Monday, November 22, 2010

Crusty Pie

I have made pie at least a handful of times. When I lived in Memphis, I used the food processor as shown in the video below from the NYT. I now, however, use a pastry cutter because I no longer have a food processor and it works just fine.

I don't make pies often and every time I do, I do feel a bit of panic and a need to do research on how to make an optimal crust. This time around I mixed some new knowledge with some old. I had known to roll out the pastry with plastic wrap. Like the video, I had read about flouring the surface I would roll it out on. I picked up the trick of rotating the pastry dough 1/8 each roll. That is a systematic way to ensure your dough doesn't stick. You'll see Melissa advises another way to do that below.

I found that starting with the plastic covering most of the pastry dough was good, and when the dough was pretty large, opening it up so that the plastic wrap is only on one side of it works really well. Basically when the disk is very small, it is in the center of the plastic wrap with two sides folded over, like a book jacket. As the disk flattens out, you open up the plastic wrap entirely. The plastic wrap makes it very easy to transfer the crust onto the pie pan.

By far the best thing I picked up from my research this time around is to keep everything cold. I mean litterally, put your fat in the freezer for a bit. Chill your tools and bowl, even the flour. It was a great tip that I got from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. Thanks ATK! They also said to grate the fat, which helped and you can do that very easily when your fat is frozen.

I think that the best tip in this video, is to let the chunks get bigger than pea-sized. I had a bit of a tricky situation gathering it all into a ball b/c the flour and fat were initially not incorporated enough. Lastly, YES! I affirm that the best crust is a pork fat/butter combo, so just do it.

1 comment:

Maybelle said...