Simple pastry Versatility
Although most frequently used to shell pies, the classic pie dough is a simple pastry that is quite versatile.
Classically considered “country”, pie dough is used for all kinds of desserts, and savoury dishes. Here are five ways to use a pie dough simple pastry to bring the farm life to your table.
This is the obvious one. Pie can typically has a crust. Although not all pies use a dough crust, this simple pasty will enhance any dessert or savoury dish called pie.
Pies can be made savoury, like our lentil pot pies, or sweet with a fruit filling.
The dough can be shaped into beautiful patterns, rolled with stamps, or shaped with cutters. Lattice work on top of typically open face fruit pies can add a country flair. All around pie dough is generally a good all purpose pastry dough.
Here are some more ideas that are slightly less conventional for your left over pie dough, or to make on their own.
This is a classic Canadian use for leftover pie dough. They are very simple to make. You take any left over pie dough you have, and roll it out into a rectangle, keeping it rolled thin.
You can add a thin layer of vegan margarine (or butter if you are not vegan) to add a layer of fat here. I tend to skip this step, but adding it will increase the amount of crunch. Next spread out a thin layer of brown sugar, leaving only 1″ borders all around the edge.
Next, sprinkle ground cinnamon over the sugar. You can add in optional chopped pecan or walnuts, and raisins. Then starting from one long edge, roll until closed in a log shape. Pinch the open edge together to prevent leaking, and pinch the ends together also.
Place on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet, and slice through the roll to make 1/2″ slices. Bake in the oven at 350 F for approximately 30 minutes. You can easily bake along side your pies depending on the size of the roll.
Its a true classic that has been well enjoyed for generations. I enjoy it so much I sometimes will make the pie dough just to make cinnamon rolls.
For a heartier version of a puff pastry turn over, try using pie dough. Roll the dough extra thin, and layer twice with margarine or butter in-between the layers like you might with puff pastry dough. (this layering is optional).
Cut into circular shapes, add your fruit or jam fillings to the centre, and fold the dough over making a semi-circle. Use a fork to press the edges down into each other creating a feathered edge look. Place on a lined cookie sheet and sprinkle white sugar over the top. You can wet the top using your finger and water first to help it stick.
Place in the oven, and bake at 350F for 20 minutes, or until dough is golden brown.
Tarts, and tart shells. There are so many different ways to make tarts. When I think about a tart, I think about the small palm of your hand size pastry. But you can also make a tart, similar to a pie.
The main difference between a tart and a pie, are the shape. They can both be sweet or savoury. But a tart is an open face dish, often with low sides.
I love using pie dough for my tarts because it offers a simple base to help my filling shine. It can be used for maple butter tarts, or a sour cherry filling.
To make a tart shell, proceed as you would for any pie. If you are looking to make mini pie sized tarts, consider using a muffin tin to shape your shells. You can leave the dough in the tin, and fill and bake it all in the same muffin tin. Then when you pull it out of the oven, it will maintain its shape.
As wacky as this might seem, dough cookies are a less sugary snack option for kids. And adults like them too. You can make dough cookies with leftover dough from a pie, or tart, or try them all on their own.
Simply roll out the dough as if using for a pie shell. You’ll want to roll it thin enough that it will bake all the way through and not leave any flour uncooked.
Use fun shaped cookie cutters to liven things up. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and cinnamon. Add on some raisin eyes where needed, and bake at 350F. Keep a close watch on them as they may burn around the edges. Bake time will vary based on thickness of dough. Bake approximately 20 minutes.
Baking can seem overly complicated sometimes. By using the same type of pastry dough for many different treats it can help make things less complicated. The real joy in baking is taking the mystery out of the process and allowing you to experiment and enjoy what you make.
Growing up, pie dough was the foundational pastry. We used it for everything. There is a really simple pleasure in knowing that five simple ingredients can make so many options.
Let us know what you made with your dough. Comment below, or tag us on instagram @2veggie_homestead.