The next recipe in our Quarantine Bake Along lineup is another one with very minimal ingredients: pie/galette crust! All you need is flour, butter, water, salt, and sugar. It’s pretty amazing that just these ingredients can produce the beautifully flaky and buttery crust that we all associate with a good pie. Pie crust need not be limited to traditional pies, however. You can use pie crust to make sweet or savory galettes (rustic, free-form pies), as a base for fruit tarts, or as crackers.
I know that a lot of people are sometimes intimidated by pie crust, but it’s really not hard to make and most people have the ingredients on-hand. Once you have this crust down, you can use it as a base for any pie/galette recipe you’d like to make. If any of you have some canned pie filling sitting around or a bag of frozen berries, those would be perfect here. If not, make a galette with the fresh fruit you have or a savory one for dinner!
A Brief History of Pie Crust
Historians trace pie’s initial origins to the Greeks, who are thought to be the originators of the pastry shell, which they made by combining water and flour. Pies were originally meat-based in Europe, but once the Pilgrims settled in the colonies, the pie’s role as a means to showcase local ingredients took hold and with it came a proliferation of new, sweet pies.
Pie Crust Recipe
The recipe I use is from Stella Parks at Serious Eats. She does an amazing job explaining the whole process and I’d rather not reinvent the wheel. I do halve the recipe if I know I’m only going to make one pie or galette.
Savory Galette Recipe
- 1 prepared pie crust (above), after its fridge rest
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 bar),
- 1/4 teaspoon of all your favorite dried herbs and spices you can find in your pantry
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Odds and ends of hearty vegetables and meats, cut into 1/4in thickness if applicable (asparagus, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, tomatoes, and chopped up bacon and ham work well)
- Goat cheese, optional
- Balsamic vinegar, optional
- Honey, for drizzling
- Maldon salt, for finishing
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix your spices, salt, and pepper into the cream cheese until well combined.
- Place your cold pie crust on the baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese mixture all over the crust, leaving a 1 inch border.
- Layer your veggies and meats on top of the cream cheese mixture, no need to be precise about how much, as long as the crust can fold over the center it will be fine.
- Fold the edges of the crust towards the center, going all around and gently pressing in place. It will look “rustic!”
- Bake for 25-30 minutes in preheated oven until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
- Let cool slightly and serve.