May 3, 2009

Sunday School 3.14159265

While souffles, genoise and yule logs freak me out, there's nothing scary to me about pie. Even before I fell in love with all things culinary, I could always be counted on to at least bake a pie a every Thanksgiving (pumpkin of course). Pie making is so comforting, so intrinsically domestic that even once I started attempting more complicated pies I've never pie-phobic.

This week's baking class was all about my friend the pie and I was excited to learn crust making from an expert. Here are some important factors in achieving crust success:
1. Cold, but not frozen butter or lard.
2. Always refrigerate the dough, wrapped in plastic for at least one hour before rolling out.
3. For optimum results, only roll your dough out once.
4. Defrost frozen dough overnight in the fridge, not on the countertop.
5. Avoid big fluted edges on double crust pies, save them for single crust pies. Double crust bake longer than single which will result in very burned fluted edges.

From grandma's apple, chicken pot pie to quiches and galettes, mastery of a good, standby pie crust will take you a long way in your culinary adventures. Try the recipe below, and you might find yours.

Pie Dough
from New School of Cooking Curriculum
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
8 ounces cold unsalted butter
6 to 8 tbsp ice water

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Use just your fingertips to cut butter into the dough until you reach "wet sand" consistency. Add water and using your hand like a paddle, mix until the dough just holds together. Divide in half and wrap in plastic, pressing down on dough through plastic to fully combine. Refrigerate one hour before using.


pinkstripes said...

I love making pie crust too. Your pies look great!

RecipeGirl said...

I am ENTIRELY pie-crust challenged. I envy those who can whip them up w/ out any problems!!