Savory Pie Crust using schmaltz

This is a rich pie crust. It uses lard but you can easily substitute Crisco shortening for the lard. I did and it turned out just fine.

I am not an expert baker. Baking is not where I excell but this recipe worked fine and over time I am sure I will refine my technique.

2 1/2 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco or lard
1/4 cup cold chicken fat (schmaltz)*
6 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour and salt.

Cut in shortening/lard and reserved cold chicken fat  until size of small peas has formed from the flour and fats.

Add water by tablespoons while mixing with a fork until all flour is moistened and dough forms ball.

On a rainy day it will take less water as the humidity in the air will saturate the flour. (Note here that alot of cooks don’t bake pastries on rainy days.)

Divide the dough in half. Using a tiny bit of flour to dust with you can roll out both of your crusts. Don’t use too much flour, just a dusting or your pie crust will suffer. Work quickly to keep everything as cold as possible.

*If you do not render your own you can find it in a Jewish grocery or in the ethnic isle at your market labled as schmalz.

Banana Nut Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter or margarine or crisco
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups mashed overripe bananas (I usually use 4 or 5 bananas)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 pans of the small individual loaves

    Sift dry ingedients together.

    Using a pastry cutter or a fork cut the shortening/butter into the dry ingredients.

    In another bowl mash the banana to mush. Beat the eggs. Add this to the other mixture.

    Mix all well.

    Spoon into loaves.

    Bake until toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean.

    These are great warm with just a small dollop of butter spread across the top.

    This is possibly the very best banana nut bread recipe you’ll ever find.

    Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    3/4 cup milk
    3/4 cup sugar
    4 tablespoons butter, melted
    2 large eggs
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    Topping Crumbles:
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
    Dash cinnamon
    2 tablespoons softened butter
    1/4 cup oats
    Preheat oven to 400��.
    Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin cups (liners).
    In bowl combine yogurt, milk, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, melted butter, and egg.
    In separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
    Combine the mixtures, stirring only until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in berries.
    Spoon into muffin cups.
    In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients with a fork until crumbly. Top muffins with crumb topping.
    Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes.
    Makes about 12 medium muffins.

    Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread

    1/2 cup shortening (or half butter)
    3/4 cup white sugar (or 1/2 brown and 1/2 white)
    2 eggs
    3 mashed bananas (or as much as 1 1/2 cups)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 cup quick cooking oats
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Turn down oven to 300.
    In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the banana and vanilla.
    In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
    Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
    *Sprinkle unbaked top with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp sugar and not quite 1/4 cup oatmeal flakes before baking.

    Chocolate Chip Bread

    1 package bread machine yeast
    3 cups bread flour
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    4 tablespoons soft butter
    1 egg
    1 cup warm milk
    1/4 cup water
    1 cup chocolate chips
    Combine all items in your bread machine as directed by the manufacturer and bake.