Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tips for making a flaky pie crust!

My mom makes the most wonderful flaky pie crust and home made pies! A couple of years ago she did a class on making a flaky pie crust and sent me her notes. I love a good pie and my mom has spoiled me with some amazing pies. I will share some pie recipes with you soon, but for now, here are her tips on making a flaky pie crust!




TIPS FOR MAKING A FLAKY PIE CRUST

· ALWAYS USE VERY COLD LARD AND LIQUID

· USE A BOWL THAT IS MUCH LARGER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED SO IT IS EASIER TO MIX.

· CUT LARD INTO CHUNKS BEFORE BLENDING INTO FLOUR.

· USE A PASTRY BLENDER. BLENDING IN LARD TO THE SIZE OF A LIMA BEAN.

· MAKE SURE YOU MIX IN ALL THE FLOUR ON THE BOTTOM BY USING THE PASTRY BLENDER TO SCRAPE ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL TO BRING THE FLOUR UP FROM THE BOTTOM.

· WHEN STIRRING IN LIQUID, BLEND GENTLY WITH A FORK. I LIKE TO USE A LARGE SERVING SIZE FORK FOR THIS.

· IT IS EASIEST IF YOU USE A HEAVY PIECE OF PLASTIC TO ROLL YOUR DOUGH OUT ON. I JUST CUT AN 18-INCH SQUARE. YOU CAN BUY IT BY THE HALF YARD IN SOME FABRIC STORES. OR YOU CAN USE A PIECE OF PLASTIC TABLECLOTH. PURCHASE ½ YARD AND USE ONE FOR YOURSELF AND GIVE ONE TO A BEST FRIEND THAT YOU WILL WANT TO TEACH HOW TO MAKE PERFECT PIE CRUST!

· HANDLE DOUGH VERY, VERY TENDERLY USING A GENEROUS AMOUNT OF FLOUR SO IT WON’T STICK TO PLASTIC SHEET.

· PLACE A PIECE OF DOUGH ABOUT THE SIZE OF A BASEBALL ON TO THE PASTRY SHEET, BARELY HANDLING IT SO YOU WON’T TOUGHEN DOUGH BY MIXING IN THE LARD BY FORMING IT INTO A TIGHT BALL.

· SPRINKLE A GENEROUS AMOUNT OF FLOUR ON TOP OF THE PIECE OF DOUGH SO IT WON’T STICK TO THE ROLLING PIN.

· GENTLY FLATTEN THE DOUGH WITH THE PALM OF YOUR HAND.

· ROLL OUT IN FOUR DIRECTIONS, NOT BACK AND FORTH. DO NOT USE THE HANDLES ON THE SIDE OF THE ROLLING PIN, RATHER USE THE PALMS OF YOUR HANDS TO ROLL THE DOUGH, BUT ONLY PUSH GENTLY.

· ROLL ONCE FORWARD, ONCE BACK (FROM THE CENTER) THEN, TURN THE PASTRY SHEET AROUND TO REPEAT THE FORWARD AND BACK MOTION AGAIN. BY TURNING THE PASTRY SHEET AROUND IT IS EASIER TO MAKE THE DOUGH INTO A CIRCLE A LITTLE LARGER THAN YOUR PIE PAN.

· WHEN THE DOUGH IS ROLLED OUT, WE WANT TO SEE THE PIECES OF LARD. THIS IS WHAT MAKES A FLAKY CRUST.

· WITH PLASTIC SHEET BRING ROLLED DOUGH AROUND THE ROLLING PIN AND GENTLY ROLL ONTO PIE PAN. HOLD THE ROLLING PIN HANDLE WITH YOUR HAND AND ALSO HOLD THE PIN WITH YOUR FIRST FINGER SO IT WILL STAY IN PLACE SO YOU CAN CONTROL THE DOUGH TO ROLL IN ON TO THE PIE PLATE

· PUSH EDGES INTO PAN AND CUT EDGE WITH A FORK.

· DO NOT MAKE THE SCRAPS INTO A BALL, RATHER JUST GENTLY PLACE ON TOP OF YOUR NEXT AND REPEAT PROCESS.

· WE TREAT PASTRY DOUGH THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF BREAD DOUGH. THE LESS WE WORK WITH IT THE MORE TENDER AND DELICIOUS THE CRUST.


Tender Pie Crust

Mix well in large bowl: 5 cups flour & 2 tsp salt

Mix in the salt with your pastry blender.
Cut up 1 lb COLD lard into flour.
Using a pastry blender blend till lard pieces are about the size of a lima bean

Pour 1 c milk in a liquid measuring cup and add 1 ½ tbs apple cider vinegar, stir.

Drizzle ½ of the milk over the flour/lard mixture and mix gently with a fork.

Add the rest and mix GENTLY until it just starts sticking together. Add more milk if needed. Dough should just stick together. Do not over mix.

THIS IS ENOUGH DOUGH TO MAKE 6 PIE SHELLS.
I make them and stack them together and freeze them for future use. PLACE IN A PLASTIC BAG OF WRAP IN FOIL. YOU ARE THEN READY TO MAKE A PIE WITH ALL THE MESS DONE AHEAD OF TIME!

**I LIKE TO MAKE A LARGE AMOUNT OF CRUMB TOPPING FOR MOST OF MY PIES SO I MAKE A LARGE AMOUNT AND STORE IT IN THE FREEZER IN A ZIP LOCK BAG, SO I AM EASLIY READY TO MAKE PIES AND HAVE ALREADY MAKE CRUMB TOPPING AND THE MESS OF MAKING THE CRUSTS ONCE IN 6 PIES.

I ALSO SCRAPE THE LITTLE BIT OF LEFT OVER DOUGH INTO A PILE ADD ALITTLE FLOUR TO IT AND CUT IT INTO SMALL PIECES AND MIX IT IN WITH MY CRUMB TOPPING. IT MAKES IT MORE DELICIOUS AND THEN THERE IS NO WASTE.

Crumb Topping

3 cups flour
3 cups brown sugar
1 ½ sticks cold butter or margarine
Blend well with a pastry blender till all is blended in to a nice crumbly mixture. Store in a gallon size zip lock bag and store in the freezer.

I usually sprinkle on about 2 cups of crumb topping to each pie. If you want to make an apple crisp you can use this topping for that and if you want add about ¾ c oatmeal to about 2 c topping crumbs. YUM!!

WHEN I AM READY TO MAKE A PIE, FROM THE STACK OF FROZEN PIE SHELLS, I JUST POP APART THE AMOUNT I WANT TO USE. IT WILL THAW OUT AS YOU MAKE YOUR FILLING. THEN MAKE THE FANCY EDGE AND FILL.

IF YOU DECIDE YOU WANT TO MAKE A PIE WITH A CRUST ON TOP, ADD CHUNKS OF BUTTER OR MARGARINE, MAYBE 4 OR 5 OVER THE TOP OF YOUR FILLING, THEN JUST PUT THE FROZEN ONE ON TOP OF THE PIE WITH FILLING, LET IT THAW ENOUGH TO HANDLE AND MAKE THE FANCY EDGE. I LIKE TO EITHER BRUSH THE TOP WITH MILK OR SOME BEATEN EGG. THIS MAKES THE PIE CRUST BAKE GOLDEN AND SO BEAUTIFUL.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A PREBAKED PIE SHELL FOR A CREAM/PUDDING PIE, PRICK THE BOTTOM AND SIDES OF THE THAWED SHELL WITH A FORK, MAKE THE FANCY EDGE.

PLACE AN EMPTY PIE TIN INSIDE THE UNBAKED CRUST. THIS HELPS IT TO STAY FORMED SINCE IT CAN’T FALL INTO THE CENTER WHILE BAKING. ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH THE BAKING TIME YOU CAN REMOVE THE EMPTY PIE PAN ON TOP TO FINISH THE BAKING. IT USUALLY TAKES ABOUT 20 MINUTES depending on your oven, TO BAKE A PIE SHELL FOR CREAM PIES. Let cool completely before adding cold pudding.

ALWAYS BAKE PIES ON A RACK IN THE CENTER OF THE OVEN RATHER THAN WITH THE RACK ON THE BOTTOM. DEPENDING UPON THE SIZE OF YOUR OVEN YOU CAN BAKE 2-4 PIES AT A TIME.

DO NOT BAKE PIES ON MORE THAN ONE SHELF.

IF YOU ARE MAKING A PUMPKIN OR CUSTARD PIE, PLACE THE EMPTY PIE SHELLS ON THE OVEN RACK, THEN POUR IN THE LIQUID PIE MIXTURE. THIS IS MUCH EASIER TO CONTROL WITHOUT SPILLING THE LIQUID. GENTLY PUSH IN THE RACK SO AS NOT TO SPILL.

I USUALLY LINE THE BOTTOM OF MY OVEN WITH FOIL SO IF IT SPILLS OVER IS MUCH EASIER TO CLEAN UP.

I BAKE ALL OF MY PIES AT 350* EVEN THO A RECIPE MY SAY 400* OR 425* BECAUSE THE PASTRY GETS WAY TOO DARK. SOME OF THE RECIPES THAT I GAVE YOU ARE BAKED AT 325* THIS MAKES FOR A VERY TENDER CRUST FOR THOES PARTICULAR KINDS OF RECIPES.

IF YOU WANT TO USE PART WHEAT FLOUR OR ALL WHEAT FLOUR YOU CAN, BUT BECAUSE OF THE GROUND KERNALS IT WILL BE MORE HEAVY, BUT VERY LUSCIOUS.


This is a recipe using Crisco. …

PERFECT PIE CRUST

4 c flour
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1 ¾ c solid shortening (do not use oil, lard, margarine or butter)
½ c water
1 T white or cider vinegar
1 large egg

Put first 3 ingredients in large bowl and mix well with fork.
Add shortening and mix well with fork till crumbly.
Combine the two mixtures, stirring with fork until all are moistened.
Divide into 5 portions and make into a ball.
Wrap each portion in plastic and chill at least ½ hour.
Roll on slightly floured board.
Bake 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees in preheated oven. For a tart, bake 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees.
Make 5 pie shells or 2/1/2 double piecrusts.

-Marcia Clark

2 comments:

Chef Tess said...

All I can say is WOW! This is the kind of tutorial everyone can follow and do! The stuff I paid a ton of money for in culinary school and you are just giving it out for free!! What is a gal to do? Well Cheer you on for sure!! Tell your mom she is doing it just like the professionals... but then again, you already know that! Love the picture too! Perfect!! I will be visiting here again and sending my friends!!

Janelle Openshaw said...

Thank you so much Chef Tess! I will pass your note on to my mom :) I have some favorite pie recipes that I will be posting soon. I am glad you are enjoying the blog.
-Janelle