Pie Crust Uses

by Amelia Hooper

Pie crusts can be used for nearly any pastry need. Use either homemade pie crust dough or store-bought pie crusts to make sweet dishes such as fruit tarts, custard tartlets, fruit turnovers or fruit pizzas. Pie dough is also perfect for savory dishes like quiches, baked or deep-fried empanadas and the American classic, pot pie.

Quiche

Quiche is a egg and cream custard baked in a crust with various fillings. From the classic flavors of bacon and Gruyere to more unusual combinations like peppers and goat cheese, quiche is an unequivocal breakfast comfort food.

Empanadas

Portable and easy to make, empanadas are a great way to use pie crust. Fill these half-circles of dough with virtually anything, from chicken, pork, beef or seafood to almost any vegetable and cheese. The stuffed pastry pocket can be baked or fried, and will re-heat well.

Tarts

A tart is made up of a filling, which can be savory or sweet, baked into a shallow crust with an upright rim. Tarts come in a variety of sizes, ranging from bite-size to pie size. Sweet tarts often include fruit fillings or custards. Savory tarts can incorporate salty cheeses and meats.

Pot Pies

For an easy, classic, comforting meal, use pie crust to make chicken, beef, seafood or vegetable pot pies. A pot pie consists of a stew in a baking dish, topped with a crust and baked for up to several hours. You can also try adding a bottom crust; bake it prior to adding the stew filling.

Fruit pizzas

Bake and cool a pie crust, then use it as the base for a wonderfully fresh fruit pizza. While many fruit pizza desserts use cookie dough for the base, a pastry crust is a lighter, less-sugary alternative. Fruit pizzas usually consist of a crust topped with sweetened or light cream cheese and piled with fresh fruit.

Turnovers

These hand-held pies are perfect for sweet breakfasts, quick snacks, easy desserts or even holiday gifts. Turnovers are double-sided pie crust shapes filled with sweet fruit filling and baked to a golden brown color. They can be tailored to accommodate nearly any in-season fruit.

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About the Author

Amelia Hooper has been a crime reporter for "The Elkhart Truth" in northern Indiana since May 2007. Recently, MSNBC.com has linked to her investigative reports on methamphetamine. Hooper graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and Web publishing from the University of Southern Indiana.