Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DIY -- the pie crust debate

I finally made decently flaky crust for a pie and there are things some of the "experts" don't tell you.
First, I use non-dairy, non-lard shortening.  Mother's Passover Margarine is perfect, although it comes in a block and you have to cram it into a measuring cup FOR SOLIDS to make sure you have the right amount..
Second, the Inglenook Cookbook says each crust should be 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup shortening, and a pinch of salt, plus up to 6 tablespoons COLD water.  This makes one crust for a 9 inch shallow-dish or deep-dish pie.
The water MUST be COLD.
I always make 2 crusts, and THE TRICK was I put an egg yolk in 1/4  cup (equals 6 tablespoons) cold water, beat that up pretty well, and dumped it into the bowl after cutting the shortening into the flour.   The dough came out nice and soft, rolled beautifully, didn't need much extra flour to firm up for transfer to the pie dish, and baked up flaky.
Third, they tell you to chill the crust after rolling out. 
You MUST do this if your shortening is butter.  Pastry made with butter ALWAYS  has to be chilled before use to let it age a little while the flour absorbs the butter properly.
You don't have to do this with my margarine.
Another option is, once you get the dough rolled out to the right size the first time, brush half of it with the white of the egg, fold over, and roll out again.  Do this one more time.  Then use any leftover egg white to brush the top crust before baking.
To transfer the dough, roll it partway around your rolling pin, lift and move. 
And then of course you need to make some cinnamon sugar, because you will always have leftover scraps of crust which make nice sugar cookies.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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