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Saturday, April 20, 2013

You Love Pie, I Love Pie, Everybody Loves Pie

At first, making pies was not one of my favorite desserts to make because I haven't found a pie dough recipe that I could rely on.  Even as I followed the recipes I get hold of to the letter, somehow, the texture does not come out right.  Eventually, I just accepted the fact that I don't have the hands that can create good pie. 
But it's summer and what better dessert is there that fits the season except pie?  And so, I went back to my old file and got out the first recipe I got from decades ago.  In fact, I got it out of the back of an evaporated milk can label.
The recipe called for 1 tablespoon of powdered milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  In my experience of using this recipe, the dough just seemed salty to me, so I decided to cut the salt in half and put only 1/4 teaspoon in the mixture.  And as for the powdered milk, while I have one in stock, I thought of trying out this malted milk powder by Carnation that I bought on a whim in one of my grocery shopping expeditions (Landmark Makati). 
And so there I was, laboring in the kitchen.  It was a short labor too since the dough recipe was quite easy to follow.  For the filling, I just bought 2 cans of blueberry pie filling but added sugar to it to taste since canned fillings are usually on the sour side (if my taste buds are going to be the standard here).
I doubled the recipe though, so I can make a lattice covering on my pie, and as I started kneading and putting things to shape, I knew I had something good going here.  And true enough, when the pie came out of the oven, the crust was evenly cooked, chewy but not soggy.  It was an inspired creation.
The Recipe:
1   cup    sifted flour
1   Tbsp. malted milk powder
1/4 tsp.   salt
2    tsp.   sugar
2   Tbsp. butter
1             egg yolk
2   cans  pie filling, any fruit
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift flour, malted milk powder, salt and sugar together.  Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture looks mealy (or you can use food-grade disposable gloves, and do it with your hand).  Set aside.  Mix the egg yolk with tines of fork and 2-3 tablespoons of cold water into flour mixture.  Roll to fit a greased 9-inch pie pan.  Prick all over with fork to prevent crust from puffing.  Get the extra dough and roll to reform. Then slice into 1/2 inch strips lengthwise for your lattice covering.
Pour the two cans of pie filling into the pie shell.  However, if you want the filling to be a bit sweeter, pour first the pie filling into a separate bowl and mix in sugar according to your taste, before pouring into the pie shell.  Arrange dough strips on top of the fruit filling in an over-under way and secure both ends of strips by pinching it together with that part of the pie crust resting on the rim.  Decorate rim of pie crust either by pressing tines of fork around, or make a flute with the aid of your forefinger.  Cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove the aluminum foil afterwards and bake for another 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Let cool before serving.
(P.S.  Sorry, I don't have a habit of taking pictures step by step.  It breaks my momentum, will try to do this next time though.)

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