Jacob Haller (jwgh) wrote,
Jacob Haller

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Pie crust notes

The pie crusts I made yesterday turned out better than any pie crusts I've made before, I think, so here are some notes that might help me replicate this success next time.

Let's see.

I used the 'Basic Pie Dough' recipe in the Joy of Cooking. I multiplied the quantities by 1 1/2, which seemed to work out pretty well for a pair of one-crust 9-inch pie crusts.

I didn't have a pastry blender and they didn't seem to sell them at the Stop & Shop so I ended up using a potato masher instead, which seemed to work pretty well.

The Joy says to cut (or, in my case, mash) half the shortening into the flour mixture until it has 'the grain of cornmeal' (which I took to mean 'until it's all mashed together really good and there aren't any big blobs of anything'), then to mash the rest of it in until it is pea-sized.

It said to use four tablespoons of water. However, I recall that flour absorbs moisture from the air when it is really humid, which it was yesterday, so I ended up using more like 3 1/2 tablespoons.

After that I gathered the dough into a couple of balls, wrapped it in waxed paper, and put it in the fridge for about a half hour. This is a trick my father told me about and it makes the dough roll better for some reason, maybe because it allows the moisture in the dough to equalize.

Then I rolled the dough out on a floured board. Once it was the right size I used a spatula to fold it into thirds and transfer it to the pie plate. Then I unfolded it, repositioned it, and shaped the edges. Then I stabbed it with a fork quite a bit, maybe one set of fork-pricks every inch, so that no bubbles would form while I was cooking it. Ideally I would have put something in the pie plate on top of the dough to make sure that it didn't bubble or otherwise deform, but I didn't have anything suitable, so I just had to trust to the fates.

The recipe said to cook for 8-12 minutes. It's necessary to check it pretty often, since once it's cooked it will go on to being burned very quickly. The bottom of the dough should brown very lightly.
Tags: cooking, pie

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