Not sure why, as I've definitely watched them be made before, and there really is nothing too difficult about it... I think... but, suffice to say, I have yet to tackle making my own. Maybe because my friend who works at Panera rolls his eyes whenever I suggest we try to make a pie crust from scratch (we often meet up for drinks and baking), and says "I haaaate cutting butter, let's just buy a crust!" If a part time baker who knows what he's doing wants to skip the difficult stuff, why shouldn't I? And he makes "cutting butter" sound like the most arduous task ever. Every pie I've ever made has been a store bought crust, aside from those that use a simple graham cracker one--that, I can do.
The one time I tried to make a tart the dough refused to roll, so instead of a lovely, uniform crust that you roll out and cut to size, I took chunks of dough and pressed them into the tart pan. It was lovely and delicious and the lemon curd covered the uneven bits nicely. Sometimes I can't tell if I'm lazy or just resourceful.
Refrigerated pie crusts just save so much time, and are so versatile! I always keep one in the fridge, just in case. Right next to the Pilsbury Crescent Rolls, on the off-chance friends are coming over and I need to whip up a quick Brie en Croute. And it goes well with the Grands Biscuits, which make superb donuts (or Cronuts!) in a pinch. When the spirit moves me, I throw together an apple pie. Or I roll out the crust a bit and make hand pies. My strawberry cheesecake fried hand pies were a hit during Alice in Wonderland rehearsals, let me tell you. It's nice to not have to factor in another 40 minutes into the process of these simple recipes, so the refrigerated doughs stay a staple in my kitchen.
My friend this past weekend described my blog as, "recipes for people who don't know how to cook." I think this is pretty apt. I have no formal training, and am pretty much all self-taught via Google searches and cook book studying. My motto around here seems to be, "if I can make it, so can you!"
So, I'm cool with these refrigerated doughs. No shame. Just like how I'm not adverse to making a canned soup casserole. Sometimes the processed stuff just works, to get that nice comfort-food feel.
Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- 2 circles pie dough (pre-made or make your own)
- 4 large stalks rhubarb, sliced into 1 inch pieces (about 1.5 cups)
- 3 cups sliced strawberries*
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 3 tbs butter, cut into thin slices
- 1 egg, whisked
-Carefully press one circle of pie dough into pie pan, set aside.
-In a large bowl, mix together the strawberries and rhubarb. Sprinkle in sugar, and let sit at room temp for about 20 minutes so that the fruit releases its sweetness. Mix in corn starch.
-Pour berry mixture into the prepared pie crust and top with evenly distributed pats of butter. Top with the other pie crust circle, and prick with a fork to vent. Optional: make a pretty heart shape.
-Brush the egg all over the crust. This will make it lovely and golden brown.
-Bake according to crust directions--likely it'll be "bake at 350 for 30 mins" or something--until crust is golden brown and berries have broken down a bit. Cool, then serve.
*Double this if you don't like the lumpy-bumpy texture of the pie as is. The berries will break down and deflate the pie, so really pile it high if you want a more domed shape. I like the look of it as-is, however. Very rustic!