I love to cook with my cast iron skillet. I like cast iron's rustic charm, and the fact that it can go from the stove-top to the oven, even when the oven is set to "broil". This simple, healthy, and delicious asparagus frittata recipe (from Simply Recipes) makes good use of cast iron's special capabilities.
I started making my own pie crusts pretty recently, and I've been using the crusts in cast iron skillet dishes. I've made two Southern Living pies (apple and pecan) that call for the use of a skillet in place of a conventional pie dish, and a dill-icious skillet chicken potpie from Country Living. For the sweet pies I used a crust recipe that calls for white flour and a mixture of butter and shortening for the fat. For the savory pie I used a similar crust recipe that calls for a mixture of white and whole wheat flours. Both recipes (plus detailed crust-handling instructions) can be found in my beloved baking resource, Country Baking.
And now, a visual journey through the making of the pecan pie.
My skillet awaits. (It's waiting for my pie crust dough to chill in the fridge so I can roll it out.)
The crust. It's not wanting to stay together around the edges. Maybe I didn't add enough ice water?
It was a bit of a rough ride, but we made it into the bottom of the skillet.
This is why it's important to plan your baking adventures ahead of time and read the recipe the night before. It might call for something wacky, like "1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature". I have no idea how long it took for the melted butter to re-harden, but it ain't my problem 'cause I just let it sit overnight. (You like how I did the butter in a tiny cast iron skillet?)
My little baby before hitting the oven.
This is a weird recipe because it doesn't call for Karo. Josh was totally pissed when he found out about that. He is the ultimate pecan pie purist. We'll see how we like it. We're taking it to my mom's for dinner later this evening.
So the moral of the story is this: Just because a recipe calls for a store-bought pie crust, that doesn't mean you can't make your own.
I made the following changes to Country Living's chicken potpie recipe: I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 cup of heavy cream, and 1 cup of chicken broth.