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Kitchen confessional ... I've never made ...

IdaClaire
5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

a pie crust from scratch. Or if I have, it was so long ago that time has erased the memory from my bank and I can't recall having ever done so. I want to make a homemade cherry pie (his favorite) for my dad for Father's Day, and I want to do it all from scratch, like his mother used to do. (Well, I'll use cherry pie filling. I'm not going to process fresh cherries, but my Grannie didn't either so I'm fine with that. ;-))

I know I watched Grannie make pies in my younger years, and I recall her rolling out dough, cutting it into lattice strips for the top -- it sounds daunting to me now. (As of this writing, I don't even own a rolling pin!) Does anyone have a tried-and-true pie crust recipe to share, and/or any pointers on how to successfully do this?

Comments (50)

  • MtnRdRedux
    5 years ago

    Follow directions very precisely, especially with regard to temperature ingredients, waiting time, etc. Use pie weights. Roll out on chilled marble if possible, with a chilled rolling pin.And have fun!

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-pie-crust-recipe-1919026

    PS in a pinch you can roll out w a wine bottle, but I like copper best

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks, Mtn! (Looks like a good, well-loved recipe.) I'm going to have to Google pie weights -- no idea what that is. I figured I'd roll out on my granite countertop. As for a rolling pin, I've just been perusing them online. They make copper? (Sounds pretty!) I'm only familiar with the old standby wooden rolling pins, but see that they also come in stainless steel and marble.

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  • terezosa / terriks
    5 years ago

    I've never tried it, but I've read that substituting vodka for part of the water results in a fool proof flakey crust.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/food-matters/how-alcohol-makes-a-flakier-pie-crust-the-proof-is-in-the-pie/

  • czarinalex
    5 years ago

    Pie weights are usually used when baking the pie crust alone for a non-baked pie... like a cream pie. I always just fill my unbaked pie crust with filling, top and bake. Does anyone else pre-bake pie crusts for all pies?

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Terriks - I was just reading about that! Had never heard such a thing, but it's very interesting. Also says you can use other liquids, such as vinegar. I wonder how apple cider vinegar would work ...

  • PRO
    Lars/J. Robert Scott
    5 years ago

    I do substitute vodka for part of the water in pie crust. It helps because the alcohol evaporates more quickly than water - vinegar would not do that, and you would be able to taste the vinegar in the pie crust. Some people say they can taste vodka in pie crusts, even after they are baked, but I do not.

    You can get lots of help with pie crusts from the Cooking forum. I do not have my recipes with me at the moment, although I have made one extremely simple pie crust that might work for you. For a two crust pie:

    1 cup unsalted butter
    1 cup cottage cheese, drained
    2 cups flour

    Beat the butter and cottage together and stir in the flour. Form into two discs and refrigerate before rolling out.

    The recipe does not use salt because there is enough salt in the cottage cheese. It makes a very flaky crust, similar to a pastry made with cream cheese.

    I do not pre-bake crusts for fruit pies, but I do for cream pies, and then I do use pie weights.

    When I make cherry pies, I use fresh cherries, but they are not ideal, as you are supposed to use sour cherries, and I cannot find them here, except in jars. Sweet cherries will make a somewhat watery pie and require more cornstarch.

  • MtnRdRedux
    5 years ago

    You can just cover the Plain crust with a piece of waxed paper and then just put a cup of uncooked rice to do the same thing as pie weights. But I realize I forgot to explain why I would use Pie weights even for a fruit pie… I always par bake the empty crust first, then fill it and then cook it completely… I can't stand gummy bottom crust

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Cottage cheese, Lars? That's different! Is that basically replacing shortening? I love cottage cheese, and now I'm very curious about using it in the pie crust.

    Pie weights. Well, I learned something new today! I had no idea that anyone ever pre-baked a crust for a (baked) pie! I did read that you can use uncooked rice or beans to act as weights. My dad is funny, and I guess this comes from years of cherry pie memories - but he enjoys it most when it's a couple of days old and starts to take on a bit of gumminess. Of course, he's going to get it more or less fresh from the oven when he has it on Father's Day, so he'll have to save the gummy enjoyment for the pieces that I send home with him.

  • annac54
    5 years ago

    Be sure to follow the wait/chilling times. The dough needs time for the gluten to rest, otherwise, the crust is tough. Also, chilling helps keep the butter from melting. The rolled out flakes of butter in the dough is what makes it flaky.

    If you ever need to blind-bake (pre-bake) a crust, you can use parchment paper and dried beans to weigh it down while baking. It keeps the pastry from bubbling up. This is for cream type pies, not the fruit kind.

    Good luck with your pie.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks, annac54!

    I'm feeling more confident. Is a lattice top easy enough to do? They're so pretty, but I don't want to overcomplicate this on my first try.

  • tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
    5 years ago

    I use this recipe from King Arthur Flour: classic double pie crust. It uses a bit of shortening and butter. What I appreciate about the recipe is incorporating the shortening really well in the beginning and then adding the butter. It is easier this way to keep the butter from overheating. I periodically make a triple batch of the pie crusts at a time in my KitchenAid and freeze the extras for when the craving for pie hits.

    How complicated a lattice top is depends on what you are going for. If you want it woven, then it is does take some patience. If you want it woven, I would practice with yarn or strips of paper first. If you do not mind the strips just placed over each other, then that is not all that complicated. There are a lot of other fun things you could do though, such as cutting shapes out of the dough with a cookie cutter, etc. and laying those on top.

  • lisaam
    5 years ago

    Ida Claire I can understand you hesitancy to use fresh cherries, but do consider frozen cherries rather than canned pie filling. Tapioca is a great thickener for fruit pie and your pie will be less sweet and yummier. A lattice top is a little finicky; more bang for your effort buck with a mostly from scratch filling. The key to all dough is chilling time and patience. If you get frustrated, walk away for a few minutes. Best baking wishes!

  • tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
    5 years ago

    For the filling, I would also consider the jars of morello cherries at Trader Joe's. Making a filling from them would be pretty quick and much tastier than the Comstock pie filling. I have never seen frozen pie cherries in my neck of the woods but if they were available, I would definitely use them. In the house, some brandy or amaretto might find it's way into the filling, too.

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I was just going to post about the TJ's cherries. They're great! I don't like cherry pie filling because there's not enough cherries. I could not find a recipe online using the TJ cherries but I figured it out on my own. Tish, do you have a recipe for the filling?

    2 jars of Trader Joe's Morello cherries (5 c. drained)

    1 c. sugar

    1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

    3 tbsp. corn starch or tapioca flour mixed into a small amount of reserved cherry juice

    Drain cherries well and place juice in saucepan. Simmer until reduced by half--it concentrates the flavor. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cherries. Pour into pie crust.

    I use half this recipe for cheesecake topping.

    I always use a little more shortening than butter in my crust because the edges droop if there's more butter. I just flipped the ratio on my pie crust recipe.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Yum! Thanks so much for the helpful advice. I'm really looking forward to making this now ... my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

  • Bunny
    5 years ago

    I've been making pies since I was in kindergarten. My crusts were often hit and miss (too short, too tough) until I found a no-fail crust that I can always depend on. The ingredients are fairly standard, but it's all in the touch--when enough water is enough and handling lightly. I'm also a firm believer of making the dough, forming into disks and refrigerating for up to 24 hours to rest. They freeze just fine and thaw quickly.

    I understand the science behind vodka crust. First time I tried it I thought, this cannot work. The dough was too soft, like Play-Doh. It tasted terrible raw (a secret passion of mine). However, it baked up unspeakably light and flaky. Almost too flaky. It fell apart.

    I've since abandoned the vodka method and prefer a good mix of butter and Crisco.

    I concur that Minute Tapioca is a very good thickening agent. Use the box as a guide. Use the blueberry amount for any juicy berry (e.g., blackberry, cherry).

    Good luck. IMHO, pie is the king of desserts. It's also the best breakfast, always better warm.

  • maddielee
    5 years ago

    Confession...I can not tell the difference between a store bought crust and home made.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Linelle, will you share you tried-and-true recipe?

  • palimpsest
    5 years ago

    I live with a former professional pastry chef, who makes many things from complete scratch, but almost always uses store bought pie crusts for run of the mill things like quiche or fruit/pumpkin pies.

  • Bunny
    5 years ago

    #1 (tried and true)

    3 c. unbleached flour
    3/4 c. butter, chilled
    1/2 c. Crisco, chilled
    1/2-1 tsp. salt (lesser amount if using salted butter)

    Pulse in food processor or cut in with pastry blender until butter and Crisco form medium crumbs.

    Mix:
    3/4 c. ice water*
    1 tsp. cider or white vinegar

    Gradually add liquid to food processor or blend with fork into flour mixture, just until everything holds together. Knead just enough for everything to form a mass. Easy does it. Form into 2-4 flat disks and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to 24. Okay to freeze at this point and thaw for later use.

    * Water amount can vary, depending on the weather and/or how you measured the flour. IOW, don't add all at once.

    A friend of mine made some killer apple pies with a crust to die for. #2 is her recipe. It's much flakier than mine (because her butter/Crisco ratio is reversed), but it's slightly prone to crumble and has a less buttery flavor.

    #2

    3 c. unbleached flour
    1/2 c. butter
    1 c. Crisco
    1 tsp. salt

    Blend as in #1

    1 egg
    6 Tbsp. ice water
    1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice

    Mix as in #2

    #2 uses more Crisco to butter, which is flakier but not as buttery. The egg replaces some of the water in #1.

    Both recipes make about 3 single crust pies, or 2 double crust if pans aren't too large.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks so very much! (And you DO use cider vinegar! I was wondering about that upthread!)

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    Store-bought crust is the reason you always see a piece of it left on the plate. I think my homemade pie crust is as good as the filling so there's never any left on the plate.

    My recipe is similar to these but it has a tablespoon of sugar. Go ahead and add it to any of these recipes. Another thing I do is freeze the butter for about 30 minutes and grate it, then I rub it into the flour with my fingers. You want to put your shortening in the fridge too. I always add the full amount of ice water, otherwise it might crack when it's rolled out. I dump the dough out onto a well-floured counter and if it's a little wet, it will absorb any flour it needs. I don't kneed it, I just press it together. I flatten it into a disc and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

    I find it helpful to watch YouTube videos when I'm making something for the first time.

  • MtnRdRedux
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    A few comments ...

    1. You can do a lattice, it's fun

    2. It would be a shame to work so hard on the crust and use canned filling, just saying. The filling is the easy part, relatively speaking.

    3. I like to use a combo of tapioca and cornstarch to thicken fruit pie. See what King Arthur Flours says here, and look under tips for texture insight.... also note lattice pies cook a bit differently.

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/guides/pie-baking/pie-thickener.html

  • Bunny
    5 years ago

    I usually use cider vinegar because it's always on hand. It won't affect the color of the crust. I've been told it not only makes the crust more tender, but it keeps the dough from turning gray. Mon Dieu!

    My favorite pie is blackberry, but I'm not the forager I used to be. Kirkland frozen berries (raspberry, blackberry, blueberries) make a fine pie filling, even in the dead of winter. Just thaw and treat like fresh berries.

    Oh, and for fruit pies, I always dot the filling with butter before putting on the top crust.

    Don't ever get too hung up on visual perfection. A tasty filling with a flaky crust trumps (sorry) perfection every day.

  • Beaus Rose
    5 years ago

    Oh yum!

    I just purchased "Art of the Pie" Kate McDermott. She explains it all with the how and whys of pie making. Great recipes and techniques on rolling out crust and more.

    Check to see if your local library has it online. That's where I found it first and knew I needed a copy.

    Have fun with your pie making adventure! You can do it!



  • neetsiepie
    5 years ago

    I've never tried to make a pie crust on my own, but I remember my mom making them. She swore the secret was to use ice water and handle the dough as little as possible.

    She had a Tupperware mat that had circles on it, so you could roll your dough out to the right size for the pan you were using. She'd use an old fashioned rolling pin that had been seasoned over the years and would always dust the mat and the pin with flour.

    She always used Crisco too, never any butter, just Crisco, water and flour. Her crusts always turned out super flakey. She never made a lattice top pie-always a two piece and I'd get to cut stars in the top piece and pinch the edges for her.

  • Bonnie
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I have made pie crust from scratch for over 40 years, always following the basic Betty Crocker recipe with Crisco (The recipe). It has never failed me. A wood rolling pin is fine, but I do suggest a cloth cover for it and a pastry pad (supermarkets usually carry these.) The key to a flaky crust is to use ice water! A lattice pie work is easy to do and is simply a matter of cutting the crust into strips and weaving it the strips as a top crust. I have never had the need to pre-bake a pie crust for a fruit pie. How to make a lattice top crust

    What a loving daughter you are! I'm sure your dad will enjoy the pie. My late father enjoyed my pies until the very end. His favorite was rhubarb, which I don't care for, but I made it with love for him.

  • justretired
    5 years ago

    My mom (and now I) also use the Betty Crocker Crisco recipe. One hint my mom passed along was to handle the crust as little as possible to keep it from getting tough. She was a great cook and baker and I always try to follow her suggestions. I bet your dad will love his pie!

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I almost always make pate brisee, which is an all butter pastry dough. I find it very forgiving to work with and always delicious.

    Pate Brisee

    yield 1 crust

    8 tbs. butter (1 stick, 4 oz.) - very cold

    1 1/4 cup flour

    1/4 tsp. salt - only if using unsalted butter

    3 tbs. ice water

    Note, the colder the ingredients, the flakier the crust, but this is a very forgiving crust & will withstand a lot of handling.

    Place flour & salt (if using) in bowl or in food processor.

    Add butter,cut into pieces & pulse or cut in until it resembles coarse meal.

    Slowly add ice water, 1 tbs. at a time, tossing with a fork or spatula or pulsing until dough comes together & forms a ball.

    Knead lightly to smooth the dough, then flatten & form into a disk & wrap in waxed paper & refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up before rolling out.

    Dough may be made ahead , but needs to soften up before rolling out.

    Alternately, you may use 2 tbs. oil or shortening & 6 Tbs. butter

    I also make an oil pastry for pot pies:

    Oil Pastry

    2 1/2 cups flour

    1/2 cup oil

    1 tsp. salt

    approx. 6 Tbsp ice water

    Stir salt into flour.

    Cut oil into flour until evenly distributed.

    Add ice water, a little @ a time, tossing to mix. Mixture will be pasty @ first, but will firm up.

    Roll between 2 sheets of waxed paper - no extra flour necessary.

    Makes a tender, crumbly crust.

    HTH

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    5 years ago

    I love the ease of the vodka pie crust and I do prebake some pies. I line with foil and fill with beans. I've been using the same pinto beans for over a decade. Parchment paper is your friend.

  • whatsayyou18
    5 years ago

    I've tried every pie crust recipe known to man but my MIL made the absolute best, most flaky crust bar none. This is absolutely fail-roof and the edges are just as light and flaky as the rest. P.S. I place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to roll out so there is no flour mess.

    Recipe: 3 C flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 1/3 C shortening, 1 beaten egg, 5 T vinegar, 5 T cold water. Mix together flour and salt. Cut in Shortening. Mix egg, vinegar and water together. Add to dry ingredients. Once ball is formed, cut in half, place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.

  • misforminkGW
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I use this time and time again and everyone loves it. I also really like her chicken meat pie recipe with this crust! If I don't have lard or tallow I use all butter.

    cheeseslave how to make perfect pie crust

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    5 years ago

    Shee, I couldn't find the chicken pie recipe, could you link it?

  • daisychain Zn3b
    5 years ago

    Everyone around here uses Tenderflake lard and the recipe on the box. If you ask anyone how to make pie crust, they will direct you to Tenderflake. Maybe it's a regional thing, but I didn't even realize people who baked used other recipes until I was middle aged.

  • arcy_gw
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I made rhubarb just two days ago. Pie is a mainstay in our family. It really is not difficult. I use a tupperware rolling pin and wax paper to roll mine out. That is how my mom taught me. Easy to roll thin and pick up to put in the pie. I have never heard of pre-baking a crust--except for cream/Glace pies. The idea confuses me. Often we cover the crust edges with foil so they don't burn as it takes the filling so long to cook, doesn't pre-baking the crust would exacerbate this? The lattice is another story all together. I have seen it done many ways--I gave up trying to be "fancy" years ago. My tried and true recipe is flour/salt/cold water/part butter part crisco with a couple of table spoons of sugar tossed in ala Valerie DuPree. Ya don't mess with perfection. My MIL was a cook extraordinaire, even was the behind the scene cook for "Kay's Kitchen" in Philly three life times ago..she showed me how to use my kitchen aid mixer to cut in the fat with the flour. It makes making pies as easy and quick as making a cake!!!

  • cleo07
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am chief pie maker in my family and I have always used the Julia Child pie crust recipe (I'll put the preparations below) but was searching for one without Crisco and found a great one on Foodlab.com that is pretty much foolproof and tastes almost like my Julia Child one. However, it requires a scale and food processor and obviously a rolling pin. Some food scientists spent time trying to figure out how flakiness happens. I'll include the link to that. It's a nice one because it has step by step pictures of what the crust looks like and it really foolproof. It is not like any other butter pie crust I have ever made in terms of procedure but is delicious and easy.

    Food lab: science of pie dough link

    This is my main crust now-makes 2 crusts

    click for the recipe after the instructions and pictures.


    Julia Child crust (makes 4 single)

    5 1/4 c flour

    1 TB kosher salt

    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cut into TB size)

    1 3/4 cups Crisco

    i cup ice water

    In a food processor, pulse the crisco and flour and salt till blended. Add the butter and pulse only until butter is pea sized. Transfer to a bowl and add the water is small bits, using a wooden spoon or spatula to blend. Transfer to a big piece of parchment and squish it into a cohesive mass a few times and divide into 4. Wrap each in parchment or plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.

    extra crusts will keep for a few days in the fridge or roll out and freeze the extra crusts

    good luck!

  • misforminkGW
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Bumble - Oops, after checking, I got the meat pie/pot pie (pot pie to me is a thick stew!) from chickenbrothrecipes.com. I use milk, butter, and bone stock. Also add peas and use cheeseslave's crust recipe. So, so good. ETA - The crust recipe on cheeseslave's site is actually the one linked to in the meat pie recipe. That's how I found her. All coming back to me. :)

    chicken meat pie

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Oh, my goodness - I can't express adequately how much I appreciate you all for taking the time to weigh in with suggestions, recipes, and links! This is hugely helpful, and I will be referring back to this thread many more times before the pie-baking session ensues this weekend!

    I have the 1968 Better Homes and Gardens "New" Cookbook and last night I got it out and read the section on pies. Sometimes I wonder if the old ways of doing things aren't still just the very best. Seems we have so many "hacks" these days, and I understand that there are so many techniques purported to improve a process because they really have worked for others, but it does get a little confusing at times! Still - isn't it nice to have so many options and such a wealth of information from which to choose!

    Re store-bought crust: I've used it before, of course, and have always found it adequate. But this time around, I want to do the whole "from scratch" thing, because I think it will link this simple act to my past and remind my father of his past as well. I'm still undecided about using canned filling or trying something different. Canned filling was always used in my family, so I know that's what Dad will probably expect - and I don't want to disappoint. Not on Father's Day. ;-)

    ETA: Just learned that what my Grannie always used was canned cherries. Not the cherry pie filling.

  • cawaps
    5 years ago

    When I was a kid, my mom always made an oil pastry from her Betty Crocker cookbook. I think this is the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/betty-crocker-oil-pastry-52967951

    It's much less fussy than a shortening (or butter crust). Be sure to use cold water.

    Also, you can roll out the crust between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper. Peel off the top paper, then lift crust and bottom paper, flip it over the pie plate and peel off the remaining paper. Easy peasy.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    5 years ago

    If you use canned cherries, use one half cherry pie filling and one half drained tart cherries. The pie filling has to much glop to cherry ratio.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I probably will go with the tart canned cherries. I just found a recipe that calls for the canned cherries, sugar, corn starch to thicken, butter, almond extract, and red food coloring if desired. I might add a little pie filling into the mix too ... We'll see. :-)

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    The TJ's jarred cherries are the same as canned cherries but without the metallic taste of the can.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I'll look for jarred cherries at my grocery store. The nearest TJ's to me are a major PITA to get to, so I never shop there. :-(

  • veggiegardnr
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I have been working on my pie crusts for years now and I think I'm finally starting to get fairly consistent good results. I went through a phase, a few years ago, where my crusts were embarrassingly tough. Fortunately, I seem to have worked my way out of that phase and my crusts are now usually tender and flaky.

    I use the Crisco recipe. I measure out the flour and Crisco (and the bit of salt) into a bowl and then put that in the freezer for 30 min before cutting in the Crisco with a device that I believe is called a pastry blender (but which has always been called a "pie crust maker" in my family). Then, I gently mix in ice water, a tbsp at a time, with a fork.

    When it looks like there's enough water that things will hold together (probably less wet than you'd expect...just wet enough to hold things together), I gently form a ball (minimal handling), just gathering most of the bits together into my hands and pressing gently together. Then, I wrap the ball tightly with saran wrap, gently squishing it into disc shape during the wrapping process.

    I put my crusts into the refrigerator to rest, usually overnight. I've come to believe that resting them in the refrigerator is absolutely crucial. After they've rested, I gently roll them out, lightly flouring things as needed to prevent sticking.

    Most of my pie crusts are turning out fairly well now. Before I started resting the crusts in the refrigerator before rolling them out, some of my crusts were very tough.

    I have never tried pre-baking the bottom crust for a cooked pie. I usually do bake my pies for longer than the recipe calls for, though, to avoid undercooked bottom crusts. I do cover the edges, to prevent them from getting overdone. I keep a close eye on pies during baking and I usually also end up putting a loose sheet of foil over the entire pie at some point, to prevent overbrowning of the top crust.

    Cherry pie is my favorite! :-) The next time I make one, I am going to try those TJ cherries.

    Edited for swypos. :-)

  • Bunny
    5 years ago

    I agree with Beaus Rose's technique. It also helps keep everything more equally round.

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    Thank you for that tip!

  • Bonnie
    5 years ago

    IdaClaire, Use canned cherries to evoke the fond memories of the pies your father is accustomed to. Plus, save yourself the work!

  • texanjana
    5 years ago

    I love to make pies, and have tried many different crust recipes over the years. This is my go-to one now. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/p-p-p-pie_crust_and_its_p-p-p-perfect/?printable_recipe=11734

    Hope your dad's pie turns out great.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks so much again for all of the extremely helpful information! I'm going to buy ingredients in a little while, and will see what I can find at my neighborhood store. I'm also excited because the pie plate that I recently ordered matches my blue and white Cornishware exactly! Not something I planned at all - but now I know what dishes I'm going to use to set the table!