The Sunday Before Thanksgiving

posted by Karen Jean Matsko Hood
Sunday, November 21, 2010

by Karen Jean Matsko Hood

Dear Readers,

Each year I plan to get ahead for Thanksgiving so that I can spend more relaxation time to actually be with my family instead of racing around like a chicken with its head cut off. Each year I do not quite reach my goal.

This Sunday we decided to plan recipes to make and pull out of the freezer on Thanksgiving. My mother always made homemade pie crust and squash pie for Thanksgiving. It is delicious and freezes well, so please be sure to check out the recipes below. I’m sure your family will love it, and it is also more colorful and festive than the traditional pumpkin pie. The pie crust recipe below is also excellent–extremely quick and easy, and it makes the most wonderful flaky crust.

Wishing you all the best in the upcoming holiday season,
Karen

Easy Flaky Pie Crust

  • 1.5 cups plain flour, not self-rising.
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/6 cup cold vegetable shortening (1/6 cup = 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Mix together the flour, sugar and shortening. Don’t make it too smooth or uniform.  Little pea sized granules makes a flaky crust. Then sprinkle in just enough water to make it hold together; a good dough consistency. Just mix it enough to make it into pieces that hold together about the size of a pea.  DO NOT overmix it! Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Use a pie crust bag or two sheets of waxed paper to roll out the dough. Shake some flour into the bag or waxed sheets to prevent the dough from sticking.Roll it out to an even thickness, about 1/8 of an inch thick and an inch or two wider than your pie pan. Place the dough into the pie pan and press down to conform to shape of pan. Seal any broken areas, and shape the top edge in any pattern you like; just for appearance’s sake.

The crust is now ready for pie filling!

Best Squash Pie

  • 1 medium-size butternut squash
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

Cut the squash into 4 pieces, removing the seeds. Boil until the meat is soft. Cool, then remove the skin and discard.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a blender, combine the cooked squash gradually with the milk. Pour into a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Pour the creamy mixture into 3 unbaked pie shells.

Bake for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.



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