Many people I know are master cake bakers, cookie makers and cupcake
decorators and I envy their talent. Me? I make pie. Really good pie. And that is way easier than any of the above, which is why I'm
frequently surprised when I hear otherwise accomplished cooks say they
fear pie. So today, we're going to talk about pie and when we're done,
you'll know how to make really good pie.
Have you ever seen any of those shows about local pie competitions where
everybody has their own secret crust (it's all about the crust)
recipe? They all seem to feel very strongly that whatever shortening
they're using is the correct one that will result in both a flaky and
tender crust. Um...OK. I like butter. The French like butter too and
you may hear two pastry terms bandied about:
- This is a standard pastry dough that uses flour,
butter, salt, ice water and a little sugar. It can be used for both
sweet and savory dishes.
- this is a sweeter pastry dough that uses more sugar and also includes an egg. It's used for sweet dishes.
|German cheesecake with pate sucree|
I made a pate sucree when I made German cheesecake
but it's a much harder dough to work with. Therefore, my all-purpose
pie dough is a pate brisee but with the addition of extra sugar since I
like a sweeter crust for my pies. The dough is simpler to roll out and
transfers to a pie dish fairly easily. And the secret to having it turn
out well is cold. The butter must be cold and the dough must be
chilled. Don't skip these steps because heat is the enemy of pie dough
and you will have a wet sticky mess that will never properly come
|"Rustic" Peach Pie|
But if you keep things chilled, you will be rewarded with an amazingly
delicious dough, far superior to anything store bought. I make lots of
fruit pies in the summer but I skip the fussy edging and crimping. "Galette" is a fancy term for a free-form pie. I prefer to call it
"rustic" and it's the only kind I bother with when the weather is warm
and I want to be out in the garden, relaxing on a chaise and sipping one
of Brian's amazing frozen peach daiquiris. Simply roll out the dough
into a large circle, place the fruit filling in the middle and fold over
But when the holidays roll around, I start making proper pies and apple
is our favorite. Need help rolling out a circle to the correct size? Invest $3.99 at a housewares store for a silicone pastry mat like this one. It
will give you not only the guide circles in various sizes but also a
good surface on which to roll out the dough. And if you're still in the
market for a rolling pin, choose a marble one. Marble remains cool
which will help keep the dough cool.
Ultimately, wrestling the dough into the bottom of the pie dish is far
less scary than matching up a top crust if you're not experienced. But
you don't have to do a standard top if you feel intimidated by it. You
can make a crumb topping or just cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and
lay them on top. It looks festive and is ridiculously easy to do.
Once you feel comfortable enough to attempt a top crust, roll out the
dough to the size needed and drape it over your rolling pin. Then move
the rolling pin over the pie and un-drape. Pinch the edges together to
keep the juices from spilling out the sides but cut a vent in the top to
let out steam. Not happy with how your edges turned out? Spend $5.00
for a set of tiny cutters and create a border design. All your guests
will ooh and aah when you present it. Now...go bake a pie!
2 Sticks unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup ice water
Combine the butter, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a food processor with a steel blade and pulse just until it
resembles course crumbs. Slowly pour in the ice water and pulse just
until combined and a dough ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap
and refrigerate for at least one hour.
3 Golden Delicious apples (or other sweet apples)
2 Granny Smith apples (or other tart apples)
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
Peel, core and slice the apples. Combine them in a bowl with the sugar,
lemon juice, flour, cinnamon and salt. As you mix you'll notice quite a
bit of liquid puddling in the bottom of the bowl. Strain the mixture
into a colander before placing in the pie shell.
After the dough has chilled, cut it in half and roll each half on a
well-floured surface into about a 10" circle. Place one circle on the
bottom of a 9" pie dish and pour the apple mixture into the dish. Cut the tablespoon of butter into several pieces and dot the top of the filling. Place
the remaining dough circle on top of the filling and crimp the edges
for a tight seal. With a knife, make a couple of slits on top for steam
Brush the top of the pie with the milk and sprinkle with the
tablespoon of sugar. Place the pie dish on a sheet pan (to catch drips)
and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Allow the pie to
cool completely before slicing. Makes 8 servings.
I love your pie tips :DReplyDelete
I can muddle through a pie crust, but I still find it daunting. Your recipe sounds similar to what I use, but I'm going to use your exact proportions next time! Thanks for all the hints, Anita.ReplyDelete
PS...I featured your Pear Cosmos on my blog today! Thanks for that fantastic recipe, too!
Ah yes! Nothing beats a tender, flaky pie crust. I have that same marble rolling pin (same color marble). I will look for the silicone pie rolling mat. It is much less expensive than the Rol-pat I've had on my wish list for a long time.ReplyDelete
I actually like making pies :) I am not an expert..but nobody has complained yet about applied pies I have made :DReplyDelete
My wife would like for you to adopt her please.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the tips - I'm new to this and I've never made my own crust but now I feel I can try!ReplyDelete
Pie is in the season: love it! We made, scratch that, I made two pies yesterday and we ate it all! Great post!ReplyDelete
I just made a total flop of a chicken pot pie (which of course is husbands favorite and my worst dish), so he and I think you for this one! Can't wait to try it... I've been searching for at least 2.5 years for a good all-butter recipe!ReplyDelete
What a lovely and informative post! I am one of those who fear pie, but now I think I may try it :D Yours look so yummy.ReplyDelete
You make it look so easy :) I am terrible with any type of dough-rolling..thanks for the tips. I may just give a pie a whirl for the holidays!ReplyDelete
I haven't made a pie for a long time... I usually only make tarts. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday.ReplyDelete
You guys remind us of another Loving Couple that have been baking hand in hand together for 40-years the loving couple of Anita Pelaez and her devoted husband Kutchie. They bake standing side by side America's favorite Key Lime Pies. We hope you get the opportunity to try one someday.ReplyDelete
Jacqueline and Tom Selleck
Congrats on being featured at Weekend Potluck today! Come on over and grab an "I Was Featured" button in my sidebar. Happy Friday,ReplyDelete
Tonya from 4 little Fergusons :)
I'll have to try your pie crust recipe Anita. I just can't seem to ever get it to come out right every time.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the pie tips! =)ReplyDelete
Congratulations for being featured at Weekend Potluck!
Fabulous pie and tutorial! So tickled you linked up at Weekend Potluck...and then was featured! Hurrah for you.ReplyDelete
What perfect timing! I am considering attempting my second apple crumb pie—the first one was a bit traumatizing—and just found your wonderful post on my friend's pinterest. It came out okay in the end, but the process was a bit of a nightmare.
I would love any insights you can give me!
Thank you also for the explanation of a patee brisee - that's obviously what I was in search of.
Looking forward to reading your future posts.
It just doesn’t get anyReplyDelete
better than seeing the gorgeous “Mrs. Anita Pelaez” over at her and her
husband “Captain Kutchie’s” place..Some Folks Also Call Him..”The
KutchMan others call him The Kutchmon!”…Most Just Call Him “The Most
Interesting Man In The World”….(Anita and Kutchie Pelaez’s Key West, Key
Lime Pie Factory and Grill)…Just watching the lovely couple baking together all those Yummy
Key Lime Pies at their Key Lime Pie Factory and Grill in Asheville.
…It’s always worth the trip to visit them in they’re Historic Key Lime
Pie Factory and Grill…It should be on everyone’s bucket list for
sure..And The World’s Best Key Lime Pies!..YUM-YUM-YUM…..”Talk About
World Class” What An Understatement!…….AAHHHHH!….The Magic Of The
Lovely..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” And Her Delicious Key Lime Pies Baked With
Pure Love…Always……40 Years And They’re Still Going Strong….
….May GOD Continue Blessing “Anita And Kutchie Pelaez” and They’re World
Famous Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill Where The Personalities, Ovens And
Smiles Are Always Warm And Inviting. “Kutcharitaville” You’re The Best We Love You!….
…Now You Know Who Is The Hottest!…And Baby Let Me Tell You, Mrs. Anita Is No Act…She’s The Real Thing Baby!…
….Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate…..
….Who Could Ask For Anything More?…Anita’s Key Lime Pie…(Hell Yes!)
Gotta love this old school classic, great recipe, thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete