Delicious recipes from the kitchens of the Butler sisters

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Best Pie Crust


This recipe can be easily doubled for a double crust pie.


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (not lowfat or light), plus an additional tablespoon or three if needed


  1. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. 
  2. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients.
  3. With a fork, toss the butter and flour mixture until the butter pieces are all evenly coated with flour. Don't break down the butter pieces in this step, just lightly toss until they are coated with flour.
  4. Spoon the sour cream into the bowl. Using the same fork, mix the sour cream into the butter/flour mixture by pressing the fork down into the sour cream in order to mash the large clumps of sour cream into the flour and butter. A commenter suggested using a pastry blender which will help incorporate the sour cream a bit better. The sour cream won't mix in like a traditional pie crust with ice water. But take care not to overwork the dough trying to get the sour cream mixed in - if the butter pieces get too small and overprocessed, the crust will be tough. 
  5. After a few turns with the fork, it is easiest to use your hands to pull the dough together. It will look a bit shaggy but as you press it together (quickly and firmly so the the butter pieces don't melt), it should start to form a cohesive ball. 
  6. If it still seems overly dry, add a teaspoon or so of sour cream at a time until it comes together. 
  7. It's ok if there are still a few dry spots or cracks in the dough. The mixture should not be overly wet or sticky. At the same time, it shouldn't be falling apart either. It should hold together when pressed (see the pictures below). Many of you have had to add quite a bit more sour cream. That's ok as long as the crust isn't overly saturated (then it will be dense and gummy). Much of that depends on how you measure flour - if you pack the flour into your measuring cup, you'll obviously need more sour cream (try to measure the flour with a light hand). 
  8. At this point the dough can be rolled out on a lightly floured counter or it can also be pressed into a flat disc and wrapped in plastic to be refrigerated for 1-2 days or frozen for up to a month. 
  9. To roll out, lightly flour your countertop and using firm, even strokes, roll from the center outward, turning the dough a quarter turn every few strokes. The less you mess with the dough the better - even rolling - so try not to overwork it. Roll it out to a thin crust as quickly as possible. 
  10. Roll the dough over the rolling pin and unroll it onto the pie plate. Gently lift up the edges of the pie crust and settle it into the bottom of the pie plate without pressing or smushing. 
  11. Trim the edges to within 1/4-inch. Fold the short overhang underneath the top edge of the pie plate and crimp all the way around. 
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. To blind bake (prebake the pie crust), line the refrigerated crust with foil and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Gently remove the foil and beans/weights and return to the oven to bake for another 10-12 minutes until nicely golden.
Recipe Source: Adapted and perfected from The Kitchen by Mel's Kitchen

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie


I like to prebake the pie crust; it helps eliminate some of the gummy bottom crust common in pumpkin pie but if that doesn't bother you, you can forego that step and pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. If you do that, still refrigerate the pie crust for an hour or so after placing it in the pan so it doesn't shrink while baking.

Also, if you are using homemade pumpkin puree, make sure it is as smooth as possible (run it through a blender or food processor again). 


  • 1 single crust pie shell for a 9-inch pie plate (this is my favorite pie crust recipe)
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups (or 15-ounce can) pumpkin puree (see note)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half


  1. Roll out the pie crust (see this post for a step-by-step) and gently place it into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming and fluting the edges. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to a day or so). 
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the crust with foil and pour in dried beans or pie weights (I've even used wheat berries) until completely full. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Gently remove the foil and weights (or beans) and bake another 10 minutes until the dough no longer looks raw on the bottom. Remove from the oven while preparing the filling.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and vanilla until well-combined. Add the eggs, cream and milk and whisk until smooth (don't overmix or the pie will have a tendency to crack). 
  4. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the warm pie shell.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, without removing the pie, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 45-55 minutes longer until the pie is set and golden on top. If the crust starts to overbrown, cover it with foil strips or a pie shield partway through baking. 
  6. Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe source: Mel's Kitchen

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spicy Tuscan Soup

Wow just realized I have posted one recipe in a year. I'm slackin' :) I love this soup from Olive Garden. Made it for dinner last night. Mmm! Ingredients • 1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage • 1 whole Medium Red Onion, Diced • 2 slices Bacon, Diced • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced • 3 whole Medium Potatoes • 1 quart Warm Water • 3 cubes Chicken Bouillon • ¼ bunches Kale, Roughly Chopped • ½ cups Heavy Cream • Salt And Pepper, to taste Preparation Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain off the grease and set the sausage aside. Add onions and bacon into the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are clear. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ slices. Add warm water, bouillon cubes and potatoes to the Dutch oven and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until potatoes are almost done. Add remaining ingredients as well as the sausage and simmer for 5 more minutes. Let cool and serve with warm garlic breadsticks. Enjoy! Recipe from Delicious Recipe Pins

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Buttermilk Glazed Doughnuts



  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 cups vegetable shortening for frying


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  1. Mix together 1 cup flour, the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  2. Mix together butter, buttermilk, and eggs in a large measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry in the mixing bowl, and  beat either using an electric mixer on medium speed or by hand until smooth. Decrease the speed to low, and add the remaining flour. Mix until just combined, making sure to scrape the edges to ensure that all the liquid is incorporated. The consistency should be somewhere between cookie dough and cake batter (moist and tacky).
  3. Add the shortening to a large kettle and attach a candy thermometer to the side. Gradually heat the shortening over medium-high heat to 375F. While it's heating, turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll out with a heavily floured rolling pin until the dough is about 1/2" thick. Stamp out the dough rings with a donut cutter (or use two circle cutters with the second being about half the diameter of the larger one). Transfer the rounds to a large wire rack, gather the scraps, and repeat rolling and stamping until all the dough is used.
  4. Carefully drop the dough rings into the hot oil four or five at a time. Use tongs to turn the donuts as they rise to the surface. Fry the donuts until they're golden brown, about 50 seconds per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined wire rack. Let the frying oil return to temperature before adding the next batch. Repeat until all the donuts are cooked.
  5. For the glaze, mix together all the glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl until completely smooth.
  6. Dip the cooked donuts into the glaze until about halfway submerged. Remove the donuts from the glaze, then return to the wire rack set over a baking sheet, allowing to cool on the dry side.
  7. Serve warm if possible.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe from 12 Tomatoes and adapted from The Pioneer Woman