James’ parents and our nephew Dawson came to our house for Thanksgiving this year. We had a great meal. The entree was a fully-cooked spiral sliced ham I picked up at Costco that was heated and glazed. Side dishes were Green Bean Casserole, Baked Macaroni and Cheese (source: Alton Brown and the Food Network), Maple Sweet Potato Puree with Caramelized Onions (source: Claire Robinson and the Food Network), and Glazed Carrots with Rosemary (source: Taste of Home Holidays & Celebrations 2009) and Pillsbury Grands Biscuits. The Green Bean Casserole was a hit as always. The baked mac and cheese was tasty, but James says he prefers Velvetta Shells and Cheese. The sweet potatoes weren’t bad, but I’m just not a big sweet potato fan, but maybe I’ll find a recipe that makes me like them. The carrots were good, but the rosemary was a tad overpowering.
Of course, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the pies. I tried a new pie crust that was oh so delicious. I will definitely be using it again.
Alton Brown’s Buttery & Flaky Pie Crust
Source: Pear Cranberry Pie
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 ounces vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5 to 7 tablespoons water (or juice that complements pie filling)
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour, about 2 3/4 cups, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Place the butter, shortening and water into the refrigerator for 1 hour.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar by pulsing 3 to 4 times. Add the butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until the texture looks mealy. Add the shortening and pulse another 3 to 4 times until incorporated.
Remove the lid of the food processor and sprinkle in 5 tablespoons of the water. Replace the lid and pulse 5 times. Add more water as needed, and pulse again until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Weigh the dough and divide in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap in in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Yield: 2 one-crust pie shells or 1 two-crust pie
I made two one-crust pies with this pie dough. The first was a Texas Pecan Pie (source: Taste of Home Recipe finder), that was slightly different from my normal pecan pie recipe. It was tasty, but a little too liquidy for my liking.
The second was a Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (source: Taste of Home Holidays & Celebrations 2009) that was definitely delicious, but it is not the perfect pumpkin pie. Of course, part of that could have been I was distracted while making the pie and so it didn’t end up looking quite like it should.