Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Joys of Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust

I grew up with Pillsbury dough – canned biscuits, crescent & cinnamon rolls, raw cookie dough. For the most part Pillsbury dough is ubiquitous. It all tastes the same. And I’ll pass on the canned biscuits, thank you. So, it was with extreme reluctance that I tried the refrigerated roll-up pie dough. And I have to admit that this time, Pillsbury has nailed it!

One day my husband requested that I make chicken pot pie. I make a mean chicken or turkey shepherd’s pie (with mashed potatoes serving as the crust), but I have never been successful at making pie crust. He knows this and suggested the Pillsbury version. I balked, but since he is a sweetie (most of the time), I took the plunge. The crust was perfect!

Of course, the refrigerated packages contain two crusts. What should I do with the other package? Well, I put it in the freezer to keep for a while. And in a just a little while I ran into the Westhampton Market on Patterson on the way home from work. On this day they had very ripe Anjou pears. The pears were almost bursting with juice. I purchased two along with some dried cranberries. At home, I took out the pie dough to thaw. I placed about ¼ cup of cranberries in a small pot; peeled, seeded, & sliced the pears; poured in a tiny amount of pear nectar and simmered the concoction until most of the liquid had evaporated. I turned the oven to 350 degrees. I covered an air bake cookie sheet with a piece of aluminum foil. I unrolled the dough and placed it on the cookie sheet. In the middle of the circle of dough I spooned out the pear-cranberry mixture. This left about 1 – 1 ½ inches of dough uncovered by the fruit concoction. I took the uncovered part and folded it over the mixture similar to a rustic tart look that was popular in the foodie magazines a while ago. I left a little hole in the middle with pear peaking out. Into the oven it went. I took it out when the crust was a soft golden color. Very nice indeed.

I now rave about Pillsbury pie crusts to others. And I’ve tried other variations – apples & cranberries, blackberries & pears. And served it with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


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