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Step-by-Step with Mary Crafts: Mom’s Perfect Pie Crust

By | Ask Mary, Food, How To, Recipes, Tips

Pie is the truly iconic American dessert, but very few people know how to do it well. The novice baker may spend most of their time perfecting the pie filling and spend little time and attention on the crust. However, a true pie maker and connoisseur knows the greatest pie joys lie within a well-made crust. Remember, there is no such thing as a good frozen pie crust from the grocers freezer. But, practice makes perfect and soon you can become an excellent pie maker!

For a single pie crust (for 8 or 9 inch pie) you will need the following:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp lard* (room temperature)
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup ice water (approximately)

Click here for a printable version.

*IN PRAISE OF LARD: No other fat can compare to real lard in a pie crust. If you need to substitute Crisco for the lard, don’t add the butter, just use straight Crisco. The crust will still be flaky but without the buttery flavor.

If you plan on making a two crust pie (crust on top and on bottom) simply double the above recipe. Or, if you’d prefer, my mother always made a “French Apple” pie which replaces the top crust with a crumb mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter mixed until crumbly. Increase baking time 10 minutes.

Okay, let’s get started!

Blend the lard and butter together to create the perfect fat. Chill until cold (you’ll want to chill your butter and lard mixture between every step. Your flaky and delicious crust depends on your fats staying cold.)

Cut the lard/butter mixture into small pieces. In mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.

Using your fingers, pastry blender, or two knives, work quickly to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles small grains of rice. You can use a food processor but you have to be super careful to not over mix. Chill until cold.

Once your mixture is cold, sprinkle the cold (ice cold) water over the flour mixture, one tablespoon at at time, and lightly toss with a fork after each addition. The dough should come together as dough but it should NOT be wet. Just make sure there isn’t any loose flour at the bottom of your bowl. Do not over mix.

Form the dough into a flat disc (if you’ve doubled the recipe for a two crust pie, split the dough in half and make two flat discs). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling.

Flour your surface. I like to use a pastry cloth for my floured surfaces, this decreases the amount of flour needed to ensure my dough doesn’t stick. Roll dough into a circle approximately 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Crust should be approximately 1/8 inch thick.


Place the upside down pie pan in the center of the dough. Cut out the circle with a knife or pizza wheel to be an inch larger around the pan. (If you’ve made a second crust, repeat this process and set your rolled and sized dough aside.)

Fold circle into fourths and place in pie pan, unfold to cover pan.  Lightly press crust into pan. Fold excess dough under on the rim of the pie plate. Crimp edges with fork or pinch between thumb and forefinger to form an edge that is higher then the plate to catch any juices that begin to bubble. Chill until cold.

Your crust is now ready for filling and either a double crust or crumb topping. Fill your cold crust with you filling and top with your choice topping.

If you chose the crumb topping, skip the next two steps. For the double crust pie, you will want to tuck the top crust between the bottom crust and your pie dish. Place some pressure on the two crusts to secure.

After your crust is tucked and secured, pinch or crimp the edges of your crust to seal completely. With a pastry or pairing knife cut a large “S” in the middle of the pie along with a few other slits around the top for steam to escape. Sprinkle generously with sugar.

 

Place pie on the lowest rack and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking 35 more minutes or until juice is bubbling out of the center vent which indicates the juice has thickened. Five minutes before it is finished baking, brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Tip for a crisp bottom crust: bake on a pie stone and always cool on a rack and not the counter.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or cheese! For printable instructions, click here. I’ve included the filling recipe for my mom’s prize-winning apple pie!

Love, Mary.

🍪 Double the Fun! 🍪

By | Ask Mary, Recipe of the Month, Recipes

Cookies served with a milk “shooter” —
what could be better?!

Two is better than one!

What’s better than one chocolate chip cookie recipe? Two chocolate chip cookie recipes! Our original recipe (the first recipe below) makes a devastatingly delicious chocolate chip cookie that is at it’s best if you eat it warm right out of the oven or within about 4 hours of baking. It has been our go to recipe for decades because we make our desserts fresh the day of our events.

But we’ve had requests and occasionally need to make a cookie that will keep longer. That’s when we came up with the second recipe. You can freeze the dough and put the frozen cookies right on the cookie sheet and bake them. AND these cookies even freeze well once they’ve been baked! Simply seal them in an airtight container. Note – this freezer friendly recipe is really loaded with chocolate chips – the chocolate lovers in your family will love them!!

Enjoy! Mary
Mary Crafts-Homer

and our next episode
will be launching in
APRIL

MARCH RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Original Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 60 average size cookies

Ingredients
2 cups (4 sticks) Butter
2 cups + 4 T Granulated sugar
2 cups Brown sugar
3 large eggs
1T Vanilla
1/3 cup Corn syrup
3 1/3 cup All purpose flour
4 1/2 cup Cake flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
3/4 tsp Salt
2 bags (11oz each) Milk chocolate chips

Method

Cream butter and sugars
Add eggs 1 at a time
Add vanilla and corn syrup
Add chocolate chips
Scoop about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough per cookie
Bake at 325 F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown

 

New Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 12 ginormous cookies

Ingredients
8 oz butter, cold (we use unsalted, but if you use salted, cut back on the salt amount)
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 large eggs
1 T Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Cake flour
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Corn starch
3/4 tsp Baking soda
3/4 tsp Sea salt (less if you use salted butter)
2 cups Milk chocolate chips
2 cups Walnuts (optional) we usually don’t use them

Method

Cream the butter and sugar
Add eggs one at a time, add the vanilla
Add dry ingredients until 80% mixed, stir in choc chips and walnuts if using.
Portion out cookies and freeze the dough. We find it if you freeze the dough a bit before you bake them it helps them keep their shape. A half a cup of dough equals one cookie. So measure out the dough and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Yes, these are jumbo cookies!

Bake at 400 F for 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure and watch closely as every oven will vary. They should be slightly brown around the edges and still appear soft and the center.

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Ask Mary, Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Food, Holiday Parties, Instagram of the Week, Parties, Recipes, Tips

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Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from our friends at KSL’s Studio 5 where our very own Mary Crafts-Homer had the pleasure of appearing on this past week.  We loved this segment and Mary shared some great tips and ideas for a PERFECT holiday celebration – plus some of our most popular recipes!  Definitely check out the Studio 5 site here to check out the segment and get the recipes.  And thank you again to Studio 5 for sharing this awesome pic!  Remember, for your chance to be next week’s Instagram of the Week, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts and check back to see who gets selected next!  Happy weekend, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Ask Mary, Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Food, Holiday Parties, How To, Instagram of the Week, News, Parties, Recipes, Tips

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Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from our friends at Studio 5 where our very own Mary Crafts-Homer showed the viewers some FANTASTIC 4th of July party ideas!  (I mean, sparklers in a patriotic cake?!  Yes please!)  We love celebrating the 4th of July and love to come up with such fun and creative eats!  Thank you to Brooke and Studio 5 for sharing this pic and also letting us share our ideas with your viewers!  We had so much fun!  Remember, for your chance to be next week’s Instagram of the Week, just add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts or tag us at @culinarycrafts and check back to see who next week’s pick is!  Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

The Art of Styling Desserts with Mary Crafts-Homer!

By | A Kitchen Like No Other, Ask Mary, Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Food, How To, Instagram of the Week, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Parties, Tips, Wedding Trends

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Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from our very own Mary Crafts-Homer and is a BTS capture from her spot on Studio 5 last week with Brooke Walker!  We loved Mary’s tips on creating the perfect desserts for any event and think it will definitely inspire the viewers who want to take their own parties up a notch.   If you missed the spot, never fear – it’s right here for you!  Take a look!

Thank you to Mary for such a fun pic and tons of gratitude to the amazing Studio 5 team for letting Culinary Crafts be a part of your show!  We love sharing tips and tricks to create amazing parties and events!  And remember, for your chance to be next week’s Instagram of the Week, just add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts or tag us at @culinarycrafts and check back to see who gets chosen next!  Happy weekend, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

How To Make Orange Garnishes With Chef Ortega

By | Ask Mary, Culinary Crafts Events, Food, How To, Parties, Wedding Trends

Today we’re going to share with you how to make the cutest garnishes made out of an orange!

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First, start with a orange. You can use any citrus fruit you like but we used oranges for this one. You’ll want to make a cut down the center and go about a inch and a half down.

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Then go down again, kind of making a triangle and you keep going all around the center of the orange. You can relate it to carving the smile of a pumpkin, it’s zig zagged just like that. You want to try to keep your zig zag in a straight line all around the orange.

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You can see how you can pull the orange apart a little bit there’s little triangles coming out. Then you want to gently twist the orange off from each other and you have your little garnish!

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You can put the garnish on the side of a plate or you can cut off the bottom so you can set it down flat. You can also cut just a little piece off to have it sit at an angle. You can also change the size of the “teeth” of the orange by doing bigger or smaller ones. Try to be as careful as you can not to break off any of the “teeth” when you’re twisting it apart!

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The final product, so beautiful! You can also doing this with melons or other citrus fruit like a lemon or a kiwi.

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Spotlight on: Mary’s Wedding – A Love Story

By | Ask Mary, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts

Okay, okay, I know this feature is one day late.  BUT, I think this post was well worth the wait!  Today, Mary was kind enough to share a little bit of her love story with us!  I LOVE IT!

“I have always believed in fairy tales… and Santa… and the Easter Bunny!  I like movies with happy endings and I believed, in the end, good always triumphs.  However, there were many times in my life when it seemed like my dreams were just dreams and hope was all that kept me going.  But if hope is all you have… it’s enough.   At age 57, it is glorious to be in a relationship that is full of joy, wonder, and contentment.  At age 57, it is also glorious to be a blushing bride and be told every day, ‘Mary, you look radiant!  You must be in love and you must be truly loved.’

Here are a few answers to some of my most frequently asked questions:

How did you meet Rick? Believe it or not, I’m one of those internet brides!  We met on LDSsingles.com.   I am a believer that the internet can introduce couples who would have never had an opportunity to cross each other’s paths.  I dated for a year on the singles sites before meeting Rick, and it certainly made me sure of the right man when I found him!!!

Are you catering your own wedding? Absolutely!  I have the most professional, dedicated, and detailed team of any catering company in the country.  All I had to do was share the vision with them and they are doing the rest.   All of those details will be coming in the next few weeks as we share the menus and design for all three days of celebration.   Oh, I’m all goosebumps!

How did you know you were ready to make this step? They say you should know someone in every season before marrying them.  I didn’t do that the first time, so I decided to take this advise the second time.  I met Rick on July 4, 2010.   I played with him all summer, shared long talks with him all fall, skied with him all winter, and said, ‘Yes!’ to him in the spring.  We will be married on July 1, 2011; one year after meeting that fateful day.  To be honest, from the first night when we spent 7 hours ‘just talking’, I knew Rick and I had been connected long before this life.  He is my soul mate, my love, my best friend.  We may not be perfect….but we are perfect for each other.

Until next time… Hugs from Mary”

What a beautiful story!  And thank you again to Mary to sharing this glimpse into her love story.  Remember to check back next week (yes, I promise on Wednesday this time) for more behind the scenes details of Mary’s wedding!!!

Also, check out our website at www.culinarycrafts.com!