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Shortcrust Piebase via The Creaming Method


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The Creaming Method for for making Piebase, a very short paste used for making pie crusts for savoury style pies, as is typical in Australia, is an excellent method for warmer environments. The history of the method extends bak to late 1800's early 1900's. It is not a variation on hot water pastry.

 

Most people are aware of Shortcrust pie dough methods that involve cutting the fat into the flour THEN adding the liquid, i.e. water is the variable in the method. With the Creaming Method, flour is the variable in the method.

 

Typically you take all your liquids and fats and 30-50% of your flour and combine them, mixing until smooth and clear. A stand mixer is a very useful item here. Once the moist dough is clear, the rest of the flour can be added piecemeal until a dough of the desired firmness comes together. Once reached, stop. No more mixing.

 

Set Piebase dough aside to rest for aprox. 2 hours before pinning out. Once made up in your favourite pie form, with desired filling, and with a top of same, or other, pastry, set the pie aside for at least one hour to rest before baking. This is necessary to combat possible shrinkage issues.

 

Enjoy.

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Can you describe the texture of the resulting dough when it's baked? I presume it would be biscuit-like (ie, cookie-ish) rather than flaky?

“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Can you post some further information?  I have never heard of this, but then I'm not much of a baker.  I am spectacularly bad at pastry crust and would like to try this method.  I did a Google search and could not find much about this method and what I did find called for egg yolks and sugar neither of which you mention. 

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1 hour ago, chromedome said:

... biscuit-like (ie, cookie-ish) rather than flaky?

Its not biscuit like although is is quite short. Are you familiar with Australian & New Zealand Pies? The texture is quite firm but when you break it open it tends to have a fine crumb which holds together well. This base is often combined with a half puff or rough puff pastry top to make what some refer to as "double crust" pies. The trouble with a standard shortcrust base is that if there's not enough water in the paste, it tend to be to not firm enough for hand holding the pie, and puff pastry tends towards soggy greasyness especially if not baked at a high enough temperature.

 

6 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Can you post some further information?  ... I did a Google search and could not find much about this method...

I wrote about this a while back here. This method will not produce soft flaky pastries, but with the addition of some sugar, or egg, or milk etc. you can change the properties of your piebase, within limits, to suit your needs.

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Okay, gotcha. A sturdy but still enjoyable dough for handheld pies, or a utilitarian and relatively sog-proof bottom crust for fruit pies (with an alternative crust on top, if desired, where flakiness would show/be appreciated). 

 

 

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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This is basically how Italians do their "pasta frolla" in general (there is long classification of kinds of short pastries) and it's also how I was thought pate sucree while I was a student at the French Culinary Institute. It's funny how what the italian call a sablee is totally different

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Usually just before regular filling and baking on both sweet and savory pies. I usually only blind bake crusts like sucre that will be filled with pastry cream or mousse, and I paint those with a thin layer of tempered chocolate (chocolate type based on the pie flavor) as a barrier.

 

If something is going to cook quickly, like a quiche or a pie where I am just heating the filling through, I might blind bake halfway with the weights, remove the weights then egg wash. There are just some crusts that need the weights if they're going to be blind-baked.

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