Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

4 Cups Sifted Flour
1 3/4 Cups shortening
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1/2 Cup Water

Put it all in a food processor until it forms a ball of dough. If you don't have a food processor, put it all in a large tupperware with a tight lid- One thing you have to do is cut the shortening in smaller pieces (use a fork or a spoon). Shake that tupperware until it forms a ball of dough. Makes 2-9 inch pie shells.

Graham cracker crust

1 - 3/4 Cups Graham Cracker crumbs
1/3 cups butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix crumbs, melted butter and sugar together in bowl. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of greased baking dish or desired pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Let Cool.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Pie Crust
~You're probably wondering why the graham cracker crust and the chocolate graham cracker crust have different recipes...To tell you the truth, i don't know either...I haven't tried swapping the recipe with the crackers but I'm afraid to try...so be my guest and give it a try and tell me how it works!

1-1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in egg white and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Grandma Kay's favorite Lemon Meringue Pie
~Daniel and I went home to Texas for Thanksgiving one year. I was so excited because I was able to show the family what I was all about after the pineapple upside down cake incident (inside joke) lol! I asked certain people in the family what type of dessert they would want to eat after the feast. (come to realize day of, we had about a dozen homemade pies!) Knowing this family, chocolate is a must! and so i made chocolate...but grandma kay, she requested lemon meringue pie. I've made lemon meringue a few times so I figured I should stick to my old recipe...Somehow, that didn't happen. I found a NEW recipe the day before and thought I'd give it a try. Well, what do you know.....To her surprise, I really did make it. She said it was THE BEST lemon meringue pie she's ever had! She went on and on about it and I knew this was the one to stick with. yummy in the tummy!

Sweet Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, or as needed

Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. With your fingers, work the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 3 tablespoons of the ice water and work with your fingers just until the dough comes together, adding more water as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a smooth dough, being careful not to overwork the dough.

Form the dough into a disk shape, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

Pie Filling:

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cold water
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons limoncello (I went without it)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan, pressing gently to fit, trim the edge to within 1/2-inch of the pan, turn under, and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or rice. Bake until the crust is set, about 12 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake until lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before filling. Combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, milk, water, and pinch of the salt in a large, non-reactive saucepan, whisk to combine, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. As the mixture reaches a simmer and begins to thicken and turn clear, 4 to 5 minutes, whisk in the egg yolks, 2 at a time. Slowly add the lemon juice, whisking constantly, and add the zest and limoncello. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and whisking constantly, return to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour immediately into the prepared pie crust.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and remaining pinch salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beating constantly, gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat until glossy stiff peaks form, being careful not to over beat, as this will make the meringue difficult to spread.

Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Working 1 row at a time, pipe the meringue across the top of the hot lemon filling in a zigzag pattern, alternating direction with each row. Cover the pie filling completely, going out to the pastry edges, so the meringue does not draw up or weep during baking. (Alternatively, spread the meringue evenly over the pie filling using a rubber spatula, smoothing out to the pastry edges. Make decorative peaks in the meringue using a dull knife or the back of a spoon.)

To quickly cook the meringue, preheat the broiler with the rack in the highest position. Place the pie under the broiler and cook until the meringue is set and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. (Alternatively, the meringue can be cooked in a preheated 325 degree F oven until set and golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.)

Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Meringue Pie

Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed

In a medium bowl using a pastry blender or fork, mix together the flour, butter, shortening, and salt until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and mix just until the water is incorporated. Add more water as needed to make a smooth dough. Form the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Chocolate Filling:
4 ounces ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Meringue Topping:
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
Finely grated bittersweet chocolate, as garnish

Remove from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry to a large round, about 12-inches in diameter. Transfer to a deep dish 9-inch pie pan, trim to within 1/2-inch of the pan, and crimp decoratively. Prick with a fork, cover, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Filling: In the top of a double-boiler, or in a metal bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates and butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale yellow.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat milk. Add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the yolks and whisk until smooth. Add the beaten yolk mixture to the saucepan with the hot milk and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cornstarch and salt and cook over very low heat until thickened. Simmer, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and cool completely. Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Meringue: In a large non-reactive bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add the sugar while beating and continue to beat until glossy and stiff peaks form. (Be careful not to overbeat, as will be difficult to spread.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Spread the meringue over the chocolate pie, smoothing out to the pastry edges (so the meringue won't draw up during baking). With a dull knife, make decorative peaks in the meringue. Bake until the meringue is golden, about 14 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, and serve.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
~This pie has GOT to be the easiest pie I've ever made...you'll see why!

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C chopped pecans (optional)

Vanilla ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream for serving. YUMMERS!

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

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