Aunt Emma's Never Fail Pie Crust

3 c sifted flour
1 1/4 c Shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp vinegar

Cut shortening into flour and salt.
Combine egg, water, and vinegar in a separate bowl.
Pour liquid into flour mixture all at once. Blend with spoon until flour is all moistened.
It can be re-rolled without toughening. Will keep in refrigerator for two weeks or divide into balls enough for one pie and wrap in Saran wrap and freeze indefinitely.

Makes 2 crusts

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Creme de la Creme

This week's Dorie challenge (and I do mean challenge) was Creme Brulee, from page 422 in Around My French Table.  Challenge Numero Uno was that I don't like custard; I've never ordered creme brulee in a restaurant; I avoid the slippery, slimy, custard-y desserts altogether.  Numero deux, er, Dos, I've never tried to make Creme Brulee (refer to Numero Uno).  No matter, I was up for it.  I know it's a favorite for lots of folks, so why not?

Dorie's version includes a spoonful of jam in the bottom of the dish (I chose raspberry), melted, prior to adding the warm, creamy mixture of heavy cream (oh yeahhh), whole milk (why not), egg yolks, sugar and vanilla.  Simple!
I don't know what was happening in my oven this day, but these took a whole lot longer than 60 minutes to reach the "centers just jiggle a tad" stage.  Maybe it doesn't hold the 200 degree temperture well. At any rate, I waited and waited and finally got there.  Patience is a virtue where I can excel when it's something worth waiting for...
These aren't browned, the color is from the raspberry jam bubbling up a little.
I ended up chilling the baked custards for TWO DAYS before I got the chance to add the brown sugar crust.  I took Dorie's advice for the broiler method. Besides, Santa had not yet had the opportunity to bring me a propane torch. (ahem!)
I do believe I am a Creme Brulee Convert!  These were not slimy or slippery but creamy and luscious.  I think the fruity jam at the bottom helped a lot since the creme part is quite rich.  Broiling the sugar was a little tricky and I burned a couple of them a little bit. They went from "almost there" to "oops" in about 2 seconds!

I ate it anyway.  Yum.

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