butter

All posts tagged butter

Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa

Published March 31, 2014 by jenmatteson

It probably seems like we’ve been eating entirely vegetarian lately, but it just so happens, I’ve just had a lot of Meatless Monday’s in a row!  I’ve kept myself busy trying out some veggie sandwiches for my girlfriend’s baby shower, which I still have one more to share, and have just happened across some other unignorably delicious meatless recipes.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa

This quinoa salad does have butter, and while I think it would certainly taste good with oil in place of butter, I’m not sure you’d be able to achieve the depth and slight sweetness of brown butter with oil.  The sage and brown butter are absolutely amazing.  While this salad can be served chilled or room temperature, I think serving it warm brings out the best flavors!  I liked this so much, you could serve this as a lunch or a side to any meal.  We had dinner with Nate’s parents; Momma Marsha made mussels, so I brought this as a side.  It went perfectly!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 shallot, finely diced
4 cups water
Kosher salt
2 tbsp. butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2  butternut squash, diced
2 tbsp. sage, chopped

Directions:

1. In a medium pot over high heat, bring the quinoa, shallot, water, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa has fully absorbed the water, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400º. Toss the squash with one tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, or until slightly browned and tender, turning halfway through.

3. Meanwhile, place butter in medium sauté pan and melt over moderately high heat, swirling the pan continuously until the butter begins to foam and just begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the sage, swirling for another 30 seconds.

4. In a serving bowl, toss the quinoa with the butternut squash, and sage brown butter, and serve.

Almond Butter

Published September 5, 2013 by jenmatteson

**I have to preface this post with the fact that it was obviously written a few weeks ago, as I mention that I’m leaving for my weeding in less than a week, and guess what, I already told you yesterday that I just got back from my wedding!

Who doesn’t like peanut butter?  I’m not sure I know anyone personally, but I’m sure there is someone out there 😐  While I really love peanut butter with almost anything, almond butter is just as good.  I’ve been saving this recipe for quite some time, for no particular reason, except that I didn’t know when I’d have time to make it.

Almond Butter

Seeing as though I am not working (oh yeah, big announcement!), I have found that I have had quite a bit of time on my hands. Funny how easily you can keep yourself busy when you’re not working.  You start to wonder how you had time to get anything done before!  Great news for me, we are leaving for our wedding in less than a week, and getting things ready has certainly kept me busy over the last few weeks.  Finalizing menus, choosing wines, coordinating arrivals, list after list, and I suppose I should start thinking about packing sometime soon.

Almond Butter

Anyway, back to the almond butter.  I was a little skeptical as to if this would turn out well, but I had the perfect opportunity!  My girlfriend, Kim (also famous on my blog for her sun-dried tomato guacamole), made a freaking delicious Pad Thai a few weekends ago at my bachelorette party weekend, and I’ve been dying to recreate it.  Not only was the Pad Thai out of this world, but it was vegan and gluten-free.  Could life get any better?

Almond Butter

Kim’s sauce was made with almond butter, and so instead of buying some, I figured this was my calling to finally make this almond butter recipe I’d been saving for probably over a year.  Funny thing is, it couldn’t have been any easier, and I thought it tasted delicious!  Make up a batch and enjoy it on toast, sandwiches, cookies, by the spoonful or even in a Pad Thai recipe (I’ll post the vegan recipe soon, promise).  You’ll love it!

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

Source: Adapted from Honey, What’s Cooking?
Servings: Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

2 cups raw, unsalted almonds
2 tbsp Sugar in the Raw Turbinado Brown Sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Add almonds into the bowl of a food processor.  Process for a few minutes, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides.  The mixture will first look like a course flour, but when processed for longer, will eventually form a dough, and finally a creamy butter.  This could take anywhere between 7-10 minutes of processing.  Just keep an eye on it and continue to stop and scrape down the sides.

2. Once the mixture resembles a creamy butter, add sugar, oil and a pinch of salt to taste.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Transfer to airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Croissants

Published May 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

I have really been putting these off because I knew how time-consuming they would be.  But, I’m really running out of time to get my 30 Before 30 list done, so I had to bite the bullet and go for it.  It was actually a good weekend to make these because it was slightly chilly, and ridiculously windy.

Croissants

I was home alone on Friday night, and whilst making enchilada sauce, cilantro pesto and prepping my veggies for the week, I thought it’d be a good idea to start the dough for the croissants.  I’d just spent the afternoon at my parents house, relaxing by the fire with a cocktail, and then stopped at the grocery store on the way home.  I got in my comfies, cleaned up the kitchen (of course only so I could get it dirty again), and opened up Baking with Julia to start the croissant dough.  Like a good girl, I had already read through the entire recipe (and it’s LONG), so I knew what to expect.  I knew I could let the dough do its second rise overnight in the fridge, so I wanted to get to that point. Well, guess what?  I didn’t get any compressed yeast at the store, which was the first GD thing on the ingredient list.  Seeing as though I was already in my comfies and had a glass of wine poured, I decided not to go to the store again.  Plus, I wasn’t even sure my store would carry compressed yeast (I’ve never bought it before), so I didn’t want to take the chance of running out to grab some, and coming back empty-handed.  What a waste of time.

Layered Croissant Dough

Croissants

Instead, I Googled a recipe for croissants using dry active yeast seeing as though that was what I had on hand.  First recipe to come up: Martha Stewart’s.  Now, she may be a thieving felon, but damn, that woman knows her way around a kitchen…and a home.  I would absolutely love to live with her for a week.  Okay, a month.  Minimum.  Though I know Momma Marsha was counting on me to make Julia Child’s croissant recipe (from the cookbook I borrowed from her), I went with Martha’s, purely for convenience.

Croissants

Convenience is the farthest thing from making croissants, which I knew going into this from Momma Marsha.  While making them, I thought, I don’t think I would ever make them again unless I wanted to punish myself.  I didn’t at all think it was hard, but it really is time-consuming.  I started the dough on Friday night and finished late late on Saturday night.Everything seemed to be going swimmingly, until I got to the baking part.  The bottoms of the croissants completely burned.  The tops looked pretty, tasted buttery and were ultra flakey, but the bottoms were far from elegant.  I’m thinking maybe I let them rise in too warm of a place and the butter melted before putting them in the oven.  That being said, I might attempt these one more time (not any time soon) so I can get a better result.

Croissants

Croissants

Source: Martha Stewart
Servings: 16 croissants

Ingrdients:

1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp salt
1 1/3 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 sticks (14 oz) chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar.  Allow to proof for 5 minutes.  In another measuring cup, combine remaining 2 tsp sugar, salt and warm milk.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour.  Add yeast mixture, milk mixture and oil.  Blend everything together by cutting and pressing with a rubber spatula, incorporating all flour.  The dough will be wet.

3. On a well floured work surface, turn the dough out and let rest for 3 minutes to allow the flour to absorb some of the liquid.  Start kneading by lifting edges and flipping over onto the other side.  Continue movement, turning from one side to the other, end over end until dough is smooth and draws back to shape when pressed out, about 8-10 times.  Do not over-knead.

4. Transfer dough to clean bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and turn out onto lightly floured work surface.  Using floured hands, push dough into 12-inch by 10-inch rectangle.  Fold dough in three, like a business letter, and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet or plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  You could also let it rise overnight in the fridge.

5. Punch down the dough, cover with plastic, and return to refrigerator for 20 minutes.  This will allow the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll out.

6. Place butter on a lightly floured work surface and beat with rolling-pin to soften.  Smear butter out with the heel of your hand so it’s spreadable consistency, but still cold.  Refrigerate if it becomes soft and oily.

7. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into 18 by 10-inch rectangle.  Facing the rectangle, lengthwise, spread the butter as evenly as possible on the upper two-thirds of the rectangle, leaving a 1/4 inch border.  Fold the bottom, unbuttered, third of the dough up to the middle.  Fold top third down to cover it.

8. Lightly flour the top of the dough and the work surface.  Turn the dough so the edge of the top flap is to your right.  Roll dough out into 18 by 8-inch rectangle.  Move quickly, starting within one inch of the end near you moving to within one inch of the far end.  Fold dough in thirds as before.  Wrap in plastic and return to fridge for 1 hour.

9. Remove dough from refrigerator and sprinkle with flour and deflate dough by tapping lightly with rolling-pin.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 8 minutes, to relax gluten, if necessary.  Repeat rolling and folding process, as above, twice more.  If butter has hardened and congealed into flakes, beat the dough with light firm taps, from one side to the other, until butter has softened.  It must be able to stretch the length of the dough and width of the rectangle inside the dough as your roll it out until it has softened.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.  If refrigerating overnight, cover with board and 5 pound weight.  Resting overnight will facilitate shaping.

10. Place chilled dough on lightly floured surface.  Deflate dough.  Roll dough out to 25 by 12-inch rectangle.  Cut in half, lengthwise.  Return one half of the dough to the refrigerator.  Cut the other half into triangles with a 5-inch base.  One half should make about 8 triangles.

11. Roll the triangles out to enlarge slightly.  Roll toward the tip, creating tension by using your other hand to stretch the top of the triangle away from you.  The dough should overlap 3 times, with the tip sticking out from underneath.

12. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2-inches apart, curving inward, creating a crescent shape.  Cover with lightly with plastic.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Let stand in a warm place very spongy and doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

13. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream.  Lightly brush over the tops of the croissants.  Open oven door and spritz heavily with water from a spray bottle and quickly close the door.  Place croissants in oven and spray the bottom of the oven with water once more.  Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes, turning after 10 minutes to ensure even baking.  Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe Swap: Crab Cakes and Roasted Vegetables with Tangy Butter Sauce

Published May 10, 2013 by jenmatteson

The latest installment of recipe swap was themed seafood, which I was over-the-moon excited about.  Again, this swap was hosted by Sarah, at A Taste of Home Cooking.  I submitted Scallops with WC-Recipe-Swap-badge-1Tarragon Butter Sauce, and  couldn’t wait to receive my assigned recipe.  Honestly, I was slightly disappointed to find that I was assigned crab cakes. But not because I don’t like crab cakes, rather because I already have two crab cake recipes in my blog (Bethany Frankel’s Crab Cakes and Crab Cakes with Chiptole Mayo), and I really enjoyed both of them.  But, that’s the spirit of the recipe swap; you never know what you’re going to get (you know, like a box of chocolates), and really, how could I be disappointed to make crab cakes – I love them!

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

Another great benefit of the recipe swaps is to connect with other bloggers, and many times, blogs you might not have otherwise visited.  I’ve definitely visited The Redhead Baker blog before, and may have even bookmarked a handful of Coleen’s recipes, but I believe this would be the first time I’d be making one.  And what a great recipe to make! The recipe originally comes from Cooking Light, and it certainly is a lightened up version of crab cakes, which I love.  Less filler, more crab, exactly the way they should be.

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

I had gotten everything I needed for this recipe last week at the grocery store, and I generally am very good at knowing exactly what, and how much I have of everything in my kitchen.  I was absolutely convinced that I had Old Bay seasoning, but come Sunday when I was putting these together, I didn’t.  I Googled a recipe to make my own Old Bay (what would we do without Google?), and had most spices on hand, so just used what I had.

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Tangy Butter Sauce

Coleen’s recipe included a tangy butter sauce to go with the crab cakes, which I thought sounded interesting.  If you read either of my other crab cake recipe posts, you’d know that I am generally a creamy-sauce-with-my-crab-cakes kinda girl.  But, I’m always happy to try something new!  I’m not sure if this is the sauce pictured in Coleen’s picture, as her’s does look like a creamy mayo based sauce.  Either that, or mine turned out completely different.  But good different!

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

The tangy butter sauce was a great compliment to the crab cakes and the vegetables.  While I was reducing the sauce, the vinegar smell was strong, so I was concerned it would be too acidic, but once I added the butter, it was much more subtle.  The crab cakes were perfect!  Meaty without a lot of filler, firm enough to stay together, but still fork-flakey like you’d want.  Breading the outside in panko added a perfect amount of crunch.  The vegetables were an added bonus.  It was perfect that they roasted for the same amount of time it takes for the crab cake mixture to refrigerate and come together.  Coleen’s recipe didn’t include green beans, but the original did, and I thought the plate needed some color, so I added those to the mix.  However, I didn’t think they would need to roast for 30 minutes, so I added them into the vegetable mix after 15 minutes.  Turns out, that’s exactly what the Cooking Light recipe instructed.  Great instincts!  Overall, it was a great little meal and I was happy to have tried a new crab cake recipe!

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

Crab Cakes and Roasted Vegetables with Tangy Butter Sauce

Source: Adapted from The Redhead Baker
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

For the crab cakes:
1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
3 tbsp light mayonnaise or olive oil mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 lb lump crab meat, picked over for shells
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

For the vegetables:
3 carrots, chopped
4 shallots, quartered
5 red potatoes, quartered
8 oz fresh green beans
olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

For the butter sauce:
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp butter

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl.combine red onion, cilantro, mayonnaise, Dijon, Old Bay, Worcestershire and egg whites.  Gently fold in crab meat until combined.  Stir in 3/4 cup panko.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with foil.  Combine carrots, shallots, and red potatoes in a bowl and coat lightly with olive oil.  Dump onto prepared baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and mix green beans in with the rest of the vegetables.  Return to oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

3. Put remaining panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.  Remove crab mixture from refrigerator and divide into eight equal portions, forming each into a tight patty.  Dredge each patty in the panko, evenly coating both sides.  In a large frying pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and heat to medium.  Once oil is ready, gently place four patties in the pan and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes.  Carefully flip patties and cook until browned, another 5 minutes or so.  Transfer to a paper towel and repeat for remaining four patties.

4. In a saucepan, stir together chicken broth, vinegar and shallots.  Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5-8 minutes, until reduced by half.  Remove from heat and swirl in butter.  Spoon sauce over crab cakes and vegetables and serve.

Take a look at what the other ladies cooked up for the seafood swap!

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Published February 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

Nate loves scallops. Whenever we go out to eat, and there are scallops on the menu, there is a 95% chance that is what he’s ordering. I find it adorable that he sometimes confuses scallops with scallions. Easy mistake when reading it on a menu – not like he looks at green onions and thinks they are scallops. If that were the case, I might be worried.

Simple ingredients make the best dishesScallops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, today is his birthday, so I wanted to make something special for him. I was really hoping I didn’t screw anything up, because wouldn’t that be a crappy birthday present? Even if I did, I would hope he would have been satisfied with his birthday weekend. We had a fabulous dinner at the Capital Grille in Minneapolis on Friday night. I am not kidding you – this was the best steak I have ever had. They were cooked absolutely perfectly, and the rubs they use are to die for! For dessert, he got the creme brulee and I ordered the flourless chocolate cake. My goodness, it was so delicious! On top of that, we had superb service. It’s too bad we waited for so long to try this place, but it was well worth the price tag! If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.

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Another reason he should be satisfied for his birthday (even if I did screw up the scallops), is that I got him a smoker. He’s been talking about this since we moved in. Nate doesn’t do a lot of cooking, though he does most of the grilling. Not that he’s incapable, but he just doesn’t do it. For this reason, I’ve put off indulging his fascination with a smoker. But, I found one that was a smoker and roaster, which my brother said was highly recommended by his customers, so I went with that one. Plus, bonus, it was in my budget. He was like a little kid on Christmas morning opening it up.

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In case you are wondering why my pictures have a green tinge…it’s because I have a green case on my phone, and when I use my flash, it reflects off the side – I just realized this last night.  Duh.

Searing the scallops

Tarragon Butter Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, let’s get back on track. The scallops. I found this recipe on Food and Wine – my trusty standby for classic recipes. Nate and I both like tarragon, though it’s certainly a flavor that people generally hate or love. We are the latter! I served them over a bed of wilted spinach, with just a bit of lemon juice. I always seem to underestimate spinach – so much turns into so little! Either way, it was yummy. Surprisingly, I did a pretty good job on the scallops. I probably could have seared them for one minute more, but I was following the recipe and was more worried about over cooking them. My guess is that my pan wasn’t quite hot enough. They still had a nice color to them, and they tasted amazing. The pics aren’t too great, as I took the pictures around 6 PM, when it’s already dark out 😦

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Nate said they just melted in his mouth. The tarragon butter sauce was the perfect complement. I thought the tarragon might be a little to overpowering for the delicate scallops, but they actually complimented each other perfectly. I now will not be so terrified to make scallops again – though I doubt I’ll make them often seeing as though they were $22/lb 😮 Another bonus, one more thing checked off my 30 before 30 list!

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter
1 lb sea scallops, dried well
1 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 bunch fresh spinach
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup dry white wine
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Directions:

1. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil with 1/2 tbsp of butter over moderate heat. Season scallops with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Put half the scallops in the pan. Cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on second side and just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil with 1/2 tbsp butter in pan and cook remaining scallops. Remove and place on paper towel.

2. Reduce heat to low, and add spinach to pan. Turn several times to coat in pan juices. Add lemon juice, and quickly remove from pan as soon as leaves have wilted. Divide spinach on plates and place scallops on top of spinach.

3. Wipe out pan. Return pan to moderate-low heat and add wine. Boil until reduced to about 2 tbsp, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to lowest setting. Whisk the remaining 4 tbsp butter into the wine. The butter should not melt completely, but just soften to form a smooth sauce. Add remaining 1/2 salt, lemon zest and tarragon. Pour over scallops and serve.

The best picture of course is the one where Charlotte thinks this is her plate.

Charlotte trying to snipe my dinner - but a great shot of the scallops in the top right corner!

Perfect. Flaky. Buttery. A Pie Dough for the Holidays.

Published November 25, 2012 by jenmatteson

Pies scare me.  I’ve successfully made a few pie crusts in the past, and I really didn’t have any major issues, but they still terrify me.  I really enjoyed the pie crust I used for my French silk and fresh strawberry pie, but I came across this recipe in, you guessed it, Food and Wine, and decided I must try it!  I mean, “Perfectly Flaky Yogurt-Butter Pie Dough”?  Tell me how many words you don’t like in that title?  None?  Okay, me too.

I used this crust for my bourbon apple pie, and it really lives up to its name.  Perfect. Flaky. Buttery.  While I could taste the tang of the yogurt (which was delicious), it wasn’t one of the three words flashing in my head.  Perfect. Flaky. Buttery. 

Three problems with this recipe:

1. It doesn’t tell you how long or at what temperature to bake it.  I guessed.  I guessed right!

2. While the article said that the dough should just barely hold together, it wasn’t even workable after refrigerating it overnight.  I had to add more yogurt to be able to roll it out into a crust.

3. This isn’t a terrible problem, but it was DELICIOUS!

The result truly was perfectly flaky and buttery.  Not only was I proud of myself for nailing a crust – that seemed disastrous at first, but I also checked one more thing off my 30 Before 30 list, and made a lattice top.  BAM!  I haven’t perfected it yet, so I’m not quite ready to tell you how to do it (I’m still not sure how I did it!).  Soon enough.  Anyway, back to the crust.  Perfect. Flaky. Buttery.  The key is to keep all the ingredients cold while you are preparing the dough.  PERFECT. FLAKY. BUTTERY. 

Perfectly Flaky Yogurt-Butter Pie Dough

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 1 pie crust (double for lattice top)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, 5 tbsp cut into 1/4-inch dice, the rest left whole
1/3 cup plain whole yogurt (not Greek-style)
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Measure flour into a glass or ceramic bowl and freeze for 15 minutes.  Freeze the 3 tbsp-size chunk of butter for 15 minutes.  Place 5 tbsp of diced butter on a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  In a glass bowl, combine yogurt with salt and 1 tbsp cold water and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, add flour and 5 tbsp of diced butter.  Pulse until mixture resembles fine oat flakes.  Using a sharp knife or cheese plane, very thinly slice remaining 3 tbsp of butter and freeze slices for 5 minutes.

3. Add butter slices to bowl.  Toss gently to separate slices.  Slices should remain cold and intact.  Drizzle the cold yogurt into the bowl, using a rubber spatula to toss as you drizzle.  Continue tossing and scraping down the sides of bowl until crumbly and evenly moistened.  Press dough into 6-inch disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or overnight, freeze for up to 1 month.

4.  Using a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 13-inch round.  Carefully transfer dough into pie plate.  Cut overhang and roll edges under. Flute crust as desired.  Fill pie with desired filling.  Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

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