Easy hot water pie crust

Long ago there was a time of failed pie crusts that hurt my ego and… well… my feelings. Sadly, I did not realize that the rough pastry crust that is commonly used for pies isnt the only option. Enter in the wonderfully easy hot water crust. It’s stable, EASY, and can be used immediately without chilling. This crust is so great, you can even patch it! Yeah!!! Crazy! The best thing is you end up with a tasty, flakey but sturdy pie crust. This is a common method used in Britain that for whatever reason didn’t quite catch on here. We use this method often as an emergency dinner to use up left overs and I didn’t prepare pie crust beforehand. It’s the best way to make hand pies or pasties.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

10 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp salt

3/4 cup boiling water

Mix salt and flour to integrate. Blend in butter. (I don’t worry about keeping the butter chilled as it will be melted down with the water) pour all the boiling water and quickly mix with spatula or wooden spoon. Once incorporated, turn onto a clean surface and knead the dough until you get a smooth ball. May be a bit greasy. Don’t worry. You can use immediately or form into discs and chill.

Bake at 375 until crust is nicely browned. 

Creamy Gnocchi Soup

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 small onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 carrot, grated

1 celery, chopped

2 cups pork stock

4 cups water

1/2 cup cream or half and half

1 package (16 ounces) mini potato gnocchi

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add celery and stir until tender. Add in the grated carrots. Stir for about one minute then add your stock and water. Increase heat to allow the boil.

In a separate pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add your flour and stir vigorously to make your roux.

Add a few scoops of the stock to slacken your roux to add into the soup. This will thicken the soup without creating lumps. If you do have lumps, whisk vigorously.

Add roux to the soup and add gnocchi. Chop your spinach and add to soup. Once you have it at your desired consistency, add your cream. Salt and pepper to taste then serve!

Creamy Potato Soup

3 peeled and cubed Russet potatoes

1 celery stalk

4 cloves garlic

2 cups pork stock (or any kind you have)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cream

1 tsp salt

1 kale stalk

5 bacon slices

Cook bacon set aside bacon fat.

Finely chop celery and mince garlic. Cook in a pan with 1 Tbsp bacon grease over medium heat. When tender, add potatoes and stir to prevent sticking

Add stock and increase heat and boil potatoes until tender.

Remove kale leaves from stem and chop finely. Add to stock. Add 2 cups of water.

Use about 3 Tbsp if bacon grease to make a roux. In a pan over medium heat, add flour. Stir to cook the flour. Add a few scoops of stock to the roux to slacken (this will prevent lumps of flour in the soup). Add all roux to soup. Reduce heat to medium. Stir gently and allow to thicken.

When at desired consistency, add cream and salt. Chop bacon slices and top on soup before serving.