shortening into small chunks and add them to the flour mixture.

Keep butter and shortening cold.
Keep Your Butter, Shortening, and Water Ice Cold


Pulse about seven or eight times, until the butter and shortening are well distributed and in small pieces.

The butter and shortening will make pieces resembling peas.
The Butter and Flour Combined

Continue to pulse, adding 1/3 cup of the ice water.  The dough will begin to clump together.  If still too dry, add more ice water one teaspoon at a time.  Once the mixture holds together you are done. 

Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap.  Divide the dough into two pieces.  Don't handle the dough too much or you'll be sorry.  Flatten the dough into disks.  Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate them to chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

Disks of Pie Dough
Disks of Pie Dough Wrapped in Plastic Wrap

When ready to roll out your dough, begin by generously flouring your workspace, using at least 1/4 cup of flour.  Unwrap your disk of dough and place it onto the flour.  Turn the dough over being sure both sides of the dough are floured.  Rub flour onto your rolling pin and begin rolling away from you and turning the dough clockwise, after every few rolls of the pin.  Keep rolling until your dough is about an inch larger than your pie plate.

Rolling out the Pie Dough
The Dough is Larger than the Pie Plate

Fold the dough in half and lift it over the pie plate.

How to place the dough into the pie plate.
Placing the Dough into the Pie Plate

Fit the dough into position in the pie plate and crimp the edges.  If making a single crust pie, refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes before filling.  If making a double crust pie, roll out the top crust, fill the bottom crust, cover the pie with the top crust and chill for 30 minutes.  Bake according to your recipe directions.

A pie dough ready for baking.
A Single Crust Ready for Baking
If you own a food processor go ahead and use it to make your pie dough.  It helps take the fear away and the debate you have with yourself during pie season will be over.  No need to buy pie dough again.

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Enjoy!

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