November 10, 2011

Guest Post: Jessica from The Mason Jar!

Welcome Jessica from the Mason Jar! Jessica is a friend I've known since college, and is one of the sweetest, funniest people I know! She is AMAZING in the kitchen. I am always so inspired by her recipes, and her use of fresh, "real" food, and in awe of all the things she makes from scratch! 

I love reading her blog. It's a place where she shares her heart, her recipes, the hilarious happenings of small town life, and her beautiful family (which just got bigger with the addition of the most beautiful baby girl!)
Join us as she shares an amazing recipe that I cannot wait to try! Give her some love, and hop on over to her blog when you're finished reading!


I'm so thrilled that Andrea has asked me to guest post for her! I blog over at The Mason Jar. This is my first official guest post so I wanted to come up with something awesome. However, I just had a baby, so I've decided to share an older post of mine that has lots of great tips for this new season.

With Autumn officially upon us, I thought we should talk about something very serious: pie crust. Did you know that pies are the new cupcake? I want you to know how easy it is to make your own pie crusts at home. Are you ready???

We need to have a talk.

You might want to sit down.

Ok, here goes. I know about those store-bought pie crusts you've got lurking in your refrigerator.

Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. The ones in the--ahem--red box with the chubby little dough-boy? The ones that are so "easy" that you can just fit into a pie plate and fill with whatever your little heart desires?

I don't understand the drama that surrounds pie crust. Store-bought, while only about $3, is still more expensive than making it from the pantry staples that you already have. Homemade pastry crust has about 7 [or less] ingredients, depending on your method, whereas store-bought has about a bagillion ingredients---most of which are unrecognizable.

Making your own pie crust is actually really easy. And I'm going to teach you to conquer this pastry dragon. Save the drama for something serious, like boning a duck.

I should tell you that there are many different pie crust recipes. They all start with flour, a little sugar and salt, and a fat. The fat may be butter, shortening, or a combination of both. Some call for ice water and others for milk and/or an egg. The important thing to remember is that the fat needs to be cold. Having cold fat results in the fat being evenly distributed, creating a flaky crust.

I don't always use the same pie crust recipe. It just depends on what I need the crust for. For instance, last night I was making homemade pop tarts, so I went with an all butter recipe because I find that using all shortening yields a more delicate crust. I like the durability and flavor of an all butter crust, more often than not.

[from King Arthur Flour]
Yes, that is a lot of butter. Eight ounces or 2 sticks, same difference. It needs to be cubed and very cold. You should cut it up into half inch or so cubes and then place them in the freezer to get really chilly. Remember, cold fat is key to a great crust!
You can do this all by hand, but I recommend using your food processor. If you don't have a food processor, don't stop reading! Use a pastry blender, a fork, or even your hands. I've done that plenty of times and it works just fine. Whirl together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp of salt.
Then you'll add in the butter and pulse until it starts to look kind of like clumpy sand. If it holds together in your hands, you know it's ready. 

Separately, whisk together 2 Tbsp of cream or milk, and one egg.

 Add the egg/milk mixture into the food processor and turn it on low. It will quickly turn into a ball and that's when it's ready!

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and just need it until it comes together. Don't over work it; you'll be able to feel the smoothness and know that it's ready.
 Split the dough in half, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. You can even leave them in the refrigerator even for a couple days, or freeze it. From start to finish, the whole process takes less than 10 minutes. SCORE!

How hard was that? Let's review.
2 cups All Purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tsp salt
*Pulse in food processor
8 oz. cubed, very cold butter.
*Add in flour mixture
Whisk together 2 Tbsp cream/milk and 1 egg.
*Add in flour mixture and pulse until it turns into a ball. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it just comes together and is smooth. Divide in half, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

I hope I have given you some tools to give you the confidence that it's not too late to learn to make homemade pastry crust for your holiday pies. If you've already bought the kind in a box, save it for a rainy day. It makes a great item for kids to play with, just make sure they don't eat [too much of] it. You're creative, you'll think of a way to use it up. And please, if you're making pecan pie, please refrain from using all that corn syrup.  Tapioca syrup or even maple syrup or honey makes a great substitute.  But that’s a subject for another intervention. 
Happy fall baking!

Thank you so much Jessica! I admit, I'm guilty! I have two of those red pie crusts in my freezer! But I'm definitely saving them for another day. I can't wait to try this recipe for my next pot pie, or upcoming holiday sweets.
Now, go check out The Mason Jar and become one of Jessica's newest followers. I have a feeling new baby pictures will soon make an appearance!

 Partying here!


  1. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  2. Thanks for sharing your recipe! I usually make apple pie for my husband and secretly I think he isn't impressed. :) I will try this one this year!

  3. I've always been scared to make pie crust, but this looks super easy! Thanks for sharing!

    new follower :)


  4. Thank you for linking up to our party, Show and Share #13, come back this week!

    A mommy's life... with a touch of yellow

  5. I really like your blog. I am your newest follower!! I am new to blogger, but am excited to share my New boutique that is coming soon with the latest trends on clothing at affordable prices. I also will be selling Mineral Makeup. I will be giving a lot of free giveaways here shortly for our grand opening! I hope you will stop by my blog and follow me back and like my facebook... And Look out for free giveaways on makeup and clothing :)

    -B. Haven

  6. I LOVE this! I would love if you would share this at the Crazy Cute link party happening at Between U & Me right now! I've got a totally awesome giveaway this week, too!
    OOH! AND, I'm your newest follower! ;)

  7. Thanks so much for sharing on Thingamajig Thursday!

    Hope to see you again soon!



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