Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Works for me Wednesday: Backwards Edition!

Today is Works for me Wednesday: Backwards Edition! Faithful readers, can you help me out?
My question is:

How Do you Make the Perfect Pie

I have tried many different recipes and I still haven't found a homemade one that comes out right! What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions? I know y'all have bundles of fabulous recipes and tips, please leave a comment below!
Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more of Works for me Wednesday: Backwards Edition!


Capturing Today said...

The few things that seem to matter the most when I make pie crust - making sure the water I use is ICE COLD, making sure the butter I'm using is cold and not working it too much so that it gets to room temperature before baking.

Our Son said...

Okay, I don't care what recipe you use, but you've got to use a pie crust tool. Yeah, I'm not kidding. My crusts were horrid until I bought one of these majical little tools at a kitchen store and ever since my crusts are de-light-ful and I get lotsa compliments!

I use real butter too and not icky man-made butter substitute.

:: Suzanne :: said...

Pioneer Woman has posted a great recipe for pie crust along with photo illustrations. It's the same recipe my Nana taught me and we rely on it. I do use fewer Tb water than Pioneer Woman does.

Edi said...

How do I make the most wonderful pie crust? I cheat. I buy the premade kind.

Years ago I found out my mil was doing that and I figured if it's good enough for her (she was a home-ec teacher), it's good enough for me!

Wifey said...

My biggest tip is to make sure you don't pull the crust once you have rolled it out. Roll it out to the size you want, then pat it into the pan. Pulling at it will make it shrink in the oven.

Meghan said...

Betty Crocker! Works like a charm! If you have to, gently work with hands. Betty Crocker's recipe is sort of similar to her biscuit recipe. It's not too hard but, with all things, talk to your mother!!

Maiden Of Virtue said...

I would do the Duggar's pie crust recipe, http://www.duggarfamily.com

It is the one we use every time and it works like a charm!


Emily said...

Here are two keys my mom taught me to create a flaky, light, home-made pie crust:
1. Use shortening and cold water
2. Do NOT over mix (this makes it tough...this also includes extra rolling out)
Her recipie is

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco preferrably, makes it flakier)
1 tsp or less, salt
cold water....till soft dough (too much water makes it really sticky so you have to add more flour etc, more rolling/kneading. too little water makes it tough)

Cut the shortening into the flour and salt with fork/pastry cutter/knife. When blended, add a little water at a time, not over stirring. Put in refrigerater to chill.

Good luck! Keep trying! Home-made crust is soooo good. :)

Stephanie @ ATime4Everything.com said...

Oh, I have to confess I have never done this! It looks so hard! I cheat and buy pillsbury. It tastes the same to me, but possibly one of these days I may have to make my own. I will heed the advice given here :)

Liisa said...

I use the Crisco recipe though I may not always use Crisco ~wink~

-Blend together 2 cups flour and 3/4 tsp. salt.
-Cut in 1 cup shortening
-In a small bowl mix together 1 egg, 2 tbsp. very cold water, 1 tbsp. vinegar.
-Add egg mixture to flour mixture and blend well. Makes enough for a 2 crust pie.

The other thing I do is to wipe the counter with a damp cloth and then cover it with plastic wrap. I dust that with flour place a ball of dough on it dust again with flour and cover with another pieces of plastic wrap then roll it. This enables you to have vitually no mess but also to easily pick up he crust when it is rolled out.

I hope this helps..It works well for me.


The Queen Bee said...

I agree with many of the other posters - you have to use a pastry cutter to make the dough.

It combines your Crisco and flour/pinchs salt into a ball of chunks, then you use it when you add the water.

What you're doing by using a pastry cutter is leaving air pockets in the dough. When it bakes, those pockets of air will expand, making your pie crust nice and flaky!

Good luck and yummy eating!

Marianne at Writer-Mommy

Kathleen Marie said...

After years of trying I now buy Pillsbury or other brands of the rollout...It is already rolled and ready to cook and they are always perfect. I know, I am a cop-out! Hugs!

Shannon said...

This is THE recipe to use. You will get flaky, perfect pie crust each and every time!

Pie Crust

4 cups flour
1-1/3 cups shortening, plus one good plop!
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold water

Put flour and salt into bowl. Cut shortening in with a pastry blender, thoroughly. Add water. Blend with fork and shape with hands. Separate in half and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze for later. Makes 3 double crusted pies.


Meg said...

I get compliments on my crust, and have actually never had difficulty making it, even from the beginning, possibly because of the recipe I use? I use "Flour Paste Pie Crust" recipe from the old Joy of Cooking (which might be in the new 75th anniversary edition). It's 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup shortening or lard, 1/4 cup water, salt ( I forget the measure, was it 1/2 tsp or 1/4? How bout a pinch?)
And you measure 1/3 cup of the flour/salt mixture out before cutting in the fat, and mix the 1/4 cup cold water with that to make a paste. Cut in your fat to the size of small peas, then add the paste, work as little as possible, just til it holds together but still has texture (the little nuggets of fat getting squashed is what gives you a flaky texture) , and I use a heavily floured wooden board, or a SILPAT. Silpats are great because you can bake on them and nothing sticks, and when I use it to roll piecrust, I can easile lift it on the silpat, and roll it off onto the pie without folding in quarters. As for the fat, people like to use butter instead of shortening or lard. We can't get the super-hard old-style butter in the USA that people in Europe can get, and try finding real honest Leaf Lard in most towns? Don't bother with the sloppy half-liquid stuff on the supermarket shelf that comes in a tub. Don't bother with the semi-hydrogenated BHT-preserved crap in the box either. You need good honest SOLID fat that is truly solid at room temperature. And that means that if you are in America and you don't live on a farm and make your own butter and lard, you are probably out of luck, and stuck with Shortening if you want good results. That's why we all have to be so fussy about chilling things now if we use butter or lard, because the pioneers used purer forms of both that were solid at room temperature and hard as rocks if chilled. If you can get restaurant lard that is truly firm, white, and smooth, go for it, and cut me in on the deal! LOL
Anyway, I love the recipe because it isn't fussy like modern ones. Pioneer wives did not have ICE WATER or refrigerated butter for pete's sake! And they made pie all the time, and the phrase "easy as pie" came from somewhere. I think modern recipes make it harder than it has to be. You essentially need a lot of fat, a very little water, use low-protein flour like all-purpose or pastry rather than high-protein (gluten) like bread flour, and learn not to "knead" it. The "light hand" you need for biscuits, is the same one you need for pie crust. It doesn't have to be a perfectly smooth dough... so long as it holds together, that's good enough.

Good luck! And you might have luck with butter if you can find some super-high-fat, very pure artisan butter, but lard was what the pioneers and farmwives used. Butter burns too easily.

Cyndy said...

I use my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook recipe for pie crust. I always get compliments on my pie crusts.
I also just want to echo what Emily said and I emphasize using Crisco. Also, and this has been noted, use ICE Water...I usually put three or four ice cubes in a bowl and then add the water a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough is the right consistency.
I also roll my dough pretty thin...I think it makes for a cispier crust and it also ensures the bottom crust gets done. Oh and one more thing...glass or ceramic pie plates...I don't use tins unless I have used all my others up. I think you get more even baking that way.