How to make really good homemade pizza | @thefauxmartha

Grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and your favorite spot on the couch, the spot that leans in. I wrote a novel on how to make really good homemade pizza. It’s quite simple once you get the hang of it and collect the necessary tools. But after making pizza in three apartments, a house, and two states, I’ve come to recognize the amount of nuances in making pizza—a novels worth. We’re going to talk about the essential tools for making pizza at home, how to make a good dough (plus some for the freezer too), how to assemble the pie, plus some general pizza making tips. I’ve included step-by-step pictures as well as a video. If you want this to be your thing, then lets make it your thing. Read more

For a flaky, all-butter pie crust, refrain from overworking the butter into the flour. Butter should be edamame-sized or pea-sized at smallest before rolling out dough. For more pie crust tips, check out Pie Crust 101.

Thanksgiving is next week. And pie is kind of a must. (Apple for me!) So now that we’ve got the pie basics covered, it’s time to kick it up a notch, and show that crust some love. Sure you can throw another rolled out crust on top and call it a day, as seen here. Or you can impress your guests with a fancy crust. If you choose option B, don’t fear. Perfection is not the name of the game with these two techniques. Perfectly imperfect, aka rustic, is more like it. People will think you slaved away all day on the pie. Go ahead, let them think what they want. Read more

Step away from the phone. Put down those coupons. Let’s talk through this.

What if I told you that you could make homemade pizza in less time than it takes the pizza man to deliver? Including the crust. Most definitely including the crust. And what if I told you it would taste a trillion times better? And amount to zero calories? Ok, the last part is not true. Read more

While you’re reading this, I’m in my favorite place in the world with my favorite people. Graduate school husband and I are on vacation with my family in the mountains of Colorado. Also known as heaven. I didn’t want to go AWOL on you though, so I made a pie and stuck it in the cyber space freezer until now. I hope you are well fed even while I’m away.

I think I’m gonna be one of those wives/moms who make their family a weeks worth of dinner when they go out of town. It’s because I care. And I care about you! So without further adieu, I give you Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Happy 4th everyone!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

PIE CRUST
makes enough for 2 single pies or 1 double crust (This is my go-to recipe)
2 1/2 c. AP unbleached flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold
1 c. water with ice

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB MIXTURE
3 1/2 c. sliced rhubarb
1 16 oz. container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 tsp. sea salt

TOPPING
1 egg
1 tsp. cream
turbinado

Note: I like to make my dough by hand so that I can control the size of the butter. Flaky crust = chunks of butter.

1. Make crust. Place flour, sugar, and salt in bowl. Whisk together.
2. Dice butter and place into flour mixture. Using a pastry knife, cut butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal.
3. Using a pastry fork (or continue using the pastry knife) add 1/2 c. of the ice cold water into mixture and combine. Continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together. You may not need the full cup of water.
4. Cut in half and cover the 2 disks in plastic wrap. Before rolling out, place in fridge for 1 hour, or place in freezer for 15 minutes to chill. This will make the dough easier to work with.
5. Make strawberry rhubarb mixture. Combine all ingredients in bowl, mix, and set aside.
6. Roll the dough out on a well floured surface large enough to overhang in a pie dish. Fold the dough in fourths and transfer to pie dish. Place in freezer for 5 minutes if too warm.
7. Pour strawberry/rhubarb mixture into pie dish.
8. On a well floured surface, roll out second disk. Using a pastry wheel, cut dough in the same direction, about 3/4″ wide. Place 5 strips across, using the longer strips in the middle and the shorter strips on the end. Think back to your childhood craft days, and create a lattice with the dough placing 5 more strips in the opposite direction. Over, under, over, under.
9. Seal the edges of the dough by folding over. I use a bit of cold water to help smooth things out. Create a decorative edge with your pointer finger and thumb held together pushing the dough in with your thumb. And repeat. Clear as mud? A forked edge works nicely as well.
10. Whisk together one egg and a teaspoon of cream. Brush over the top and sprinkle with turbinado.
11. Place in freezer for 20 minutes. This helps the dough to hold its shape when it goes in the oven. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake for 2o minutes. Lower the temp to 335° and continue baking for 40 minutes. Once crust begins to brown, cover with foil.
12. Allow pie to set up for at least an hour before serving.

A la mode. It’s the only way I eat pie. Stay tuned for my homemade ice-cream recipe!

Progress is defined as the forward or onward movement toward a destination.

It’s cool to watch progress happen. To see how far you’ve come. To see that change really does happen. To see how bad you once were. A couple weeks ago, I made this spinach quiche again. I pulled up my post from two years back. Read it. Looked at the pictures and thought, “Wow, progress.” It’s cool to see. But it’s also a very good reminder of how far I have left to go.

The perfectionist in me couldn’t leave well enough alone. I had to re-shoot it. But this recipe is still the same one I pull out when guests come to town. I love the ratio of egg to crust to spinach. It’s one part healthy and one part decadent, which is just the way I like things. And maybe my favorite part, it’s baked in a tart pan.


Spinach Quiche
Serves: 10" tart
 
Ingredients
  • Crust
  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 4-6 tbsp. ice water
  • Filling
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 c. half and half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 c. grated cheddar
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter into flour mixture. Combine with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (You can use a food processor for this step, however, cutting the butter in by hand lends for a flakier crust.)
  2. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with pastry fork until dough holds together without feeling wet or sticky. Gather dough into ball. Flatten into disc, and cover with plastic wrap. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill at least 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes. (Dough can be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.)
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out dough to fit the size of a round, removable bottom, tart pan. Add flour to surface to keep dough from sticking. Work quickly as the dough will get warm, making it harder to handle. Flash freeze (place in freezer for 5 min) if it gets too warm. Press the dough into the tart pan. Roll the extra dough off with a rolling pin. Fix any holes in your dough. (I use a little water and extra dough to help mend the holes.) Prick the bottom with a fork to keep from bubbling during the bake. Line crust with parchment or foil and add pie weights. Bake for 10-15 minutes. (You can skip this step and bake the crust and filling at once. I prefer to bake my tart shell first. That way I can ensure my crust will be cooked all the way through.)
  4. Make the filling. Sauté diced onion in olive oil with a dash of salt until translucent. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in eggs and half and half. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour egg mixture into prepared crust. Bake until filling is set, 15–20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
• Need to make this ahead of time? I recommend making and baking the crust the night before. You can also dice and sauté the onions, as well as thaw and drain the spinach. Morning of, whip the filling together. I wouldn’t recommend doing this the night before.

• Spinach still wet? I use paper towels to squeeze out the extra moisture.

• Wondering whether to buy a dark or light colored tart pan? I’ve used both, but I prefer a light tart pan. The darker pans tend to cook faster, leaving you with a more than golden crust.

• When working with dough, keep it cold. Number 1, it’s much easier to work with cold dough. Number 2, if you work with warm dough, the butter begins to spread throughout, decreasing flakiness. Keep those pockets of butter intact!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Bon Appetit