If you love baking from scratch and have the time to do so, then go for it, but don't feel guilty if you can't. There are many ways to get that homemade taste without as much work. For example, let's say that your family loves pumpkin pie, but every year you notice that they only eat the filling and leave most of the crust. Then this year, don't put your pumpkin pie filling in a crust. Just pour it into a well-greased baking dish or pan to bake. This will save you time and calories.
If your family loves apple pie but you don't have time for a crust, then make an apple crisp instead.
The same thing goes for homemade cinnamon rolls. Use frozen dough. Most people can't tell the difference. I've told this story before, but it is a perfect example of what I mean. My grandmother-in-law made the best "homemade" noodles that everyone fought over and raved about at each family get-together. No one made noodles like grandma's. One day I decided to ask grandma what her secret was and she took me to her freezer and laughingly pulled out a bag of frozen egg noodles. Everyone assumed that she had made them from scratch because she had in years past.
Make your life easy and take shortcuts when you can. It is much less expensive to use convenience foods sometimes than to go out to eat.
Here are some more pie baking tips for you bakers and non-bakers alike:
The Best Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening, cold
1 egg, cold
1 Tbsp. vinegar, cold
5 Tbsp. water cold
Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Mix lightly. If dough is too dry, add more water. Mix with hands. Don't over mix. Mix just until the dough sticks together. Divide into thirds. Roll out to make 3 pies crusts. When using the crust for the top of the pie, sprinkle sugar on top. Crust can be frozen in balls and then defrosted and rolled out when ready to use. Makes 3 crusts.
Graham Cracker Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 stick margarine, melted
Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool and fill with favorite pudding filling. Makes 1 crust.
1 stick butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped
Brown butter in a pan until golden brown. Do not burn. Cool. Add other ingredients in order given in a separate bowl. Mix well. Blend in cooled butter well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees and then 40 minutes at 325 degrees.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
Mix ingredients well. Makes 1 teaspoon. Use in any recipe calling for pumpkin pie spice.
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips and recipes, visit LivingOnADime.com
Take the Next Step:
Discuss "Tips for Pie Crusts" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
Sign up for our free weekly eNewsletter Surviving Tough Times.
Looking for an answer to a frugal living question? Click here to ask a
Dollar Stretcher Stretchpert!
Copyright 1996 - 2013 "The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." All rights reserved unless specifically noted.
Contact the Dollar Stretcher at:
PO Box 14160
Bradenton FL 34280
"The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." does not assume responsibility for advice given. All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation.