One of the ways we save money here at The Frugal Farmer is by making most everything from scratch. The cost savings is unbeatable, and although sometimes it can be intimidating to throw away your prepackaged foods for homemade, once you get the hang of it, it’s often easier and tastes better than the pre-made stuff.
One area in which I was always intimidated by homemade is the area of pie crusts. A good pie crust is crisp, but not dry, not soggy or undercooked on the bottom, yet not overdone on the edge. We started making homemade crusts purely out of the need to spend less due to our debt situation. We’ve got a long way to go to perfection, but things are coming along. We’ve got the cooking part down well, but we are still working on appearance, so today’s pic is courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens, whose crust recipe we use. Click on the photo credit link and it will bring you to the recipe page.
The thing I really love about a homemade pie crust is the rich, buttery taste it holds if you use real butter. It just can’t be beat by any store-bought imitation. The quiche recipe is one we just kind of made through trial and error.
Single Crust Pie Pastry
1/3 c. real butter, softened (in order to save money, we use 1/4 c. and add an extra T of water. Yes, every dime really does add up. :-)) 32 cents
3 to 4 T. cold water
1/4 t. salt
1 -1/4 c. flour 15 cents
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut in the butter and mix with a fork or pastry blender until thoroughly blended. Sprinkle in the water, and blend well until all flour is moistened, and form the dough into a nice round ball with no “cracks” in the dough. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to form a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap the pastry around the rolling pin and set it over your 9-inch pie plate. Form the dough into the plate, scallop the edges with your forefinger and thumb, and prick the bottom of the crust where it meets the sides, all around the whole crust. Bake the crust for 10 minutes or until lightly golden, and let it cool while you make the quiche “innards”.
Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, mix together:
4 beaten eggs 52 cents
1 c. milk 22 cents
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese $1.68
1/2 t. salt 3 cents
1/2 t. pepper 5 cents
Total cost: $2.97 for six servings
Pour filling into pie crust, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. **If you notice the edges starting to get too dark, remove the quiche, cover the edges with tin foil, and continue baking. Let stand for 10 minutes, cut into six equal slices and serve.
Want to spice it up? Add 1/4 c. of: diced onion, green pepper or tomato, or diced ham. Or, add a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves, and sprinkle the top with grated parmesan before baking.