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Pie Crust: Tips & Troubleshooting

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39 replies to this topic

#31 Becca Porter

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 11:04 AM

Yes, that is the way I have tried it. I preheat it at about 500-550 degrees for an hour, that let the temp. drop back a little. It just never seems to work as well with it as without.

andiesenji, I love the caramelized sugar idea! Cook's Illustrated has a tomato tart that melts parm reg on the puff pastry first to seal it. Your way reminds me of that. It sounds delicious too.

#32 Lindacakes

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 08:07 AM

Just a public service announcement: blueberries are in season. I made a blueberry pie for a Fourth of July picnic yesterday. We actually fought over who was going to get what of the leftovers.

Hee hee.

I gave it a lattice top and it leaked, oddly, clear syrup. I always put my pies on a jelly roll pan lined with foil. I baked it on the bottom rack, nearest the bottom of the oven. I protect the edge from browning too much with a handmade foil shield -- I found the ones they sell are too heavy and flatten the edge of the pie.

In the end, I had to uncover it and brown it a little more before it was fully finished.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#33 plk

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 11:26 AM

By the way, the slow conductivity makes it highly unlikely that you'd break any kind of glass or ceramic bakeware by setting it on a hot stone. It won't cause a drastic temperature change like putting it under a broiler or quenching it in water.

I've had ceramic crack by placing it directly on a heated pizza stone. I don't worry about my Le Creuset baking dishes cracking, but I don't put anything I'm not sure about on there and definitely not anything handmade.

#34 David Ross

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:21 PM

Sorry you have had so much trouble with your pie crust. I use this basic recipe for pies and tarts and it never fails me. You may want to try it.

For pies I usually use a plain glass Pyrex pie dish. Sometimes I'll use my LeCreuset pie dish. If I am doing a 'free-form' type of tart I use a wooden pizza peel to move the tart from the kitchen directly onto a baking stone in the oven.

I never use any type of metal pie tin because it gets too hot too fast, resulting in a crust that bakes too quick while the insides of the pie are underdone.

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tbsp. superfine granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
½ cup Crisco shortening, chilled
1/3 cup ice water

The cake flour gives the pie dough an extra lift and flakiness.

I cut the butter and shortening in by hand using a pastry cutter. I never use a food processor for my pastry dough. The blade runs too fast, cutting the butter and shortening into little grains. When I cut the butter and shortening into the flour by hand I control the size of the butter and shortening. I cut it into the flour until it's the size of baby peas. That will let your butter and shortening melt into shards or layers as it bakes into the flour. That's what will give the finished pie crust that flakiness we like.

Add the ice water using a fork and add enough water to form a ball of dough. Wrap it in plastic and then let it chill in the refrigerator for about one hour. This will chill the butter back up which is important to the finished pie crust.

Then just roll out the dough before you use it. Works for me so I hope it helps you.

#35 Rebecca263

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:59 PM

My daughter brought home the most delicious local red apples this week, and wants to bake an apple pie tonight. Her first on her own pie, so exciting for me! We have vegetable shortening in the house, so I told her to make a quick shortening crust, then she asked me how to make a crust, how to make the filling, and finally informed me that the 7 cook books I've got at home unpacked do not have any pie recipes. I'm coming to my fellow eGulleteers- your go-to shortening based crust apple pie recipes. pretty please? 

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#36 Kerry Beal

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:58 PM

Sadly Rebecca - my go to pie crust recipe is for a lard crust - and I know that wouldn't be appropriate for you. I highly recommend adding some vodka to the liquid when you do find an appropriate recipe - the added liquid makes the crust much easier to roll - and disappears when baked.  

Edited by Kerry Beal, 15 December 2013 - 08:00 PM.

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#37 Rebecca263

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:26 PM

She's making the "plain pie dough" recipe from The Settlement Cook Book*, minus the baking powder. this is the only "regular" cook book I've got out of storage right now.

As it is her first pie(at the age of 24! :shock: ) I think this classic recipe is actually a good start.

*1944 edition

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#38 Pam R

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:51 AM

What kind of shortening do you have? The recipe on the back of the Crisco can makes a darn good crust.  


For the filling ..  I don't follow a recipe, just peel and slice a pile of apples and toss with LOTS of cinnamon, sugar, some flour, lemon juice, splash of vanilla and cubed butter if it's dairy -- leave it out for parve. 

Edited by Pam R, 16 December 2013 - 10:51 AM.
forgot the vanilla!

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#39 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:33 PM

I was taught 1/3 C shortening for every 1 C cake flour (cut in until short), then ice water by tablespoons just until it forms a semicoherent dough, never ever over handling.  Great Gran had a steel rolling pin that could be filled with ice cubes, which she used specifically for pie crust.


For the filling, I'm like Pam R - apples with cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla or amaretto, and about 1 tsp of manioc or corn starch.  If I'm baking kosher, I leave the butter out; if I'm baking parve, I put a bit in.


Alternately, if you want a more store-bought type filling, you can stew sliced apples with a little apple juice, cinnamon, and allspice, then thicken the resulting broth with corn starch to get the gooey-oozey filling you're after.

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#40 judiu

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:28 PM

Pana Can, the teknical term for that consistency is "goozey". I know, I invented it!
You can also add some finely shredded cheese like Muenster to further goozify and flavour the filling, if you like the idea... %)

Edited by judiu, 16 December 2013 - 05:31 PM.

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