Quick, Easy, Flaky — Whole Wheat Pie Crust in the food processor

This Flaky Whole Wheat Pie Crust comes together quickly in the food processor. At our house pie-making is usually a joint effort—I make the crust while Frank makes the filling—and it is usually something we decide to do after dinner. So, we don’t usually take the time to chill dough, etc. The worst thing about this pie crust is that you have to clean butter out of your food processor.

This is not the super light crust you can achieve with white flour, but by using ivory, or white, hard whole wheat (such as that sold by Bob’s Red Mill) you can regularly achieve a flaky and tasty crust while improving the nutrition profile of your favorite pie, quiche, or galette.

Years ago I saw Martha Stewart make a pie crust in a food processor on the Today Show. I scrawled her ingredient list in the top margin of the pie crust page of my favorite old cookbook. For several years, with a few tweaks, I used her method to whirl up some very nice crusts. Inevitably, though, I wanted my crusts to be a little healthier—not so much butter, no more white flour. I wanted a decent whole wheat pie crust.

As it happened, we embraced white, hard whole wheat flour as soon as we heard about it. Keep this refrigerated, BTW. Because whole wheat flour has protein, it gets rancid in the cupboard. Stubbornly, we have subbed it in for the white flour in our favorite baked goods—including Hiram’s High-Grade Whole Wheat Brownsters, Dad’s Favorite Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies, Best Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Whole Wheat Wacky Cake, a.k.a. www.EgglessCake. Also whole wheat muffins, cornbread, waffles and pancakes, largely adapted from Joy.

Ingredients for Single (One) Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Print recipe

FREE printable PDF recipe click to open and print

1 cup Ivory white hard whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick cubed, hard butter. If salted, back off the salt a little.
1/4 cup canola or other oil
Iced water, to drizzle, about 1/4 cup. Avoid adding cubes to the crust. Use more at high altitude.

Step 1. Place flour and salt in the food processor. Add hard butter cubes. Pulse until coarsely chopped, about 10 seconds. You should still see pieces of butter the size of chickpeas.

Step 2. Add oil and pulse minimally, 3 or 4 pulses. Your butter pieces should be bigger than peas.

Step 3. Without sending in any ice cubes, drizzle in a thin stream of iced water and pulse just until the dough really clumps.  You get used to this. Watch the video if you are unsure. (Also find video thumbnail and link below.) You should have a soft, moist dough with visible butter chunks. See image at the bottom of the page.

Step 4. I roll my dough with white flour on a clean, flat, woven dish towel, not terry cloth.

Step 5. Transfer into pie plate. Crimp edge, etc.

Click to watch companion video

Additional info:

Double all amounts to double recipe.
Brush with liquid as you might any other crust.
Bake according to your filling instructions.
Shield crust with foil, etc., if that is your preference.



Here is my rolled crust in the pie plate. A little of the white is flour, but most of what you see is butter.


Make Novelty Pot Holders to Brighten Any Kitchen: A Partial Throwback


Novelty Pot Holders Say “I Love You” in the Kitchen

ttlogoCute, cute, cute: this is the comment you will get if you make novelty pot holders for your gift list this season. Part throwback, part new, here are the best tutorial videos I have on YouTube for novelty pot holders of several styles. And check out my Strawberry Tea Cozy below…. 


leaf-potholderNEW VIDEO!!! Free-Motion Quilt a Leaf Potholder: this brand new video video features a cute pincher-style potholder with a pocket mouth opening to put you hand inside.

Make this pattern up to be as simple or as elaborate as you please. I’ve free-motion quilted the veining, as well as added a tight meander allover, but you could just straight stitch the veins with a walking foot instead.

chili-pepper-copyLet’s Sew Chili Pepper Handle Covers: this diminutive novelty “pot holder” is great for cast iron skillets and long-handled cookware that gets a little too hot to the touch. This pattern is super easy to adjust in length.

If you haven’t learned to free-motion quilt yet, just substitute straight lines of stitching to modify this design as indicated in the detailed video instructions.

lets-sew-apple-mitts-gift3Let’s Free-Motion Quilt Apple Oven Mitts: this sweet pincher-style apple mitt brightens any kitchen, especially if you love the color red! Designed to resemble the fruit with a slice cut out of it, this perky favorite has a turned, edged-stitched leaf for a hanger, sewn on with a colorful button.

Practice your free-motion meander quilting while making these for gifts.

Strawberry Tea Cozy: new pattern & video tutorial

This quick pattern features two layers of Insul-bright, heat-reflective batting, to keep that pot of tea hot as long as possible…and it looks like a strawberry! Click to watch!

Find the pattern on the Free PDFs page.


Ceiling Rods Screen Ugly Views: simple household solution

The traverse rod in my sewing room

The traverse ceiling rod in my sewing room as shown in the intro of my last video on YouTube

Where the Sausage is Made: traverse ceiling rods to the rescue 

openwindowUgh! Look how my sewing room looks at night through one of the large windows that flank our front door. This is the view I used to present to the world in the liminal hours of an average day.

Honestly, I never even thought about the appearance of the sewing room before I started making YouTube videos. Over the years, as my little artistic sewing business grew, my sewing room hopped from room to room, eventually landing in the sunny room next to our front door. As it went, I cobbled together a functional—even fairly efficient—collection of tables, mismatched shelves, and see-through storage bins. And that system worked for me for years.

Then I started making sewing tutorials. Early on, I spent an hour or two clicking around YT to see what was out there and how sewing channels were presenting their information. What confronted me instead was a collection of lovely sets, light-kissed sewing spaces, and nicely decorated but sparsely appointed environments reminiscent of quiet basement corners. I saw open wicker baskets of sparkling fat quarters and nifty wooden racks brimming with well-behaved spools. Exposing my heaping mounds of “creative clutter” and bins full of jumbled, but dust-free, sewing supplies mortified me.

So we shot tight, filling the screen mostly with the project and the process, and Zazu’s Stitch Art on YouTube was born. The style of the videos also naturally evolved around my desire to really teach sewing that looks handmade, not homemade. I have a long-standing pet peeve with tutorials that gloss over key details in a way that could break a real world project. So extreme close-ups seemed necessary for my videos, if I really wanted to inspire viewers to follow along. As I focused in on the sausage-making itself, a side benefit was to naturally downplay all the clutter in the sausage factory.

featherweightMeanwhile, my husband helped me revamp the sewing room, area by area, with appearances in mind. We bought a glass shelf for my grandmother’s featherweight and hung it above the t.v. We had replaced my ugly particle board shelves with ones he fitted in the corner, facing the front edge with narrow molding. I finally put up a permanent design wall. My shelves were still pretty unsightly. Then I realized how they looked from the street. I needed a solution that was attractive, inexpensive, and easy to use—hide the clutter one minute; access all the storage the next.

washerWe already had a traverse ceiling rod with batik curtains covering the door of our upstairs laundry closet. Tucked into the eaves of our roof during a major upstairs remodel, this laundry closet was a game changer for me. (No more laundry in a 1930s basement, a.k.a. the Dungeon.) But it is kind of an eyesore without doors. The ceiling rod was my husband’s idea. He found the rod on extreme clearance somewhere, because we thought bi-fold doors would block access to the machines too much, since they are a little cramped in there. Like most curtain rods, these rods telescope to adjust within a certain range. Here’s what the laundry looks like. It could be a lot worse!

We searched the internet for ceiling rods, looking for a 12-footer. I didn’t want to spend too much. Ultimately, we bought 2 rods. One telescopes to 10 feet; the other to 5.5 feet. We spent about $60 and got free shipping. I felt it was a $60 problem. The rods telescope with a male part and a female part. So we used the two female pieces on the ends of one male piece in the middle to span the width of the room with one continuous track. These install fairly easily, similar to regular curtain rods, although if you can’t find your ceiling joints, you’ll need to use plastic anchors, or similar, in your drywall or plaster.

Color always matters

My ceilings are 9′ 4″, so I had to make my own curtains. In another location, you might use a pretty sheet. For my project I rescued a bunch of completely dissimilar fabrics from the back of my stash. I decided to make three panels. I pieced 20-22 inch wide strips Read More …