A homemade crust can turn a good pie into an amazing one, delivering more flavor and a lighter, flakier texture than a store-bought crust can. It can be intimidating to make a pie crust from scratch when you have to do it by hand, however, and many people will opt out of homemade pie crusts just because they worry about screwing it up. If you have a food processor, you can take some of the “scary” out of making pie crust, because you can do it quickly and easily in one! I made a video demo to walk you through the process of How to Make Pie Crust in the Food Processor, but the general idea is that you pulse the butter into the flour mixture with the food processor, rather than cutting the butter in with your fingertips.
The recipe included in the video is for a single, all butter crust. It can be doubled for double crust pies. You can get a great, flaky crust with this method in very little time. I think that my crusts might be a touch flakier when I make them by hand – but when I need to make multiple crusts it definitely makes my life a lot easier to do a few batches by food processor.
There are two things that would be pie-bakers find to be intimidating: making the pie dough and then rolling it out. The technique used for making pie dough – cutting butter/shortening in to a flour mixture – is used for many types of baked goods, including scones and biscuits. The technique for rolling out pie dough is really only used for making pies. Fortunately, if you have a little flour, a flat work surface and a rolling pin, you are ready to make it happen.
I put together a demo video showing how to roll out pie dough to make a single crust pie. The demo walks you through rolling out the dough, transferring it to a pie pan and crimping the crust. When you roll out your crust properly, you’ll get a better fit in the pan and better results with your finished pie, because you’ll reduce the risk of the pie crust shrinking or pulling away from the pan during baking. Once you have your pie crust rolled out, here are a few more pie how-tos that should come in handy:
Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes are one of my favorite fall recipes, both because they are very tasty and because they are intriguing to people. The cupcakes have the same custardy texture as a pumpkin pie filling, but have just enough substance to them to hold together without a traditional crust. They’re delicious.
I get a lot of requests for video of this recipe and questions about the recipe. Many people have a hard time visualizing what the “crust” of these mini pies looks like. It is not a traditional pie crust, and it forms almost by magic when the cupcakes bake. The “crust” is formed by a small amount of flour in the batter that forms a firm crust-like layer on the sides and base of the pie – meaning that you can pick these pies up with your hands yet still enjoy the soft, traditional pumpkin pie filling in each bite. They’re called Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes because it is (almost) impossible that you can have such a delicate custard center without a traditional crust.
I put together a video that shows the whole recipe, from start to finish, where it is easy to see the texture of the batter and the cupcakes every step of the way. Just watching it puts me in the mood to bake another batch!
I think that everyone should have one go-to brownie recipe. This One Bowl Brownie recipe is mine. The recipe takes just a few minutes to put together and I typically have everything that I need to make it on hand at any given time. Brownies are a huge crowd pleaser, so they’re perfect for almost every situation when you need or want a baked good. Plus, you can put any number of spins on the basic recipe by adding nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, frosting or ice cream to it, which means that it never gets boring.
The brownie recipe is very straightforward, using cocoa powder and dark chocolate to give them a rich chocolate flavor. I’ve seen brownie recipes that have a lot more chocolate in them than these do, but believe me when I say that you get a lot of chocolate into every bite with these. Sometimes, I find that adding more chocolate can just make the brownies heavy and more like a block of fudge than an actual brownie. And, for those times when I am really craving chocolate, I can always stir in some chocolate chips for even more chocolate in these. There is no leavening in the recipe, which keeps the brownies dense and moist.
To me, a one bowl recipe means that everything can be measured out straight into one bowl and easily mixed together. These brownies definitely fit that definition and I frequently measure things out directly into the mixing bowl. Plus, you don’t even need a mixer for this recipe because it comes together fast with a simple whisk or spoon. In fairness, if you don’t have a microwave-safe mixing bowl, then you should melt your butter and chocolate together in a smaller microwave-safe bowl first. This adds a second bowl if you need to do it, but fortunately small bowls always seem easier to clean than the big ones, so it won’t make much of a mess.
To demonstrate just how easy to make these are, I even put together a short video that will walk you through the process:
Pumpkin brownies are one of my favorite fall treats to bake because I am a huge pumpkin pie fan and like just about any dessert that gets those delicious pumpkin spice flavors into it. I first make Pumpkin Brownies with Pecans a couple of years ago, and I’ve been making them ever since. Unlike regular brownies, these don’t have any chocolate in them. What they do have a chewy, fudgy texture that is a lot like that of brownies or blondies, and a great pumpkin flavor. The brownies use canned pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin puree) to provide a moist, dense base for the bars, and are seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Chopped pecans add some texture and crunch to the bars, and contrast well with the pumpkin. They’re faster and easier to make than pumpkin pie – not to mention that they’re more portable and easy to share – so they’re a great snack to whip up on a fall day.
The bars are easy to make, but since it’s an unusual recipe, I’ve put together a step-by-step video (that I hope will be one of the first of many to come) showing the process of how to make Pumpkin Brownies from start to finish. Don’t forget to check out the full recipe from the original post so that you can try baking a batch yourself, too!