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Making pie crust with boiling water


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Someone at another forum says that a pie crust recipe calling for boiling water to be poured over the lard turns out really well. I've never made one this way and I have to know if ayone else has. Wouldn't using melted lard make it impossible to have a flaky crust? I guess it would be the same as pie crusts with oil, but I've never seen the point of those, either. Someone enlighten me, please.

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Someone at another forum says that a pie crust recipe calling for boiling water to be poured over the lard turns out really well.  I've never made one this way and I have to know if ayone else has.  Wouldn't using melted lard make it impossible to have a flaky crust?  I guess it would be the same as pie crusts with oil, but I've never seen the point of those, either.  Someone enlighten me, please.

Hot water crust pastry is the type used for the "old fashioned" raised pies such as the famous English Melton Mowbray pie. The pastry is very robust - not flaky. It is different from other pastry in that it can be moulded like clay - so free-standing crusts (used to be called "coffins" in the old days) can be modelled.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I tried making this years and years ago, but had considerable trouble getting it to hold a shape - would you consider doing a tutorial, please?  :biggrin:

I haven't made them myself for ages, so I'd have to have a practice run first!

The best thing to do is to have a good "play" with the dough. It is possible to make free-form coffiins - they always bulge out a bit at the sides, but that is the way that you can tell authentic hand-raised pies - see the genuine Melton Mowbray pies. It is much easier to "raise" them using a greased jar as the mould.

You need to do the modelling while the dough is still slightly warm (not too hot or it wont hold its shape, not too cool or it is too hard to model).

Also of course it is easier to make small, individual size pies first.

Final option is to use a springform tin - works well, and you can un-spring it towards the end of cooking, after the shape is "set", to brown it. Very elaborate decorative pie moulds used to be used. Ivan Day's site has some lovely examples.

Janet

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Poor jackal10.  No one remembers his hot water crust demo (it's a cut-and-paste in the first post of the topic) from many moons ago.  I remember it well, because I always wanted to make that pork pie--it looked so good!  Unfortunately, I am too lazy to make anything like it, other than sausage rolls with ready-made puff pastry.

No disrespect but I thought the crust demo pie looked a bit pathetic.

I have made quite a lot of these pies trying freeform, pie tin with removable bottom, a wooden dolly and moulded around a jar.

My prefered method is the jar.

Use an ordinary jar grease it then flour it.

Roll the dough into a thick circle, turn the jar upside down place the pastry on the bottom then mould it up the sides.

Stick it in the fridg for a few minutes where it will stiffen up then take it out and ease of the jar.

My recipe for the hot water pastry is:

300grams flour

96grams lard

270grams water

5grams Salt

Weigh out the flour and add the salt.

Put the water and lard into a pan and bring to the boil.

Pour it into the flour and mix well.

I generally use a wooden spoon to mix at first as the dough is pretty hot.

This dough also freezes o/k, then to use just defrost and knead a bit and off you go.

Norm

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No disrespect but I thought the crust demo pie looked a bit pathetic.

It could just be me, but using the word "pathetic" always implies at least a little disrespect, doesn't it?

It most definitely looked homemade, but I like my pie crusts on the dark side, so I thought it looked quite good.

fatmat's demo might suit you more. His pork pie is prettier. I'd eat that one, too.

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This is shameful! I notice that I was impressed last year, and did nothing about it then either! :blush:

I see Adam says to let the completed and filled piecrust cool and harden before baking. From what I vaguely remember of drunkenly lurching pies, that sounds like a good tip.

I think I probably also tried to thin the crust too much.

Darn it, a person's honor is at stake, pie must be made!

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I honestly did not mean to be disrespectful and I must apologise my wording was a bit crude.

I served an apprentiship in catering before a career at sea as a chef and in my early days this was often said to me: "Norman thats pathetic get a grip"

I always done better the next time.

Norm

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Norm--no problema. I know professionals tend to use harsher language than us poor (hypersensitive :biggrin: ) home cooks. I just felt sorry for jackal10's poor pie. It's feelings were hurt, doncha know!

Tepee--but wherever would I get the jellied stock with which to fill the hole? Would it be as good without the jellied stock? I love meat pies, but if I'm going to make it for the first time, I want it to be good!

I could just make the crust and stuff it with apples or something. But as I understand it, hot water crusts don't make the best crusts for anything but meat pies. Maybe I could put some of my leftover pot roast with sauce in there?

Before looking for jackal10's demo, I knew I had seen a beautiful pork pie with hot water crust. It was the innards that were beautiful--you could see the jellied stock so clearly. But jackal10's pie's jellied stock wasn't so easily seen, and though you could see fatmat's jellied stock, I knew that wasn't the right one, either. I finally found it here. :wub:

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If there is a pie challenge, then I will try and make a better one...Fatmat's is really good, but TP will win since she is much neater and her pastrywork is really good.

Dickinson and Morris is about the only piemaker left in Melton. Who else has the tradition of Pork Pie for breakfast on Christmas day?

Jellied stock: ideally from boiling bones, but otherwise stock plus gelatine.

You can leave it out..

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Rona, find a real butchery and ask for "tonsoku" (pig foot) or even "tonkotsu" (pork bones). If you tell them you will come back the next day if they prefer, it makes their life easier. In any case, they may have to order the trotter(s) in for you.

A Japanese site mentions ordering them, and getting a small bag with about 500g of trotters, split vertically.

Your latest link mentions chicken and pork together - that sounds good.

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question? Could this crust be used for any savory pie? Like a beef pot pie (stew, basically) or chicken pot pie? I know they'd have to be pretty dry, and what gravy there was would have to be very thick, but I find regular pie crust just don't hold up well when I want to make a pot pie. Just a thought.

And if the answer is that they won't hold up, I wonder if anyone has thought of, or tried something not so ornamental as a malange' of game birds, but of just pressed duck breast, or even barely wet pulled pork. I may be talking sacrilage here....don't want to piss off the traditionalist.

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go Scottish!

a hot water and lard crust is traditional for scotch pies, macaroni pies, bean and potato pies and steak pies.

a good recipe for scotch pie can be found here and the others are fairly intuitive! for macaroni pie start with a thickish macaroni cheese (leftovers are perfect) and just bake as directed in the scotch pie recipe.

I love hot water crust, tonight we are having bean and potato pies for our dinner (I'll try to take pictures, they are delicious)

Who else has the tradition of Pork Pie for breakfast on Christmas day?

we do, we all love pork pie for Christmas breakfast... I made our own last year (from rcmb) and it was lovely, I decorated the crust with pigs cut from the pastry scraps :wub:

that, a few pickled things and some cheese.... mmm

Spam in my pantry at home.

Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

wierd al ~ spam

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I made 4 pies over the weekend, and found many of the hints very useful. (Filling - 1 batch of pork and spices; 1 batch of chicken, bacon, apples, curry spices - the flavor of the pork pies was outstanding, but my family, unused to this type of pie, rather prefered the lighter chicken/apple filling).

I'm sure that I didn't knead my pastry smooth on my first attempt, but the kneaded pastry was much more malleable. Cooling the formed crust - I cooled it in an unheated November kitchen for a couple of hours, but the second batch, cooled for a further 1-2 hours, were even more robust.

The finished pies were best 2-3 days after baking, when the flavors had mellowed, and the pastry had also softened just a little.

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Someone at another forum says that a pie crust recipe calling for boiling water to be poured over the lard turns out really well.  I've never made one this way and I have to know if ayone else has.  Wouldn't using melted lard make it impossible to have a flaky crust?  I guess it would be the same as pie crusts with oil, but I've never seen the point of those, either.  Someone enlighten me, please.

Hot water crust pastry is the type used for the "old fashioned" raised pies such as the famous English Melton Mowbray pie. The pastry is very robust - not flaky. It is different from other pastry in that it can be moulded like clay - so free-standing crusts (used to be called "coffins" in the old days) can be modelled.

Its important to understand that this type of pastry is not remotely 'flaky' ... :smile: "Robust" is a very polite way of putting it!

There's a slight variation in the method used by my pal Pricey.

His method is illustrated and described *here*.

He mixes the pastry hot, but having added some butter, he can rest (and cool) it before rolling.

He forms the pie *inside* a cake tin.

Then having filled, topped and baked the pie, he unmoulds it, glazes it with egg-wash and briefly bakes on the glaze.

It may be considered to be cheating a little, but I can personally confirm that Pricey does make a jolly good Pork Pie. :wink:

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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question? Could this crust be used for any savory pie? Like a beef pot pie (stew, basically) or chicken pot pie? I know they'd have to be pretty dry, and what gravy there was would have to be very thick, but I find regular pie crust just don't hold up well when I want to make a pot pie. Just a thought.

And if the answer is that they won't hold up, I wonder if anyone has thought of, or tried something not so ornamental as a malange' of game birds, but of just pressed duck breast, or even barely wet pulled pork. I may be talking sacrilage here....don't want to piss off the traditionalist.

The basic point is that in England, such pies would only be eaten cold, at ambient temperature, with a filling that has jelled/solidified, so that it can be served cut into wedge slices like a large sponge cake.

Pork and apple, pork and caramelised onion and (pork and) game pies are quite mainstream.

As such, large pies are delicatessen-type food, for serving at home with a salad or to be part of a smart picnic hamper. Individual (single-portion) pies are sold too.

In Scotland however... a similar (if not lardier) pastry might be found holding hot minced beef (or mutton) in gravy (or even, as Binkyboots writes, such strangenesses as macaroni in a cheese sauce) in take-away (street-type) food shops. The pastry functions as a ruggedised container... :raz:

These are hot, small, cheap and utilitarian. Scottish 'soul food'. (Despite the lack of oatmeal!)

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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To blow Dan Lepard's trumpet ( :blink: ?) for a moment!

He has a baking supplement coming out in this Saturday's edition of The Guardian newspaper (UK), and he has posted a teaser on his own forum...

One of the pix is this:

gallery_1672_3587_25058.jpg

Dan normally posts his Guardian recipes on his forum after publication. Don't know what the position will be with these...

The story (so far) is here

http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1566

Certainly looks excellent!

[Host's note: Use of the above image was authorized by the owner]

Edited by gfron1 (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I stayed clear of the whole "definitive pork pie" thing, and the one in the newspaper tomorrow is a gammon and pork pie. The gammon (uncooked cured pork) is mixed with the fresh pork overnight in the refrigerator, together with the spices, and this makes the pork go a little pink. It isn't nearly as hard as traditional wisdom says it should be, and I suspect the pork pie establishment put out scare stories to ward off renegade home bakers whipping up pork pies in their kitchens. I let the dough get to room temperature, and make it with lard and a little butter.

I would even say it was easier to make a good hot water crust pie than you might imagine. A world-class championship one? That might be difficult. But a very good one should be an easy task for anyone willing to put a bit of time into it.

Dan

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