Pie crusts are one of the easiest food items to prepare and keep in your freezer for almost instant use. In some cases thawing the crust is not needed, just pour in the filling, cover with the top crust, and bake. In this article you will find some terrific ideas to aid in the preparation of pastry and pie crusts.
Pie crusts consist of some kind of fat, flour, salt, and water. This dough is then rolled out to fit into pie pans, tart pans or can even be tucked into muffin tins for individual servings.
-Procedure to freeze in pans:
Roll the crusts out one at a time, starting with the bottom crust. Roll the dough out to a nice round shape that is at least one inch larger than the pie plate. Most are 9 inches in diameter, so your crust should measure 10 inches all around.
Lightly dust the crust with a teaspoon or so of flour and smooth carefully. Fold the crust into half and then half again, making a nice triangle. Place the point of this triangle into the center of the pie plate/pan and gently unfold the crust.
Arrange the unfolded crust snuggly into the bottom of the pan and then press gently all around to make a good fit with no folds, wrinkles, or cracks. If it does crack simply, press together gently.
Using a small sharp knife trim the crust in a downward motion to mold it to the edge of the pie pan. Leave plain, do not flute edges at this stage, since we are going to freeze this crust. Place a 12-inch piece of waxed paper over the crust and weight it down to form to the shape of the pan. Place in freezer for 10 minutes or so while you roll the top crust. If you are making a one crust pie you won’t have to thaw, just fill and bake.
Top crust: Roll the dough out following the process above except do not fold. Dust with 1 teaspoon of flour and smooth. Retrieve the bottom crust from the freeze, remove weight, and place the top crust over the waxed paper already in the pan, covering the bottom crust. Press it down lightly so it sticks to the paper slightly.
Wrap the two crusts completely in cling-wrap. Leave no air holes; cover tightly. Stow the wrapped pie crusts inside the pie pan, in a gallon sized lip-lock bag and place into the freezer.
When needed, simply remove from the freezer 2 hours before needed and allow to thaw completely. Unwrap and remove the top crust using the waxed paper and reserve. Pour filling into bottom crust, cover with top crust, press the edges together, flute, cut a vent in the top, and bake.
Rolled to freeze:
Follow the same procedure for rolling the crust out, have ready two 12-inch sheets of waxed paper. After the top crust is the appropriate size, dust lightly with 1 teaspoon of flour and smooth. Carefully place the crust onto one piece of waxed paper, place the second sheet of waxed paper over the crust, even up the edges of the waxed paper to make a square.
Roll the whole thing up into a cylinder and then twist the ends of the waxed paper. Place the rolled top crust into a freezer bag and seal the bag. If you have a little time, it is helpful to make a few of these crusts, and store them all in the same gallon sized zip-lock bag. (Make a day of it!) They can be taken out one at a time or as many as you need, thawed and are ready when it’s time to bake a pie; viola you have crusts ready. Just thaw completely, unroll, and fit into the pie pan, fill, and bake!
The same procedure is used to make tart shells, or individual pie shells. These can be formed to fit and frozen inside the pans or can be rolled out to fit, made into cylinders between waxed paper and stowed in smaller zip bags. The method creates convenience at your fingertips.
Simply remove the amount of crusts you need, thaw until pliable, place into pans or muffin tins, fill, bake and serve.
Homemade pie crusts can be “Bake and Serve” when you follow these proven procedures. Have fresh pie crusts at your fingertips, to be ready in a snap!