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Recipes

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.

🌽 A Recipe for Comfort Food Bliss 🌽

By | Recipe of the Month, Recipes

Comforting Corn Custard

This is one of our most requested recipes. It’s a corn custard, kind of like corn pudding, but even better! You won’t believe how silky smooth it is and how much corn flavor is packed into this modest serving of delicious custard. It’s updated, old-fashioned goodness! And, while your custard is in the oven, check the next episode on our YouTube channel, The Craft(s). It’s all about comfort food!

Enjoy! Mary
Mary Crafts-Homer

We often serve this sweet corn custard with a mushroom sauce, or garnish it with sliced green onion.

and the next episode
“Comfort Food”
will be launching
March 10th

FEBRUARY RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Sweet Corn Custard
Makes 10 – 4 oz. appetizer or small side dish portions

Ingredients
Pan Spray (like “Pam”)
6 Ears of fresh sweet corn (or 3 cups frozen corn, thawed)
4 Cups of heavy cream
8 Large eggs
2 Cups of grated Jack cheese
2 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

Method
1)  Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
2)  Using pan spray, generously coat the inside of 10 3-inch/4-ounce ramekins.  Set aside.
3)  Using a serrated knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobb – you want to get as much of the tender kernel as possible without getting the woody part of the cobb, or thaw 3 cups of the frozen corn.
4)  Put corn in a saucepan, add 4 cups of heavy cream and bring to a low simmer and let it simmer for 5 minutes – you are infusing that cream with sweet corn flavor. After 5 minutes of simmering, cool down the mixture and put in a blender. Run the blender until the mixture is smooth.
5)  Strain the pureed corn and cream through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, discard any solids that are in the strainer.
6)  Grate 2 cups of Jack cheese.
7)  Crack 8 eggs and add to the bowl, along with your grated Jack cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper, stir well to break up the eggs, but don’t whisk in any air into the eggs – they shouldn’t be foamy.
8)  Now add your heavy cream that has been infused with the corn and stir it through.
9)  Fill the ramekins ¾ full of the mixture.  Set the filled ramekins in a 9 X 13 pan.  Put hot water from the tap in a pitcher, and gently pour the hot water around the ramekins, without letting it splash into the custard cups (this is a water bath).  You should end up with the water coming up ¾ of the way up the sides of the ramekins.
10)  Cover the pan and the ramekins with foil and take a knife and punch a few holes in the foil to allow the steam to escape.
11)  Carefully move the water bath to your preheated oven (325 degrees) and bake the custards for 35 to 40 minutes, until they are set firm, but are still creamy inside (if they are too runny, you won’t be able to unmold them).
12)  Take the custards out of the oven, and hold them in the 9 X 13 pan, still covered with the foil, staying warm in the hot water until you are ready to serve.

For Serving
You can leave the custard in the ramekins and serve that way, or, to unmold them run a small paring knife between the custard and the ramekin to help release the edges of the custard. Turn out and unmold them onto your plate or bowl.  Serve forth!

A Delicious Winter Salad (and Our Valentine’s Day Pop-Up!)

By | Recipe of the Month, Recipes

The new year is such an exciting time! We’re looking forward to creating our February Valentine’s Pop-up Restaurant, and launching our new YouTube Channel, TheCraft(s), but first, I’ll tell you about a favorite winter salad. We get so many requests for this salad this time of year we wanted to send out the recipe. It’s a light and refreshing winter salad with an incredibly delicious vinaigrette…and it features pistachio’s! Did you know that pistachio’s are grown in Southern Utah? You’ll be able to find Utah pistachio’s at almost any local grocery store. You’ll love serving it as a starter for dinner or pairing it with soup for lunch. Garnishing this salad with sliced apples or pears is a healthy way to take it up a notch.

Enjoy! Mary
Mary Crafts-Homer

Garnish this salad with apples or pears for extra deliciousness

Our next pop-up will be a night to remember

JANUARY RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Winter Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

with Roasted Pistachios, Gorgonzola & Dried Figs
Serves 10
Salad Ingredients
1 pound mix greens (farm greens)
1 cup of roasted pistachios (toasted)
1 cup of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (4 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled)
1 cup of dried figs (cut in quarters) We love using fresh figs when they are in season!
1 cup of poppy seed vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
1.5 Tbsp of mayonnaise
2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp of honey
1/4 cup of vegetable oil or olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp of poppy seeds

Method
Combine mayo, vinegar and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. With blender running slowly add the oil until emulsified. Remove from blender. Whisk in the poppy seeds. Adjust seasonings. (You can use an immersion blender when making a smaller amount)

Toss together the salad ingredients and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Pecan Glaze Moat

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, Recipe of the Month, Recipes, Tips

This feature was originally posted in Utah Valley Magazine Holiday Edition! Pick up a copy for more delicious recipes!

 

Shown here with a dried fruit confit and creme anglaise; the pecan glaze is equally delicious!

 

sweet-potato-cake

Ingredients for the cake 
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup melted butter
1 TBS vanilla
1/2 cup whiskey or apple juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
________________________
2 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sweet potato puree
METHOD FOR THE CAKEPreheat oven to 350 degrees, grease bundt pan with butter and lightly dust with with flour

1. Combine wet ingredients in a mixing bowl
2. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl
3. Combine mixtures into one bowl
4. Add sweet potato puree, mix until incorporated
5. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan
6. Bake on center rack for 22 to 30 minutes, let cool and invert onto platter

FOR THE GLAZE

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup bourbon (optional) or 2 TBS vanilla

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to boil over medium heat. When it has reached a boil lower heat to keep warm. This glaze keeps for at least a week refrigerated, re-heat it before serving.

TO SERVE
Ladle glaze onto serving plate and place slice of pumpkin cake on top, garnish with whipped cream, gelato, or ice-cream.

 

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

Happy New Years! Recipe for Black Eyed Peas

By | Food, How To, Recipe of the Month, Recipes
Black eyed peas are a staple for New Years. Tradition says if you eat this dish on New Years Day (Jan 1st), it will bring you good luck for the rest of the year! If you add collard greens to your dish it is said to make them even luckier because it’s the color of money! The beans are usually simmered with onion and a meaty bone like pork or ham and seasoned with just salt and pepper. 
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight if possible
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or slab bacon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds collard greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (about 8 cups)
  • 1 bunch scallions, cleaned and chopped, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Drain peas and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add ham hock or bone (if using slab bacon, cut it into 2-inch chunks), cover with 10 cups water and turn heat to high. Add salt, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, black pepper and allspice.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until peas are tender. Throughout cooking, add water as necessary, always keeping liquid level 1 inch above surface, stirring with wooden spoon occasionally. Turn off heat. Check broth for salt and adjust seasoning. Mixture should be fairly brothy. With a pair of tongs, remove ham hock, ham bone or bacon. Chop meat and skin in rough pieces and set aside.
  3. Put a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat until wavy. Add garlic and red pepper and let sizzle without browning. Add collard greens and stir to coat. Season with salt and add 1 cup water, stirring to help wilt greens. Add chopped ham and reduce heat to medium, then cover with lid slightly ajar and cook until greens are soft, about 20 minutes. Check seasoning.
  4. To serve, put greens and meat in low soup bowls, then ladle over hot black-eyed peas. Sprinkle with scallions.

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!

Introducing The Craft(s) YouTube Channel Trailer

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, Recipes

We are so excited to share with you the trailer for the new YouTube Channel we’re launching in January! This show is all about the food, the ingredients, and the craft! It will not be a how to. You’ll see Mary, Ryan, and Kaleb doing some of the coolest things we do here at Culinary Crafts. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the #foodporn you’re about to see. And remember, do NOT do this at home.



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