Pie Crust

I would like to know if anyone has any advice on how to make a pie
crust that is flaky and easy to prepare. I've just starting to do
more baking and I am not familiar with many tips on pie crust recipes.
Thanks
Reply to
michele
There are two qualities that people look for in pie pastry. It should be flaky and tender. Flakiness comes from bits of fat in the dough. Tenderness comes from low gluten development. Both of these qualities are enhanced from keeping mixing to a minimum. I prefer to make pie pastry in the food processor, although you can make it in a bowl using a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the fat into the flour. I like to use 6 oz ( 14 tablespoons) of butter and 4 tablespoons of shortening for the fat. It is important to keep the fat (especially the butter) very cold. I use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cake flour. The cake flour is low in proteins that produce gluten.
For the food processor method: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup cake flour 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks butter) very cold (preferably frozen) cut into small pieces 4 tablespoons shortening, very cold 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg yolk - optional 2 tablespoons of sugar if making a sweet pastry 1/4 cup water, and more if need
Put the flour, salt, and sugar if using, into the FP bowl and pulse a few times. Add the cold butter and pulse about 6 times. Add the shortening and egg yolk. With the FP running, slowly add the water until the dough forms lumps about the size of walnuts. Stop the FP and dump the mixture onto the counter. Bring the dough together. Divide into two pieces and flatten each into a disk. Wrap with plastic film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. May be frozen at this point.
If making by hand, mix the flour and salt. Using a pasty blender (pasty cutter) or two knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour. It should resemble coarse meal. Slowly add the water while mixing with a fork. When it is uniformly moist, bring it together and proceed as above.
Making pie pastry takes some practice so don't be discouraged if it isn't perfect at first.
Reply to
Vox Humana
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the recipes, Michele. It will explain why a piecrust becomes mealy and why flaky. --=20 Sincerly,
C=3D=A6-)=A7 H. W. Hans Kuntze, CMC, S.g.K. (_o_)
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, snipped-for-privacy@cmcchef.com"Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it Happened"_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/
Reply to
H. W. Hans Kuntze
-------------- * Easy Recipe Deluxe Export Format 1.3 * --------------
Title: My Never Fail Pastry Recipe By: Category: Pastry; Peagram; Family Main Ingredient: Cuisine Style: Yield: 4 Servings Preparation Time: 0:00 Cooking Time: 0:00
[Amount] [Measure] [Ingredient (or Header)] -- [Preparation] ---------- ------------ ---------------------------------------------- *********************** MMMMMMM BY H. PEAGRAM *********************** 1 lb Shortening 5 cup Flour 2 tsp Salt 1 medium Egg 1 tbsp Vinegar ;Cold water
[Preparation] Beat egg in measuring cup. Add cold water to measure 1 cup. Add 1 tbsp vinegar. Put 1/2 dry ingredients in processor. Add liquid, about 1/2 cup while processing til mixture forms a lump. Repeat. Combine 2 lots and let rest for 30 minutes or more. Make pie crusts as usual. I prefer using a heavy pastry cloth.
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Reply to
LIMEYNO1
My family has loved my pie crust for years. I use a 50/50 mix of cake and AP flour.....and I use only LARD. I just don't tell them! The secret is Frozen cut lard pieces going into the food processor, and Ice Water. I divide into 2, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a full hour before working. If making a fruit pie, like apple, cherry, etc; before putting the fruit into the crust, lay down a thin layer or peach or apricot preserves. This will keep the fruit juice from going down into your crust, making it soggy, before it bakes.
Reply to
Nortwoods
I tired lard and it did go well. The only lard I could find was some in a box like butter comes in. Maybe if the lard was frozen it would have worked better, but the stuff was at room temperature and melted virtually upon touching it. I know that I had elderly family members who make lard crusts and I doubt that they froze the lard first. Did I buy the wrong type of lard or were the problems due to my technique? I make a pretty good crust with butter.
Reply to
Vox Humana
"Vox Humana" wrote in news:Px%ib.32448$ snipped-for-privacy@fe1.columbus.rr.com:
Vox, you always offer such wonderful and detailed advice. I recall you having posting this before and, although I've always made great pie crust, began following your method. Now my crusts are even better!
Wayne
Reply to
Wayne Boatwright
"Vox Humana" wrote in news:4F0jb.40953$ snipped-for-privacy@fe2.columbus.rr.com:
You're correct that our elders would not have frozen the lard. However, they were probably using a somewhat different type of lard called "leaf lard". It has a much firmer texture and, aside from that, simply make a better crust. Unfortunately, leaf lard is rather difficult to find. You might check with you butcher and ask if they can get it for you.
Wayne
Reply to
Wayne Boatwright
My grandmother taught me to cut your fat in twice: first time like cornmeal (for tenderness) and the second time to pea-size (for flakiness). Everything (even flour if possible) should be cold, cold, cold.
I like to use 1/3 butter, 1/3 shortening and 1/3 lard. Lard makes the flakiest crust, so I add it in for the second cut.
BTW, remember if using margarine to use the stick kind, not the whipped.
Reply to
CG
You are probably right about the lard. The relatives I am thinking of lived on farms and butchered their own pigs.
Reply to
Vox Humana
Thanks. I can't take much credit for this as it is basically Julia Child's recipe from "The Way to Cook." I have tried a lot of different recipes and techniques and this one seems to have the best combination of flavor, flakiness, tenderness, and ease of handling.
Reply to
Vox Humana
I would add that not all stick margarine is equal. Some is only 65% fat while butter is about 80% fat. That said, I can't see any reason to use margarine. I would just use shortening (regular or butter flavored) since margarine is basically shortening with water, color, flavoring, and other assorted things added depending on the brand.
Reply to
Vox Humana
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 05:43:24 GMT
Manteca is 'stabalized' lard. In summary, it's hydrogenated so it's more solid at room temperature, and somehow treated so that it doesn't require refrigeration either. It's common in mexican food. Or at least it used to be. I know a lot of people who argue that flour tortillas just aren't the same without it.
- Eric
Reply to
Eric Jorgensen
:
90% of the problem is skill and practice. Making a crust flaky isn't difficult once you've done it enough, but without some practice and skill, risks failure even though the directions are simple. The basic idea:
Cut (solid) fat into flour using a pastry cutter or 2 knives. This means use literally a cutting motion through the fat, which you've dumped into the flour, not a stirring motion. You can lift the flour over the fat, but not stir it.
Don't proceed too far with cutting. The mixture should still be very uneven and not fully blended when you stop. I aim for a mix resembling coarse breadcrumbs mixed with peas.
Do everything gently. This means don't apply much force at any point, in any direction.
Use lard for flakiness. The best is leaf lard you've rendered yourself. Next best is leaf lard that you've bought. Supermarket brick lard will work OK but is not an ideal choice.
Not all the fat need be lard. In fact, it's best if it isn't. Half lard, half butter works better because the flavour is almost infinitely better. Once you get skilled, you can use all butter, but this will require working quickly and being very careful.
Don't skimp on fat ratios. I've used a ratio of 2:5 fat : flour for some time, and in fact 1:2 is less risky if you've not got plenty of practice.
After you've cut in the fat, add water. Add only just enough that it will barely hold together when you press it gently. Adding too much water is your ticket to an iron crust. You'll probably think you haven't added enough the first time you make a crust. It's best to add a tablespoonful at a time, staying on the low side initially.
Roll gently as well. It should roll with *no* pressure at all on the pin. The weight of the pin itself should do the job. Your hands should guide the pin only. This means the best way to do it is to cradle the handles rather than grip them.
Keep everything cold. This means chill fats, flours, and water before making, and chill bowls, boards, pins, knives, etc. Work quickly and in a cool room. If you're making a 2-crust pie, put the ball for the top crust in the fridge while you roll the bottom.
Again, practice, practice, practice. Take stock of what you did for each pie and make note of the results. That way you can find what works and what doesn't.
Reply to
Alex Rast
Eric Jorgensen wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@xmission.com:
Is it truly "lard", as in animal fat, or is it a vegetable product?
Wayne
Reply to
Wayne Boatwright
Eric Jorgensen wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@xmission.com:
As if by magic, I happened onto some at Walmart tonight. I didn't buy it so I don't know the consistency. However, the hydrogenation process may very well make it firm enough to use without freezing.
Reply to
Wayne Boatwright

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