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Fun with Pie Dough

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OK, you know you cook too much when you’re posting a blog called “Fun with Pie Dough.” No trips to Disneyworld or front row seats at the Super Bowl for me, thank you, I’m staying at home so I can have some fun with my pie dough!Well, I thought (hoped) I was done baking pie for the next century but when I was invited to a dinner a couple nights ago, a lady listening to the invitation (it was at Church and we’re all invited) asked “and why don’t you bring one of those delicious apple pies?”  Well, I could never deny someone who compliments my baking, even if she is asking me for the last thing on earth I really want to make.

I made the pies yesterday and as always, I had enough leftover dough that I could have used it as a bottom crust for another pie.  Which I would have done if I felt like making a pie that only called for one crust.  But I’m really sick of making pie, people.

Since I embarked on the apple pie project last month, I’ve been faced with an extraordinary amount of leftover pie dough that’s forced me to be creative with the extras since I abhor waste–especially when it comes to anything edible.

I used some of it to make more apple pie.  And here’s what I did with the rest.

The first thing I always do with leftover dough is roll it out, then layer on butter, sugar, cinnamon and raisins (and pecans if I have them), then roll it up, slice it and bake it.  This is what my grandmother did with her extra dough and I do it because it reminds me of her.  And because it’s delicious.  If you have kids, this one will definitely be a winner with them.  Kind of like cinnamon roll pies, I guess. (Update: I now have a recipe for Grandma’s cinnamon roll pie crust cookies here.)

I also made three batches of shortbread cookies.  If you’re using my Rich All-Purpose Pastry or another recipe that uses mostly butter for the fat, then you can use the leftover dough to do the same (shortbread is basically pie crust in cookie form, after all!).  Just knead in powdered sugar until it tastes sweet enough to you (yes, you’ll have to taste raw dough but it really isn’t bad), add flour or water as needed if it’s too wet or dry, then refrigerate it at least half an hour to firm it up.  You can either pat it into a pan and score it with a knife or roll it out, leaving it about 1/2 inch thick and cutting it with cookie cutters.   Bake it 350 until it’s done.  My cookies were small and took about 10 minutes and the dough in the ramekin I think was like 20 minutes.  The less you cook them, the more tender they’ll be.  If you brown them, they’ll be crispy. 

To add even more excitement to this pie dough shortbread fun, you can mix in lemon or orange zest (I did the orange zest twice–it was fabulous!)…and then dip them halfway into some melted chocolate!  I didn’t make it that far–the cookies were always gone before I got the chance.  I also made a batch with pecans and walnuts mixed in and they were very good too–a better version of the boxed “Sandies” you can get at the store.  I did sandwich some of those with chocolate. And then ate them.  All.

I’ve also made a couple month’s worth of communion bread for my Church. To do this, just knead in some sugar or powdered sugar (I’ve used both with equally good results), chill it, roll it out, cut it, prick it with a fork (or cut it with a knife as pictured), and bake it.  I’ve used a recipe for communion bread in the past, but using my leftover all-purpose pastry works much better. (Update: I now use this recipe for communion bread.)

OK, on to homemade Pop Tarts!!!  Actually, these little lovelies are more like handpies but we won’t tell our mothers we’re eating pie for breakfast.  Just roll out the extra dough, slice it into rectangles, put your preserves/jam of choice in the middle, dab some beaten egg around the edge, lay another piece of dough on top, press the edges to seal, then crimp the edges with a fork.  At this point you can bake them and ice them when they come out of the oven, or do like I did and brush them with some of the remaining beaten egg, sprinkle them with coarse sugar, and then pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes.  I like that way better b/c there’s less work involved and I don’t waste as much of the egg.  Oh, and I must give credit where credit is due: thank you, Laura (The Cooking Photographer), for posting a photo of your own homemade pop-tarts and inspiring me to do the same!


Let me know if you have any other ideas for leftover dough–at the rate I’m going, I’m going to need a new idea every week!


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