Easy as pie…crust.

Posted: March 28, 2011 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

There are some things that people keep around as staples in their kitchen.  A lot of my friends always have beans in their pantry (gross) for quick meals, I know others that always have home made stock on hand.  For me, my staples change with the seasons.  In the summer its fresh mozz, tomatoes and basil plants.  Spring it tends to be fresh fruit…etc.  When I’m coming up on a time with tons of “stuff” going on like going to parties, hosting parties, etc… I tend to keep a couple things on hand so I can throw together good and quick things to bring and serve.  Two of the main things are puff pastry sheets and pie crusts.  The puff pastry I just buy in the freezer section, but the pir crust, I make a ton of in the food processor and store it in the fridge. 

I use a pretty basic pie crust recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
  • 5 tablespoons ice water, or as needed

I make four or five pie crusts and store them in the fridge so I can pull them out as needed to make things like this…

Leek and Brie Tart

This is WICKED easy.  Sautee 2-3 leeks in olive oil with salt, pepper and garlic.  bake the pie crust flat ( I roll it out onto a pizza sheet) at 450 for 10 minutes.  While its cooling, finish sauteeing your leeks.  Spread leeks onto a paper towel to cool and drop some of its greast.  Spread Creme Brie on the cooled pie crust, then spread the leeks on top and you are done. 

For those of you that aren’t familiar, creme brie is basically just brie with no rind.  Its in the cheese section of the grocery and comes in a plastic container that looks like a wedge of brie.  I love it for recipes, because its so easy!  This tart is really good, and probably one of my new favorites.  I made this again last night but this time added dill and baby bella mushrooms and it was even better.  I also want to try it with some pancetta at some point.

This is just the recipe I happen to like right now, but the beauty of having pie crusts on hand is you can use them for so many things, its a great time saver.  If you bake it flat, you can put pretty much whatever you want on it.  You can also cut it to fit in mini muffin tins and make quick mini quiche, or do what my mom always used to do with extra crust: Roll it out, spread it with butter and cinnamon sugar, roll it up, cut it into pinwheels and bake them until they are brown and delicious. 

Pie crust is a great way to make delicious and impressive dishes without putting in a ton of effort.  And lets face facts, thats pretty much my goal in life, to impress others while putting in little to no effort ;)

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Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.