Thursday, September 8, 2011

Make The Perfect Pie Crust Every Time!

  I have to thank my wonderful mother for having the patience to teach me (at quite a young age) the skills required to make a perfect pie crust. I learned from the best-the woman won many blue ribbons at state fairs for her apple pie, and much of that had to do with her fantastic crust. Here are the rules she taught me:

  Use a fork to combine the shortening, salt and flour until it forms thick crumbs (you want chunks of shortening to remain-it gives the dough a flaky, buttery-ness)


  Use ice cold water, and not too much of it (sprinkle it in a little at a time, just until the dough comes together)

  Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface. The circumference of the dough should be about 1 1/2" bigger (all the way around) than your pie pan-any bigger and your crust will be too thin to hold it's own against your filling.

  Roll your dough up onto a rolling pin (or fold in fourths) and place it in the pie pan, leaving an even over-hang all the way around. Fold the ends under and into the pan. Crimp the edges. Here's where you can choose for yourself how to bake it. For some reason I have yet to buy pie weights, and I have a real problem wasting dry beans for this, so I simply poke the crust all over with a fork and bake it. Now, sometimes doing this results in my crust shrinking a little, but not so much that I've changed my ways. Maybe someday I'll suck it up and buy some pie weights.
  Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown (over-baking will result in a very dry crust).

  And the most important rule of all (In my mother's words): "It's not playdough"; meaning don't "work" the dough. You want to handle the dough as little as possible. Your reward for not playing with your food will be the most flaky, buttery crust you've ever eaten in your life!

My mother's pie crust recipe (double-crust):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter-flavored shortening
dash salt
(I add 1 tsp. sugar because I love the extra burst of flavor)
ice water (use sparingly)

Watch for my Vanilla Bean Banana Cream Pie to follow (it's why I chose to demo a single-crust for this post).

No comments:

Post a Comment