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One of our favorite things for making
pies - a turntable. It makes rotating and pressing the dough into the pie plate a breeze. Click here to visit our Favorite Things page.

 

Phyllo
Athens Brand Phyllo (or Filo) is available in the freezer section of most major grocery stores. Look for it where you would find frozen cakes, pie shells and/or puff pastry. Locally, both Krogers and Schnucks carries packages of phyllo sheets, as well as pre-baked phyllo mini-tartlet shells. Homestyle phyllo (a slightly thicker phyllo sheet that is used more for savory dishes) can be found at Middle Eastern food marts and delis.







Recipe using this crust:
Plum Brandy Tart
 

Quick and easy pie crusts are just a stroll down the cookie or frozen food aisle at your local grocer. From crumb crusts to phyllo, adding a special touch to your pie can be simple.

Phyllo Dough
Phyllo dough can be used for a variety of sweet and savory dishes. Most often we’re familiar with baklava and spanikopita (spinach-cheese pies) - but the dough can also be layered with melted butter and used as a crust for nut pies, cheesecakes, quiches and fruit tarts.

Phyllo Tart Shell
12-15 sheets of phyllo
1 stick butter, melted

With a pastry brush, brush the inside of a 8-9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom with the melted butter. Take a sheet of phyllo, folded in half and with the folded side facing towards the outside of edge of the pan, start layering and overlapping the sheets into the pan with approximately 1-inch overhanging the edge of the pan. Once a complete layer is down, begin brushing the bottoms and sides with melted butter and repeat layering. Bake the phyllo tart shell for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven for a tart that will be baked in its crust. For a blind-baked tart that you’ll fill with a cooked filling, pierce the dough with a fork along the bottom and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Crumb Crusts
We’ve all used graham crackers, chocolate cookies or vanilla wafers for cookie crumb crusts. Next time you’re looking for something different try one of these instead:

Chinese Almond Cookies
Gingersnaps
Windmill Cookies
Chinese Almond Cookies
Pecan Sandies
French Butter Cookies
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Shortbread Cookies
Unfrosted sugar cookies
. . . any crispy cookie will work

To make the basic crumb crust:
1 ½ to 2 cups of crumbs (typically 8 oz of cookies)
¼ to ½ cup butter, melted
1-2 tbs. sugar (brown or granulated) - optional

Pulse the cookies in the food processor or use a rolling pin to crush them in a zip bag. Add enough melted butter to allow crumbs to come together - they’ll still look dry. Then use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to evenly press the crumbs into a 8-9 inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is set. Remove from oven and cool.

For a savory crumb crust, follow the same directions as above - omitting the sugar - and try dry toasted breadcrumbs, Italian breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs.

Even more ideas . . .
Other crust ideas include using toasted coconut, granola, cereal or shredded wheat, hash browns, mashed potatoes, rice, refrigerator bread dough or frozen puff pastry.

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