Pie Pastry How to and Tips

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“Pie crust and some helpful tips and techniques”
2 pies

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Sift together the flour and salt; sift again. Cut in the shortening or lard with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time (approximately 3 tablespoons in all), stirring the dough around the bowl with a fork. As soon as it is moist enough to gather into a ball, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Handle the dough as little as possible. Roll half of the pastry dough out on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. The pastry should be about 1 1/2 inches larger than the the pie plate. Repeat with the other half of dough for a double crust pie, or freeze the remaining dough for a future pie. Makes enough for a double crust for a 9- or 10-inch pie, or two single crusts.
  2. My Note: I trusted this one and had a wonderful result. The juices from the filling didn't even make the crust soggy. Like some PotPie Do.
  3. * If recipe calls for a pre-baked crust, prick the pie shell with a fork and bake in a preheated 350*F. oven for about 3 minutes; remove from the oven and prick some more if the crust is puffing up. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes longer. Place on a wire rack to cool, then fill as recipe directs.
  4. * For best results, refrigerate all ingredients prior to making the dough - even the flour.
  5. *Use pastry flour or all-purpose. Bread flour has too much gluten to make a tender crust, and cake flour is too soft to give the proper body.
  6. *Lard and shortening produce the most tender crusts. You may use half lard or shortening and half butter if you want the buttery flavor.
  7. *The pockets of fat make the flakiness in the crust. Use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut in fat. Dough should still have some pea-size pieces. Handle as little as possible with your hands.
  8. *All liquids should be ice-cold.
  9. *For a flakier crust, substitute ice cold sour cream or heavy cream for the water.
  10. *Sugar in a pastry dough sweetens and tenderizes.
  11. *Blend liquid in just until the dough begins to hold together. Overworking toughens the dough.
  12. *Chill the dough for 30 minutes for easier rolling.
  13. *To prevent a soggy crust, refrigerate for 15 minutes before filling or seal by brushing with slightly beaten egg white, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  14. *Setting the pie pan on a metal baking sheet during baking also helps prevent soggy crusts.
  15. *Enhance the flavor of your dough by adding spices such as nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon.
  16. *Meringue won't "weep" if you blend a teaspoon of cornstarch into the sugar before beating it into the egg whites.
  17. *Sprinkle toasted ground nuts or fine cookie crumbs over the dough and gently press them in before filling or baking.
  18. ** How to Freeze Pie Crust Dough **
  19. Take some of the work out of making pie by making your pie crusts ahead and freezing them. Here's how:
  20. Option 1:
  21. 1. Make up the dough for your pie crust, following the instructions in the recipe that you've chosen.
  22. 2. Then, form the dough into a ball; and place it in a freezer bag, or wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap. Label and date it.
  23. Note: If your pie crust recipe makes more than one crust, divide the dough into individual pie amounts before freezing.
  24. 4. Store your dough in the freezer for up to three months.
  25. To Use: Thaw your pie dough in the fridge overnight. Then, roll it out as usual.
  26. Option 2:
  27. 1. Make your dough; roll it out; and form your crust in a pie plate.
  28. 2. Then, stick the whole thing – pie plate and all – in a freezer bag.
  29. To Use: Thaw your pie crust in the refrigerator overnight, and proceed with your pie recipe; or use your crust frozen, and simply add a couple minutes to the normal bake time.
  30. Tips: Keep a couple pie crusts in the freezer at all times for easy last-minute desserts.
  31. Think about making your pie filling ahead, too.
  32. Make your pie crusts in disposable pie plates, so you can make a bunch at once (this will also make them easy to stack in the freezer).
  33. *And practice! Every time you make a pie crust from scratch, it will get easier. Soon it will take only a few minutes - less time than letting a refrigerated crust soften at room temperature. And the cost savings are really tremendous. Have fun experimenting!

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