Are you struggling with your pie? Dough have soggy bottoms got you down. Have you set your fire alarm off, because butter melts out of your crust. hi, i’m erin, jean mcdowell, and i’m here to help i wrote the book on pie. No literally, i wrote the book on it and i’m here to help you, along with my friends at food 52, who have paired up with me for this four-part pie, spectacular, we’ll cover everything you wanted to know about, making the most delicious and flaky Pie, crusts and how to fill them with custards fruits, chiffon, cream, pies and more we’ll cover the decorating and finishing tips you can use to impress your friends. You won’t want to miss a single moment of this pie: spectacular.
This is part one of a four-part pie, spectacular that we will be doing in conjunction with food 52 and my new book called the book on pie, i’m so excited for episode, one which is all about pie, dough and pie crusts, as always we’re gon na tell You everything you need to know all the equipment, everything you need to know about the ingredients, all the different techniques and, of course, as always, we’re going to show you where things could go wrong and how to fix it. So if you like, past episodes of bake it up a notch – and i know you’re going to like this one – that we’re about to roll out here be sure to like and subscribe at the bottom of the screen. So you can be notified when new episodes come up each month, so let’s get baking. First up. Let’S talk about the equipment that we need to make a great pie.
One of my favorite things about pie is that it really doesn’t require many tools, but there are tools that i have found will help you make a better end result and are worth talking about. Let’S talk about rolling pins, i’m a big believer that rolling pins are a personal preference, so just because i use a certain kind of pin which, for the record, is this french style rolling, pin no handles slightly tapered edges. That’S what i like to use, because i really feel like you – can get a good feel for the dough. But if you prefer a rolling pin with handles like this one here, this one has handles and ball bearings so that it the center rotates. But the handles stay in place and some people really prefer the handled style pin the other kind of handled style pin doesn’t rotate like this is still all one piece like the french style rolling pin, but it does have handles.
So that is a little bit easier for some folks to use whatever feels right to you is what you should use just because it feels best to me doesn’t mean it’s going to feel best in your hands. So i really do think that rolling pins are a personal preference. I also added one of my favorite engraved rolling pins to this setup, because i wanted to say that pie. Dough is really an amazing opportunity to be creative. We’Re going to talk about that.
A lot more in the other parts of our pie spectacular, but you can actually even use a pasta, rolling, pin, that’s meant to indent the pasta, create ridges or a rolling pin. That’S engraved like this. You would use for cookies. You can also use that on certain types of pie, dough and create sort of embossed effects, which are very, very cool. Next up one of my favorite tools of all time, the bench scraper, the bench scraper – is just such a handy tool both for using in the kitchen, but also for cleaning up.
I love when i’m throwing flour around when making pie that just a few quick swipes of that bench, scraper are gon na clear off my whole workspace make it clean again in just a few moments, so it is a go-to tool that i’m using all the time. I also use it to chop my butter into little cubes, get all the ingredients ready. It’S a great tool to have. I also have here the pastry cutter. This pastry cutter is a handle with metal ridges that go all the way down, and that is something that you can use if you are not a person that has success, mixing your pie, dough by hand.
I love, mixing my pie, dough by hand. I think it gives you the best feel of the dough. I think it helps you get everything just right, but for those of you that have hot hands, naturally, it can be a real struggle to mix pie dough by hand and that’s when you can bring in the help of the pastry cutter, to do the work that Your hands are just too hot to do, and if it’s summer you can even throw this piece of equipment into the refrigerator or freezer and get it nice and cold before you get going making your pie dough a few other tools that i have i’ve got a Pastry wheel here, this one is fluted to make sort of a ridged effect at the edges can be used for cutouts for lattice just to trim your dough. If you don’t have a fluted one. A regular old pizza cutter is also a pastry wheel and can be used to make straight edged lattice effects or straight edge cuts.
I also have a tool here called a dough tamper or a crust tamper, and this is for press-in style crust. You absolutely do not need this tool, you can just use your hands for pressing style crust or even the bottom of a small cup measure to help get into the corners and straighten the edges of your crumb crust or other press-in crust. But i love this. It has sort of a smaller edge for getting into small containers, like maybe a mini, muffin pan, and then it also has this larger one larger side for using for larger, more normal traditional size pie crust. Next up.
Let’S talk about this bad boy right here. This giant jar that everyone who comes into my house thinks is candy, but it is not candy. These are pie weights. These are ceramic pie, weights which happen to be my favorite style of pie weight because i like how they retain heat. You put these into a pie, shell, before par baking or blind baking, to help weigh down the crust and we’re going to talk about the logistics of that a little later.
But if you do not have these ceramic pie weights, what you can use instead are dried beans or i love stella parks’s method of using sugar, which is something that, if you’re making pie you probably have on hand, because you can reuse that sugar in baking recipes That is her method that is so great and works so well, if you don’t have pi weights at home. Finally, the one of the most important things that you need, your pie plates right, what kind of pie plate do you choose? How do you choose it? What is your favorite pie plate again? Some of that comes down to personal preference, but i do have two favorites.
I prefer ceramic and metal pie plates. I like metal for its non-stick ability and also because it tends to bake very evenly metal’s a bit thinner. So you don’t get kind of spots that bake more than others, but i love ceramic for the way it conducts the heat and kind of holds on to the heat retains that heat. It’S not only great for serving a pie. If you want it to be a touch warm if you’re refreshing it, but it’s also great for ensuring that the sides and base of the crust are properly baked, which is one of the most important things in my book.
That said, if you’re a beginning pie, baker, i do love to recommend trying with glass glass pie. Pans are especially great because you can see through them. So, if you’re not sure if your pie is fully baked, if you’re not sure, if that crust is brown enough, you can just lift it right up and take a look. So if you’re just getting started, i think that glass pie plates are great great choice. A few other pieces of equipment that i don’t have in front of me, but that are equally important.
You can also use other pans, other baking vessels other than pie plates. I bake, pies and cake pans spring form pans cast iron skillets. If it is safe to go in the oven, it is safe to bake a pie in. So you know let that kind of guide you and create multiple options in terms of creativity and size, shape and presentation and there’s one other piece of equipment that isn’t in front of me, because it’s in my oven, where the pies are baking, it’s called a baking Steel or, if you don’t have a baking seal, you can also use a pizza stone to achieve a similar effect. I like to use these when baking pie crust to help ensure a crisp golden brown bottom crust.
For me, that is where it’s at no soggy bottoms in this kitchen. Please – and thank you, so i love how that helps. Retain heat, get it to the bottom of the crust and it also helps keep the oven temperature more consistent during baking, which is really helpful for pies, because they have much longer bake times. So once you have all the brimlane now that we’ve talked about equipment, it’s time to talk about ingredients, here’s what you need to know. The bulk of this episode is going to talk about classic pie, dough, which is a very simple basic pastry style dough.
That yields a tender flaky end result, but there are lots of crust options which we’ll talk about later in the episode, but for this first part, what we are talking about is that pastry style crust and what i really love about those pastry style crusts, is that They actually only have a few ingredients and you can really make them so easily, with so little components and really turn out a beautiful, beautiful end result. So the four components of a classic pie – pastry are: flour, fat, salt and water. You can make pie doughs with almost any kind of flour, but i’m usually referring to all purpose flour. It has kind of a nice blend of being strong enough, but still nice and tender. I do use other flowers to make pie crust.
Whole wheat, semolina, cornmeal rye flour spelt flour. The possibilities are really endless, but with those other varieties of flour you usually still need to use a little bit of all-purpose or you might end up with a denser more crumbly, dough and all-purpose does a really good job of keeping it a little bit lighter. So when you’re using flour and choosing how to add flour into the recipe start with all purpose and then use that as a base to add some of those other ingredients now i said all purpose flour i didn’t specify bleached or unbleached, because i find that there’s Actually, really a nominal difference if you use one or the other, so whatever you have on hand, you should be good to go for my basic pie, crust recipe. Now, when i’m talking about fat in pie, dough, i’m referring almost exclusively to butter, i love an all-butter pie dough. That’S my pie, crust recipe on food 52 because i love the flavor.
Now the flavor of butter can’t be beat with any other fat that you’re going to use, but other fats can be easier to handle so, especially for beginning pie. Bakers, butter can be one of the more challenging ingredients to work with other types of fat that you could use include, shortening which has the highest melting point of any of the fats that i would recommend using for pie dough. So because of that, it’s a lot easier to work with, without risking it turning into kind of a melty runny mess. Another fat that is great to use is lard or other rendered animal fats. You can also use chicken, fat or bacon fat.
Even but again those have a lower melting point, so they can be a little more difficult to work with. They do have an incredible flakiness, so they they share that with both shortening and butter. I’Ve even made a peanut butter pie, dough that uses peanut butter to replace some of the fat in the recipe and oil, but some of these create naturally flakier crust, while some create mealier crusts oil and peanut butter tend to make denser more crumbly mealy crust, whereas Shortening with its very high melting point can make a very flaky crust, but it’s lacking that flavor of butter, so choosing the fat really depends on your personal preference and also what you have on hand. If you want to make a pie today – and all you have is shortening i say – make a pie even if it’s not my preferred fat, it works great and again there’s an element of personal preference. Here i happen to love butter because i love that flavor, but i actually grew up making pies with a blend of butter and shortening with my grandma.
So it is possible to kind of tweak it and change it based on the result you’re looking for and it’s kind of just about, knowing how those pieces work together. The most important thing that you need to know for whatever fat you’re using it should be cold. As cold as you can get, it is going to make the flakiest best end result. Our final two ingredients are salt and water. Now they’re pretty self-explanatory salt to add a little bit of a flavor boost.
We don’t want to bland crust. We want to amplify the natural flavor of the fat that we’re using and also make sure that it’s a nice flavorful base for whatever filling we put inside and the water the ice water. It could also be another liquid, depending on what recipe you’re using. Sometimes people like to use buttermilk or cream or milk in their pie, dough as well. But i just use water because i always have it and it’s the easiest and it should be very cold.
And you want to add just enough to bring the dough together. But not so much that it gets soft, so i usually start with a nice big chilled thing of ice water and just use as much as i need to get to where i need to go. There are also a couple of ingredients that are commonly added to pie, dough that you won’t see here, there’s sugar, vinegar and vodka. Now all of these ingredients are added for different reasons. Some people add sugar to their pie crust because they, just like the pie, dough to be a little bit sweet.
One of my favorite things about pie dough is that it’s not too sweet. I like that the filling is sweet and the pie crust is not plus having a more generic recipe, allows me to swap between sweet and savory much easier. So i leave the sugar out of my pie, dough. But if you wanted to add it, you could add up to one tablespoon for every single crust recipe you’re making the other two ingredients. Vinegar and vodka are added to help inhibit gluten formation, which helps to keep the dough more tender.
It also provides a nominal amount of hydration, so you would want to add it first before you add the water or other liquid. Now i don’t use these because i find that if you understand the the concepts of mixing pie dough, you don’t need any special ingredients to make. It turn out great, and i just like to keep it as simple as possible. But if you find you’re consistently struggling up to a tablespoon of vinegar or vodka in any pie, crust recipe will help a little bit and help you have a more foolproof end result, tell us about the butter, see you guys later Before we talk about mixing pie, dough, let’s talk about the size of the fat inside the pie, dough, which again, in my case, is butter depending on what style of dough you are making. You want that fat to be a different size and different sizes create different effects in the oven.
So i think it’s really important to show them side by side and see what i’m talking about and these different methods so that later, when you’re breaking it down, you know exactly what to look, for. There are five varieties of pie dough here they don’t have water. So they’re not pie dough, yet they’re, just the ingredients. There’S five varieties here and i have different names for these inside the book on pie. I call them dough for decor mealy, dough, flaky, dough, extra flaky, dough and ruff puff ruff puff.
We already talked about in one of the earlier episodes of bake it up and off where we talked about puff pastry, and my rough puff pastry is done very much in the style of pie. Dough for that reason, so check out that episode for more on that. These other ones, it’s all about the size that the butter is mixed in so dough for decor the butter is mixed in almost entirely. It makes sort of a crumbly meal mixture, and the reason for that is that that’s going to create an incredibly mealy flatter dough. It’Ll still be tender, but it’ll hold impressions if you do decorative effects and it’ll hold its shape better.
So this is the best kind of dough for things like cutouts or other kind of intricate effects and to make it i mix the butter in almost entirely. I even sometimes do this in the food processor, because that makes it go quicker and even easier. The next dough is the mealy dough and for mealy dough we want our butter or other fat to be the size of peas. This is the most common instruction that you’ll see in pie. Dough recipes mix the butter until it’s the size of peas and for me that creates a mealy dough, so a dough that is still tender, but a little bit more crumbly and a little bit more crisp than its flaky more airy counterparts.
The next dough is flaky dough. This is my go-to, my favorite, and for this the butter should be about the size of walnut halves. So bigger than a lot of classic pie, dough recipes say we want to leave the butter in big enough pieces that when the fat hits the oven, the moisture turns into steam, it evaporates and turns into steam, and it pushes the pie dough up. Creating this flaky effect that won’t happen if your butter is mixed in more thoroughly, so we want to leave them at least the size of walnut halves. Next, we have my extra flaky dough.
Now my extra flaky dough is mixed, just slightly larger than walnut have so just leaving the pieces a little bit bigger and the reason for that is we enlist the help of a few folds. Now don’t get scared off if you’ve watched my puff pastry article? What we do for this is just roll it out fold it into quarters roll it out fold it into quarters two sets of folds that can be done back to back and what this does. Is it shingles the butter a little more evenly, creating an incredibly flaky dough? That’S also a lot easier to handle.
This is my go-to dough when i’m doing things for photo shoots. When i really want the pie to look amazing and in order to withstand those folds, it has to has to has to be in slightly bigger pieces when you go to mix it, otherwise it’s going to get too incorporated and become too small, as you make those Folds and last but not least, we have our rough puff, which again we discussed in our puff pastry article and for this we just squish the butter one time we we don’t mix it in any thoroughly. We take each cube and press it flat and that’s it and we want to leave those pieces, nice and big. For that same reason, this undergoes more folds. It takes four folds to make the rough puff pastry, so we want to make sure that the butter is plenty big enough so that it can go through all those folds and still produce an incredibly flaky dough later.
So it’s really important to understand these sizes so that when you mix your pie, dough, you know what you’re looking for. Let’S talk about mixing the pie dough, i already said i like to do it by hand, which is what i’m going to show you, but the method is the same, no matter what technique you choose to get there. So, to start, we need some flour in our bowl. I’M gon na grab my scale. I’M gon na do a double crust, recipe of pie, dough, which is just my single all butter pie, dough recipe multiplied times two.
You can increase your pie, dough recipe to make. As many you know, amounts of pie dough, as you want. I do find with my personal recipe. Any more than four at a time becomes very difficult to control. The hydration and hydration is one of the biggest issues people have with pie dough.
So i would recommend. Never making more than four times at a time which could be two double crochet pies or four single cross pies. Maybe there aren’t that many other people in the world that need to know exactly how much pie dough they can make at any given time, because we have a lot of pie in this house at any given time all right. We’Re going to do 300 grams, which is two and a half cups of all-purpose flour, and if you were using multiple flowers, you know half of it might be all purpose. Half of it might be rye that kind of deal so inside the book on pie.
There are something like 50 crust recipes. There are just so many possibilities that you can make work for you. I forgot the salt be right back after you’ve got your flour, we just need a hefty pinch of salt and i’m again i’m doing a double crust. So i want to make sure that there’s a good amount in there and sometimes i cheat – and i even just use that little teaspoon to stir that salt in there now we can put our scale away, because what we need next is our butter. So i am going to cut this butter.
This is eight ounces of cold butter. I’M gon na cut it into about half inch cubes. I like to use my bench knife for this and actually one of my favorite parts of the bake it up a notch episode with my dad, where we made biscuits. He asked me: how do i cube my butter and i loved that question, because my pie, dough recipe, just says to cube it. It doesn’t tell you exactly how i like to do it, so i like to cut each stick in half lengthwise, then i rotate the stick over and cut it in half that way.
Now that the whole stick is quartered, you can just work down, cutting it into cubes about half an inch. I am using a european butter here, and it’s worth mentioning that at this point, because european butters have a higher fat content than american butters american butters have a little bit more water in them. They’Re both completely fine to use, but the european butter can be a little trickier for first-time pie, bakers because since it’s higher in fat, that means that it is also more prone to melting. So you just want to be careful if, at any point, when you are making your pie dough, you start to notice a shine on your hands like the butter is melting. If it feels soft just throw the whole bowl at whatever stage you’re in into the refrigerator.
The number one thing about pie dough is: it wants to be cold at every stage: cold ingredients, cold tools, cold water, cold, everything. As much as you can. I even tell people if you consistently struggle with pie. Dough put the whole bowl of flour into the freezer before you start start with it as cold. As you can get it.
You won’t be sorry. Now i’m going to toss the butter or the fat if you’re, not using butter, i’m going to toss it with the flour so that each individual cube is coated fully all the way around. This is really important and recipes. Don’T always emphasize this enough if the butter is not coated in flour, that’s one of the ways that it can melt in the oven later. So you want to make sure every time you touch it.
If you can see that bit of yellow that natural color coming through toss, it again make sure it’s coated and what i’m going to start doing is with my hands, i’m just going to grab a cube in each hand and i’m going to press it firmly to Kind of shingle it like that and i’m just going to toss it back into the dough. So i’m going to keep doing that. If you were using the pastry cutter, you would just use that instead of your hands here and it doesn’t shingle quite as well. It more breaks the butter up, so you can kind of get it into the smaller pieces. Then you can even go in a little bit with your hands and break them into smaller ones.
If you want – and i’m basically just going to keep doing this, my nieces call this squishing the butter, it’s a very technical term, i’m going to keep squishing the butter and making sure that the squished pieces are coated in flour after i squish each piece flat. Once i’m going to return and start working with it a little more rubbing it through my fingers a little bit more thoroughly until i get it to the point that i want it and remember what those points are. If i was using it for decor, i would want it to be really small little pieces of fat if i’m using it for mealy about the size of peas, for flaky, about the size of walnut halves for extra flaky, a little bigger than that and for rough Puff pastry, we would actually just stop right here at this point and as i said, if at any point, when you’re working you start to struggle or it feels like it might be warm if you’re thinking that it might be warm, it is so just put it In the fridge five minutes freezer five minutes, whatever you can manage if the butter gets warm at this stage, while you’re mixing it, what actually is going to happen? Is it’s just going to melt into your flour a little bit and combine with it almost like you’re, making a cookie, dough and you’re going to end up with a really crumbly, much more mealy texture? I know melee isn’t the most appetizing word, but it’s really the best word to describe what i’m talking about, which is still tender, but it is not flaky and light and still crisp, but not that flakiness, not you know, pieces kind of falling off as you take Bites that kind of pie, dough, the other reason comes when it’s time for it to hit the oven.
So we want that fat really cold inside the pastry so that when it hits a really intense heat of the oven during par baking, blind baking or baking that that moisture evaporates out of the butter creating steam. And that’s what creates that tenderness that flakiness all those things that we love about pie dough? So we want those ingredients to be nice and cold. The butter must be cold, but the water must be cold too, because if the water isn’t cold, it’s actually going to raise the temperature of the butter start to get it to the point where it might melt, especially as you continue to work with it, because even I who have cooler hands you know eventually that body heat is going to get in there and start kind of messing up the process. So if you’re, a person who naturally has warmer hands cold ingredients are going to help you be able to mix it by hand and they’re going to keep the dough the right consistency the whole time.
I think i’m going to mix this dough flaky. So i went ahead and mixed it. I’Ve got kind of varying sizes, but i’ve got my biggest pieces are about the size of walnut halves. So now i’m going to make a well in the center of the bowl and i’m going to start adding my ice water. Let’S talk about the water for a second, i have so much to say the water in pie.
Dough recipes is often listed as an as needed, and i know that can be really frustrating, because i’m also telling you that getting the hydration right is really really important. But the reason that most recipes stay as needed is because every kind of flour, even every brand of flour, hydrates differently bleach versus unbleached rye versus whole wheat versus all-purpose, all of those all absorb water differently. So it makes it very difficult to guesstimate what is going to be the appropriate amount of water to add. I can tell you for a double crust pie, it’s about a half a cup, but you might need a little more. You might need a little less.
So my preferred method of doing it is just by eye and by feel you want to add as much as you need to bring it together and not worry about the amount. So much. So i’m going to go ahead and start adding into the well and at first i’ll, add a good amount, because i want to make sure that i’ve got enough to kind of start bringing it together. But remember you can always add more at a certain point. It gets harder to take it away, so i’m going to just start at first tossing it i’m not going to stir i’m not going to need i’m just going to kind of toss.
This allows the water to distribute amongst the flour and, amongst that fat, just kind of starting the process of mixing and hydrating the flour. Without you know, worrying about kneading it or mixing it so much that i start to verge on making it more tough. You don’t want to mix pie dough any more than you have to at this stage, because a kneading action can really start to make it more tough after baking, as i’m kind of breaking it up. I also look for large pieces like this or like this, that have become hydrated, see they’ve started to clump together, and i want to break those up a little bit as i’m kind of tossing, because water really hides in those clumps. You might think your dough is too dry and not realize that there’s actually a good amount of water in some of those bigger pieces.
So again, we want to make sure it’s distributed throughout and once it’s there once you get it to the point that that water, that you, the first addition of water, is starting to become incorporated. You can kind of group it together in the bowl and see you know how well it holds together and, as you can see, i’ve got a good amount of pieces that are falling down here. So sometimes what i like to do is i like to take the part that has already come together just set it aside and only add water to the part. That’S left here, because that just helps me control it a little bit more. Oh, i got an ice cube in there.
We don’t want that that allows us to control and only hydrate the part that is still dry rather than risking, adding too much water and ending up with kind of a sticky dough, and that’s really what we’re looking for here. We’Re looking for the dough to come together, we do not want it to be totally smooth. That would be the sign of an overworked dough and we do not want it to be tacky or sticky or wet to the touch. That would be a sign of a dough, that’s a little bit too wet, and it’s going to give you trouble when you go to roll it out. Actually too dry dough can give you a lot of trouble too, and i’ve noticed that, especially when people are using pie, crust recipes from their grandmas or from their grandma’s old cookbooks or recipe boxes, a lot of old pie recipes kind of scare you away from adding Too much water and that’s rightfully so if you have too much water, the crust will be very difficult to work with, and it’s going to end up very brittle, it’s not very enjoyable.
However, it’s a bit easier to save a too wet crust than it is to save a crust that is too dry. So i always kind of caution that, if you’re kind of teetering and you’re really not sure where you’re at that, you might want to err on the side of adding a little bit too much. Because we can always absorb that with a little bit of flour. But when you leave the dough too dry, it’s very stiff and when you roll it out, it tends to break it can be really really problematic. So i’m getting to the point now where it’s mostly come together.
I just have kind of a few dry pockets to me. This part is a dry pocket, because you can see that there’s little bits kind of crumbly bits of flour that are not incorporated, that just fall right off when i brush it. You know that’s a sign of under hydration, sometimes when i get to this stage, it is so close. I do not want to add much water. What i do is i dip my hand into the water, and i just flick a few drops into the bowl that again helps us from accidentally pouring in you know a few tablespoons or whatever you’re doing so.
I am now that i’ve got it. I definitely have enough water, i’m just going to knead it a few times gently in the bowl to help bring it together and then i’ll take it out of the bowl and knead it here just to make sure, and when i use the word need i’m using That word somewhat loosely, because i really want to make sure that you’re not kneading it like you, would bread dough we’re not trying to build strength, we’re just trying to get this to the point of being combined, and that is what it should look like. That is a perfect dough, it’s come together and it’s uniform, but you see there are still some variances in texture. It’S still sort of um. You know rough, it’s not a smooth, even all over dough and the way to tell if it’s properly hydrated is it’s fully come together.
I don’t see any visible dry spots, but also, when i put my hand on it and press really firmly. Nothing comes up on my hand, afterward, that’s a sign that it is not wet. It is not sticky, it is at the exact right level of hydration and that level of hydration is really really a sweet spot, because if it’s too wet it’ll be hard to work with and if it’s too dry it’ll be hard to work with. So you really want to focus on getting that right amount of water in every time it’s going to make the dough more pliable and easier to handle as well. If you wanted to mix your dough in the food processor, you would follow all of these same guidelines.
Just mixing the fat in by pulsing on your food processor until the fat is the right size. It doesn’t take very long and it’s important to not let it go too far or you’re going to end up with a very mealy much more crumbly dough. So just a few pulses at that point. I transfer it to a bowl and i add the water by hand that’s important, because in a food processor, water tends to get trapped under the blade in the corners, and you can end up with a really unevenly and over hydrated dough. If you add that water in the food processor, if you’re, not really careful, so i still suggest adding the water by hand and my final little tidbit.
If you’re a person with really warm hands or if you’re, ever at a place, where you’re making a lot of pies, sometimes i use the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to sort of shingle the butter for me now. This works well, but not as well as this method or the food processor. It can kind of end up with bigger pieces or some unevenness. So after you do that method, with the stand mixer just check back on it maybe run your hands through. It once make sure it’s right and still add that water by hand so that you can control the hydration and get it just right after you’ve got your dough all done.
It needs to chill. So, since this is a double crust, recipe of dough, i’m going to cut it in half form it into one inch discs wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and it needs to chill for at least 30 minutes and preferably at least an hour, and you can chill It up to overnight, you can also wrap it in a double layer of plastic, wrap and freeze it, and it freezes really really well just thaw it in the fridge overnight before you’re ready to use it again. There are three stages at which i like to chill my pie: dough, that’s not to say these are the only three stages at which you can chill it. You should basically chill your pie dough any time. It feels warm.
It feels soft. It feels sticky throw that baby in the fridge, but these are the three that i always every single time chill it at. The first is right. After mixing, i form it into a disc about an inch thick, wrap it tightly in plastic, wrap and refrigerate it. I like to refrigerate it for an hour, but you can refrigerate it for just 30 minutes.
If you were able to work quickly as long as it’s nice and cold, it should be good to go. The second stage i like to chill at is, after i’ve, lined the pie plate, but before i even finish those edges, the reason for that is that there is kind of this issue of crust shrinking right. A lot of people have that, where they roll it out and as soon as they get it to the size that they want, it immediately. Just comes back. One of the reasons that that happens is when the dough is overworked when that gluten hasn’t had enough time to relax yet and remember our yeast episode of bake it up a notch.
We want that gluten to be relaxed. That’S really what we want here. So with the chilling it becomes relaxed and that way when we go to trim it, it is already relaxed it doesn’t relax after we trim it and risk being too small at the edge. That is one of the biggest issues. People just trim.
It really flush to the pie plate. Then they toss it in the fridge and when they come back, it’s even smaller than it was before so chilling it at this stage is really great. Remember if you’re chilling it for longer than five or ten minutes. You want to cover it directly with plastic wrap so that crust doesn’t dry out and the final stage i like to chill a pie at is after it’s fully assembled, i like to chill it at this stage for at least 30 minutes before putting it into the Oven – and sometimes it even needs a little bit longer, but this chill time is not so much about relaxing the gluten as it is about firming the fat. We want that fat to be nice and cold when it hits the heat of the oven so that we create that steam effect.
We’Ve talked so much about. We get that nice flaky tender crispy dough, so you want to chill it right after mixing. You want to chill it after you’ve lined the pie plate and you want to chill it before baking so that you have the best pie possible when it comes out of the oven, all right. Now that our dough has been nice and chilled. We can roll it that first chilling point is really to firm that dough back up after mixing and also to help it relax to make it a little bit more pliable, i’m going to start by lightly flouring my work surface.
Now i grabbed a pretty decent handful of flour to say lightly. Flour, because i have this tendency i like to put a decent amount of flour down at the beginning and then not have to apply it again as i roll. But you don’t want to use any more flour than you have to, because that flour is going to incorporate into the dough as you work and using too much can actually make the dough a bit tough. So i’m going to start by just flouring the surface and both sides of the dough pretty generously you can kind of rub it in like that, helps make it a little more even across the surface. If you want, you can kind of flour.
Your pin by just like running your flowery hand over it and i’m going to start by rolling now rolling, is also something that kind of comes intuitively, like the motion of it should feel good to you and right to you. But the number one mistake that i see people doing is they kind of only roll one direction and that’s like a really easy way to get it even in some parts – and you know thicker in others. So what we want to do, i guess even doesn’t really apply if it’s even in some parts, so what i suggest doing is starting in the middle and pushing up then returning to the middle, applying pressure and pushing back what this does is it ensures that you’re Applying the pressure kind of in both directions, but the other thing that you should do is not be afraid to move this pie dough, i’m constantly picking it up flipping it over rotating it, as i work that re-coats it with flour from the work surface. To make sure it’s not sticking, and it also just ensures that by nature that fat isn’t going to start melting and stick to your surface so come to the center and push out then come back to the center apply pressure and push towards you. Come back to the center and push out come back to the center and that can feel a little bit awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, of course it goes much faster.
So it’s just a really nice way to make sure that you’re, not if you just roll like this back and forth you’re thinning out the center, but not the edges. And we want the edges to be especially thin because that’s where we’re going to be crimping and doing some of those decorative finishing effects. So when i get it you know rolled out in one place, then i’m going to rotate it. That also helps to keep the shape round more round so right now, obviously it looks a bit oblong, but if i rotate it – and now i spend a little bit of time rolling this way, i get it back to a place of being more round. Another thing that you can do is just actually manhandle the dough a bit.
You don’t want to touch it too much because of the heat of your hand, but you can actually just kind of tug the dough in the direction that you want it. If it’s not even in some spot, just bring some of it over and you can kind of make it more round just by you know, handling it in that way, i’m gon na keep rolling. I usually tell people to pay more attention to the size than the thickness, because pie dough recipes are formulated to fit in a standard pie plate so you’re going to end up with the right thickness. If your pie, dough fits in the pie plate so rather than worrying, is it a quarter of an inch thick or an eighth of an inch thick whatever? It is just kind of focus on getting it wide enough that it will fit in the pie plate and the way i like to test.
That is by keeping my pie plate near me and turning it upside down making sure i have about two inches all the way around and you might need even more if you’re dealing with a deep dish pie plate. So i’m gon na give this just a tiny bit more just to make sure i’ve got plenty of room, if you’re too scared to just lift it up and toss it around. Like i’m doing, when it gets bigger, you can actually use the rolling pin to help you transfer it and rotate it to another direction, so fear not also one of the added benefits of moving it. A lot while you’re rolling is that you’re kind of encouraging it to shrink when you roll out the dough it’s natural for a little bit of it to spring back just a smidge. If it does it a lot, that usually means it needs more relaxing time.
More fridge time, but when you move it a lot you kind of are making you know, you’re, letting it shrink the amount that it’s going to. So you can see if you actually need to roll it out more. So i think i’m going to be good here. I’M going to go ahead and roll it up onto the pin to do that. I just start with the edges on either side and i just use my hand and i just kind of hold it in place as i roll it up like that.
Then i bring my pie plate in and we just add kind of drape the far edge and then unfurl it just into the pie plate. Now. This next phase is really important and not always described in books, but now we need to make sure that it’s fully covering the base and touching the edges of the pie plate. So what i’m going to do is i’m actually going to lift it up and settle it into the pie crust, and you can also do this with the help of your hand, lifting it up and pressing, lift and you’re lifting it up, because you’re kind of trying To let the air that’s between the crust and the pan escape, so there’s no air there and that we’re just so. We lift it up and press it down all the way around, and then i usually like to go through with my finger and physically press firmer in that corner, just to really make sure that pie is that pie crust is touching in those corners.
So that is how you line a pie plate at this stage. I would usually chill it even if it’s just for five minutes before proceeding to the next stage, and you can chill it for even longer, but remember that longer chill times. You know 20 minutes. 30 minutes even up to an hour, you would want to cover this dough directly with plastic wrap, as the dough sits in the fridge. If it’s exposed to air for too long, it is going to dry out and even it can crack when you try to manipulate it crimp, it do other things.
So it’s important if you’re going to chill it for any longer than a few minutes that you cover it directly in plastic, wrap and once it’s chilled, we can complete our next stages in getting the edges ready for crimping singing about what we’re doing we’re gon na Cut some, i don’t know once you have a chilled, lined pie crust inside your pie, pan it’s time to trim it. So what we want to do is we want to trim it so that there’s just about between a half an inch and one inch of excess. All the way around the dough and how much excess depends a little bit on your personal preference. If you don’t like a lot of crust at the edge, i don’t know who you are. But if you don’t like a lot of crust at the edge, you might want to air towards a half an inch.
If you like, a good amount of crust at the edge like me and some of the people in this room, then you might want to go with closer to one inch. So i’m going to use my scissors to trim it all the way around. I just think scissors make a much easier job of this than trying to use a knife or a pastry cutter. I’M going to save these pie scraps for a very important project that we’re going to talk about a little later, and you want to do this trimming whether you’re doing a single crust or a double crust pie. This first stage will be the same once you have trimmed it all the way around.
We are going to start folding the excess dough under itself and making that flush with the outside edge. This is not something that every recipe tells you to do, but i think it is so great to do for a couple of reasons. One you’re kind of building a crust – you know, wall of sorts more crust, makes it a little bit easier to seal it to the pie plate and it makes it a lot easier to crimp because you’re dealing with a little bit more crust at the edges. So what i’m going to do is i’m going to lift it up at the edge and i’m going to fold it under and then once it’s folded under, i’m just going to press it firmly so that that edge is flush with the pie plate like that. At this stage, we have folded the excess under all around the edge of the crust, and this crust is prepared for crimping.
It’S also perfectly fine to chill this pie now and bake it. Just like this without doing any kind of decor to the edges, and it would look great, but what we’re going to do is we’re going to chill it again or if it’s feeling cold enough, you can go right into crimping and you can crimp with your fingers With utensils we’re going to talk more about some ideas for that later, so this is how you would prepare the edges for a single crust pie. It’S a little bit different for a double crust pie. So i’m going to roll out the dough for that get some filling and we’ll show you how it’s different i’ve gone ahead and lined the pie plate, leaving that excess all the way around and i’ve put my filling in now, i’m going to roll out my top Crust and we’ll transfer it to the top of the filling, and what we’re going to do is we’re sort of going to seal the top crust with the bottom crust. This helps not only you know, kind of making it look good before baking, but it really helps it retain its structure during and even after baking.
Sometimes the fillings in double crust. Fruit, pies especially tend to shrink after baking if they were raw fruit before we’re going to talk more about that in the fruit pie episode. But it can also help kind of just create a stronger top crust so that, even if something happens in the filling underside, the crust maintains its beautiful beautiful shape. It’S important that it’s wide enough at this point, because if it’s too thin you’re going to struggle to get this sealing effect, but you also don’t want the top crust to be too thin. It’S a little easier to work with, and i also like you know plenty of heft to a top crust, so i can enjoy it as a crust lover.
I think that looks pretty good. What we’re going to do is we’re going to roll it onto the pin, bring our filled pie in so we’re just going to unfurl it placing one edge on one side of the pie plate and then just unrolling our pin. You can just pull it a little if you need to adjust it, then what i like to do with a double crest pie, is i like to run my hand a little bit around the filling that just sort of creates a little of that dome shape that I think is sort of you know an iconic pie thing once you’ve got that what we’re going to do is we’re going to press firmly with our fingers, the top and the bottom crust together and we’re not just pressing them together. We’Re also trying to thin them out a little bit, so we want not two pieces of thick dough. We kind of want to make them into one piece of thinner dough, all the way around, so i’m really going to press firmly with my hands like this.
All the way around and i’m kind of working from the bottom and pressing the bottom one into the top all the way around all the way around. If you get to a point where you don’t have as much dough on the bottom, maybe you don’t press it as firmly with that top crust, because you want to make sure you have an equal amount of dough. Now we’re going to treat this excess amount of dough just like we did the first time we’re going to use our scissors to trim away the excess leaving behind just about a half an inch. Sometimes, when you trim away you’ll only be trimming a piece of the top crust. Sometimes when you trim you’ll only be trimming away a piece of the bottom crust, you pressed it together all the way around.
So now we’re just dealing with kind of one crust. Once we get the crust all the way around trimmed and ready to go, we’re gon na. Do that same thing, folding it under itself. So it’s important this time that what we’re doing is we’re folding the top crust under the bottom crust. So it’s really important to make sure we get it sealed, so we’re just gon na lift it up and fold it, and i’m really trying to shove that crust down, so that it makes contact with the pie plate down there once you’ve folded that edge under all The way around your double crust pie is ready to be baked or ready to be crimped decorated in its next stages.
So it’s that same kind of concept of folding it under you just want to do it so that the top crust is folded under the bottom crust, in addition to classic pies that are baked in pie, plates single and double crust. Of course, there are a million other pie options. One of my favorites is the free-form pie, the most common of which that is you know widely known, is the galette. So i love a galette. I often use my rough puff or extra flaky dough to make it, and the same is true for all free-form pies.
You can make free-form pies double-crossed. They can be latticed, they can have crimped edges, there’s really nothing. You can do with a classic traditional pie that you can’t do with a free-form pie and best of all, it’s very easy to get that bottom crust baked properly, because it’s in direct contact with a nice flat surface. So in the oven. It always bakes up crisp and golden, and it has a really easy doneness trick built in whenever you’re making a free-form pie.
You just want to shake the pie on the baking sheet if it moves from side to side that crust is baked and it is done and ready to go. I love all free-form pies. This is a nice cherry galette. You can make absolutely any kind of freeform pie. Just remember.
You usually need a little less filling because by nature, these pies are flatter because they don’t have the walls of the pie pan to support it when any pie, but especially free-form pies, are properly baked. You can pick them right up and they are so sturdy. Look at that. Ah little dance, little pie, dance, don’t try this at home, but actually do cause. Your crests are totally going to be able to handle it.
This is my every pie. Crust demonstration psa, save your pie, scraps guys, save them, save your pie, scraps! Don’T throw that stuff away. You can save the tiniest bit of pie, scrap and turn it into something delicious for now or you can save them. Sometimes i wrap little pieces and i put it in a bag in my freezer, that’s full of pie scraps and when i have enough, i make something with them.
So always save your pie. Scraps such good buttery flaky work you’ve put into that dough and you can make so many fun things from it. Sometimes i use pie scraps to make decorative elements on a full pie like cut outs or little embellishments like a little braid. Something in that vein, but you can also just make other components using your scraps. Sometimes i roll out dough into little pieces like this, and all this is, is pie dough with some fruit on top, and i sprinkled it with some coarse sugar and baked it until it was golden and crisp a nice little portable hand, pie alternative, all made with Scrap dough some other things i love to do with scrap dough, are cut it into tiny little pieces and bake it separately.
I egg wash it and toss it with sugar and then i use it on top of a baked pie like streusel, you can’t usually put the pie crust juice on fillings before baking, unless they’re sturdy enough to support the weight, but you can bake them separately, like This and put it on a finished pie for some added crunch, some added flair and a great way to use up your pie scraps. Then this is one of my other favorite ways to do it. I just like to bake it almost into like little crackers or other vessels. I baked these into little toast shaped ones because i like to mash avocado onto these, like avocado toast but pie fide, so the options are really really endless. With your pie, scraps they’re, just as endless as with the dough itself, so save your pie scraps every time.
[ Applause, ]: let’s talk about crimps, one of my favorite parts of the pie process is decorating your dough, it’s so much fun. So, let’s start with some really easy ones. First, get you started. I call this one. The fork chevron crimp and it’s kind of just a step up from the classic fork crimp, which would just be pressing your fork into the dough.
So what i’m going to do is i’m going to flour my fork a little bit, i’m going to press it at an angle so that the the indentation closer to the edge of the pie plate is shorter than the indentation towards the center of the pie plate. I’M going to press down and then i’m going to press again going the other way, i’m just going to keep going around the pie, alternating as i press and anytime. You need to just flower. Those fork tines make it easier to press very quickly. You have a very cute, very easy little pie, crust, crimp crimps, not only decorate your pie dough, but they also help seal the pie dough to the pie plate.
So they really are so great for a variety of reasons. Beautiful, let’s do another. This is another simple one to do that. I use my scissors, for so what we’re going to do is we’re going to just snip the dough at kind of a 45 degree angle, leaving about half an inch between each piece and when we get back around to the other side, you can actually leave it. Just like this, but i like to sort of fan them out, going opposite directions, and this is actually based on a bread shaping technique.
That’S done on baguettes called um epis that are sort of meant to look like stalks of wheat. So, just like that, let’s do some more this next one. I call the classic finger crimp and for this one you’re going to need both of your hands whichever hand is your dominant hand is going to be making sort of a v shape with these two fingers. Your thumb and pointer finger at the edge of the pie plate. So if you’re left-handed, you would do it over here, but i’m right-handed.
So i do it over here and your non-dominant hand is going to be pressing in and down so you’re kind of pressing towards each other. Your dominant hand is making the shape and your non-dominant hand is going to make sealing it to the pie plate and i usually just kind of find where the last one ended and start right there. The wider you leave your dominant hand, the larger the crimp shape. Will be some people also do this, instead of using their fingers, they use their knuckle pressing like this. That makes a little bit more of a rounded edge, and this makes a little bit more of a pointy effect.
I really like that little bit of a point because it just stays a little bit sharper after baking. So just like that this is one of my most used crimps. I call it the rope, crimp and a lot of people do this crimp one-handed, using your forefinger and your thumb, but i find that really difficult, so i press the dough instead between my two pointer fingers of both hands. It’S just another example, though there’s no one right way to do things. There are lots of ways: i’m gon na kind of grab the dough between my fingers at an angle and press the dough between my fingers and wherever that last one ends, i’m just gon na start.
The next one just like that this particular crimp is a combination of a fork crimp and a finger crimp, and it’s just also a reminder that most of these effects, unless a specific effect specifies that it can’t be done. It can be done to either a single or a double crust pie, so you can get creative and use these effects on lots of different creations. So for this one, what i’m going to do is that same finger crimp, but i’m going to leave it a lot. Wider i’m going to leave space in between each crimp. So i’m still just pushing kind of down, with my non-dominant hand, and making the shape with my dominant hand.
And then i’m going to go in between all of these ridges and press with a fork which is just really easy, but it kind of adds another element of flair to a classic pie, crust crimp. So i’m just going to press with the fork all the way around, just like that, so cute. Let’S talk about par baking because people don’t understand it pie crust can be baked all on its own straight after you form it in the pie. Shell, with filling just straight to the oven, however, many many many types of pie benefit from either par baking or blind baking, and it’s really a very simple process. It’S just a very misunderstood one.
So let’s break it down, so you know what to do. If you ever want to par or blind bake your pie crust, first of all, a brief description of both of those par baking is when you partially bake a crust that is going to be returned to the oven again later to bake again blind baking is when You fully bake a crust because the filling that’s going inside of it is not going to be baked again in the oven, so the first process for both par or blind baking is the same. The only difference is the amount of time they spend in the oven. So i’ve got my crimped pie, shell here already in a pie plate. The first thing i’m going to do is grab a trusty fork and i’m going to dock the crust the inside of the crust all over with this fork.
I especially want to get up here at the edges, because this is where that pie, dough, that we folded under is, and it can be a little bit thicker and be prone to puffing up there so by poking holes in it like this, what we’re doing is We’Re reducing the amount that it is going to puff up by allowing kind of puncturing the dough so that when that steam happens, it has somewhere to escape and don’t worry about the appearance of this. The holes pretty much fill in and largely disappear during the par and blind baking process. You don’t need to worry about having lots of tiny holes in your crust. I learned a big pie originally from my grandma and my grandma actually said to me once when i was showing her this technique. She said, but isn’t the filling gon na go through those holes in the bottom, but because we’re par baking at first?
No, it is not if you just poked holes in it like this and then poured your filling in. Maybe it might have a problem, but not if you do it like this, so i’m doing it all over the sides and the base. Once i’ve got nice little holes all around my pie plate i’m going to cut a piece of parchment paper. You can also use foil for this, but i prefer parchment paper and it needs to be a little bit bigger than the pie plate and i’m going to kind of press the parchment into the pie plate a little. It may not stay, don’t worry, it will stay once we add our trusty pie weights now pie weights are the first area that is really misunderstood in par and blind baking.
You cannot just put pie weights in the base of the crust. The pie weights need to come all the way up to the edge of the pie crust to where the crimp begins, if they don’t you’re, not weighing down that portion. So people who struggle with the sides of their pie dough falling down having issues like that. That’S why it’s happening either not enough chill time or not enough pie weights, so i’m going to go ahead and pour this. Is my workout now with ceramic pie weights?
This is probably the equivalent of four sets three or four sets of ceramic pie weights. They do not sell them in this quantity. So, if you’re at home and you’re thinking that that little pie weight set, i have is not enough use your beans here, get two or three pounds of beans. That should be enough to fill your pie plate to the edge just like this. This is what you need to ensure that it’s fully weighted down and just think about it.
If you only weigh down the base, there’s nothing holding the sides in place and that’s what you’re doing with these weights you’re holding the dough exactly where you want it to stay until the structure is set once the structure is set, we can take these weights away And bake it until it’s golden brown and exactly how we want it. So i’m going to leave this here for a second just to show you i’m going to grab an already par baked and an already blind baked dough. So you can see what they look like. So the initial process of par or blind baking is exactly the same. What we’re going to do is once it’s lined with these pie.
Weights filled fully we’re going to bake it in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes at 425 degrees. If you have a baking steel or baking stone, you want to enlist the help of that. Here too, i usually put it on the lowest rack of the oven to again get some of that heat from the bottom of the oven, to give its work to make sure we’re getting a nice crisp bottom of our crust. So after that initial 15 to 17 minutes you’re going to remove the pie weights, i usually just have a metal bowl right by the oven. So i can make a quick transition and let those pi weights cool, you’re, gon na return it to the oven.
For two to three minutes more or until that part, where that was covered with pie, weights previously appears dry it’ll appear wet. When you first take the pie weights out, we want to just get it to the point that it’s fully dried out to blind bake. You would proceed with that same process, except when you remove the pie weights. You would bake for 10 to 12 minutes more until you start to see some visible browning on the bottom crust, which we can see right here on this crust. It started to brown even from the base.
Another way that you can test to see if it’s fully baked is actually by twisting it gently and lifting it out. Yes, you can fully remove that from the pie plate and that way we know that it is fully baked. Look, we can see right there, it’s baked it’s nice and brown. The same can actually be said of a par-baked crust. You can kind of turn it around and see and sure enough.
We can get this one to come out too. It’S really important to consider par or blind baking, because the amount of time it takes for the filling to bake is usually not enough time for the crust to bake too so by starting that process a little before we add the filling we can just kind of Set ourselves up for the best pie, success no soggy bottoms a nice crisp crust. It’S also another way that you can make things ahead, because i know pies can feel like a longer process, but par baking or blind baking can be done up to 24 hours before you want to finish and serve your pie, so there’s one other type of par Baking that you can do i get questions about this a lot. It’S a little bit more finicky, but i wanted to show you for that reason: it’s how to par bake a double crust pie, so i’m going to go grab my pie crust out of the oven to show you what i’m talking about to par bake the crust For a double crust pie, it’s a little bit more finicky and it restricts what you can do at the edges. But what you would do is you would line your pie plate, allowing that excess half an inch to an inch to just hang over the edge of the pie plate.
You can see right here that the dough is actually extending over the lip of the pie plate. That was intentional. We want to do that because now that it’s parbate we’re going to trim that excess away, then once you fill it and put your top crust on, you can just seal the top crust to your par-baked bottom crust using a fork or some other crimping technique. So what i’m going to do is i’m going to grab my trusty scissors again. You have to do this, while it’s still warm to achieve the easiest, cleanest effect, if you let it cool, it just becomes a little bit more brittle and harder to trim.
I do have an article about this on food 52 about the full steps of par baking, a double crust pie, so once it is trimmed now that pie crust is pretty much flush with the outside edge, we can fill it put the second crust on top and Crimp, that top crust right to the par-baked base, a lot of recipes benefit from par or blind baking, but not every recipe is going to tell you to do it. So it’s just another skill that you yourself can kind of add to your baking tool kit so that you can add it whenever you want that crispier crust, if you’re still confused about par or blind baking. Just leave me some questions in the comments. Send me a dm on instagram i’d love to help you get to the bottom of it, because this right here is going to be the key to so much pie. Success for you.
I promise there is a whole world of pie crust beyond classic pie, pastry within classic pie pastry. You can have all kinds of flavors chocolate, different flowers, spices, citrus zest. There are tons of options, but you break out of that mold and there are even more for the pie crust. Phobic, i remind you that there are so many things that you can do that don’t even involve rolling the crust out. If you don’t want to a few of those, examples are right here in front of me and there are a ton, more ideas in my new pie book the book on pie.
So right here we have my nut crust, which can be made with any style or not style. There aren’t styles of nuts any kind of nut pistachios, which is what i made it with today: almonds walnuts, pecans and it bakes up crisp and toasty, and just incredibly flavorful also bonus. It’S naturally gluten free, also in the naturally gluten-free realm. Is my coconut macaroon crust. This is also a great example of how you can make crusts of other favorite ideas.
Another one i have in the book is based on haystack cookies, similar thing my mom used to make with coconut, but with chocolate and butterscotch, and it firms up it doesn’t require any baking nice and easy. We have a classic crumb crust here, which is made by grinding cookies or crackers, or cereal or potato chips, really anything you can think of into fine crumbs and combining them with butter and pressing them right into a pan. Then these two are such beauties, but also very simple. To make this is a phyllo dough crust made using just frozen phyllo dough that i thawed brushed with butter, sprinkled with some sugar and layered best of all. It creates this incredible ruffly effect, beautiful texture that looks so great on pies, but it is so easy to replicate and this one is a little fancier, but so much fun.
This is a meringue pie crust and i actually got this idea from one of my mentors in the baking world rose lee v berenbaum, who has it in her ice cream book and i loved the idea, because it’s this incredible marshmallowy texture when it bakes up. That is so good with different kinds of cream based fillings. I even have a pie in the book on pie called the eaten mess pie that i make just like an eaten mess custard with meringue and whipped cream and jelly so good. So if you’re thinking pie crust isn’t for me, i hate all the process of making it never fear. There are so many ways that you can make a pie and make it just the way that you like it.
There are a number of mistakes that can happen in the world of pie, dough and the first two sort of happen when mixing. So let’s talk about those first, we mentioned it a little bit when i was doing the mixing by hand that the most common problem is hydration. So this is a good example of a dough that is too dry and you can tell because even when i lifted it up, it just started to fall apart. You know it doesn’t hold together, but the other way that you can tell is really by these like dry little bits. That was a big piece of butter, but these dry little bits right in here it just is kind of a mess.
All it needs is a little more moisture, but it’s a lot harder to get that moisture incorporated once the dough is fully mixed. So if you notice after chilling that the dough is too dry, what you’re going to do, you still need to very lightly flour. Your surface, but don’t use too much because you’re just going to make the dough drier we’re going to try to roll it out just as thin as we can get it to try to give us a little more surface area, we’re not trying to roll it out. Like we’re gon na put it in a pie, crust and you’ll see why, for one thing, look how it just like cracks! It crumbles, it’s doing that because it’s not hydrated properly.
So it’s sticking to my rolling pin, there’s all kinds of problems, so i’m just going to roll it out a little bit here, i’m going to grab some cool water with my fingertips, just dipping my fingertips into the water and i’m going to flick that water onto The pie dough a few times just to help hydrate it. You might even flip it over and do a couple on this side too we’re just incorporating a few drops of water. Now, what we’re going to do is fold it the same way. I showed you for extra flaky, dough or rough puff just fold it in quarters. Once you get it into that quarter, you can kind of squish it back into a ball, shape, press it into a one inch thick disk, and now it will be more properly hydrated.
After another round of chilling in the fridge – and it should be good to go remember that this process does start to work – the dough anytime, you have to do this – you are risking making the dough a little bit tougher, so focus on that hydration right from the Get go when you can. The other problem that can happen during mixing is that the dough is too wet. I’M gon na put a good amount of flour down here, because i’m going to need it to fix this to wet dough. You can see already trying to take it out of this plastic, wrap that it is just a sticky mess, stuck to my hand stuck to the plastic, wrap, i’m leaving so the way that you fix. This is almost by doing what i told you not to do in rolling we’re going to use so much.
Flour, we’re going to basically use more flour than you normally would to roll out dough, because we are trying to get that excess flour to absorb the excess moisture. So what i’m going to do, i’m going to roll the dough out, keep flouring it generously or it will stick to your work surface and it will stick to your rolling pin, get it to about a half an inch thick make sure it’s nicely coated with flour. On both sides then fold it in quarters, if you feel like it still feels sticky to the touch, you can even repeat the folding process, but if you’ve incorporated enough flour, you can just form it back into a disc, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and it’s Ready to chill again to use once it’s relaxed a little, there are more mistakes that can happen kind of during the baking stages. So let’s talk about those next. The first is my number one pet peeve, just not using enough pie weights.
That’S all it takes for something to kind of slope down. The sides here is an example. I only put pie weights in the very bottom of this pie just in the bottom layer and, as you can see, only one side kind of really slumped down right here. It’S not where the others are, but the whole top of the pie is uneven. The crimps did not stay and part of the reason was the dough wasn’t weighted well so once it hit the oven and it started to perform those flaky beautiful puffy bits it just kind of lost control.
Some of it slid down some of it puffed up too much over here. It’S just kind of a mess. If i had used those pie weights all the way up to the top, this wouldn’t happen. We’D have a nice finished. You can even see in this one, which is an error still that we’ve.
You know it stayed where it’s supposed to stay so use enough pie weights, and you won’t have this particular issue. Another issue – that’s so common, especially if you have hot spots or an unpredictable oven, is some of the crust getting a little too dark. So you can see we have this nice beautiful brown crust over here and we’ve got some little foil guys over here. They are just covering up a bit of the crust that got really dark so that it didn’t continue to get any darker in the oven. So that is something that you can do.
They also sell silicone kind of guards for the edges, but i like the foil, because you can just put it where you need to put it whenever you need to to help, keep your crust a little more, even and prevent mistakes like this from getting worse. The final mistake is not chilling your pie, dough enough. I’Ve said it a million times and i’ll say it: a million more pie, dough likes to be cold, the ingredients should be cold, the equipment should be cold, the dough itself should be nice and chilled when it hits the oven. If it is not, we rolled this one out and then put it right into the oven. Almost all a huge amount anyway of the fat, ran out of this pie crust and you can see the evidence on the parchment paper and peeling it up it.
Just it’s stuck it’s stuck to the sheet tray because the fat has run underneath and kind of fused it to the sheet tray, but, more importantly, this crust, which i don’t know that i’ll be able to pop out of the pie plate. Maybe i will i said when they’re properly baked, it should pop out, but this one is properly baked and it is not popping out because it is incredibly brittle because all that fat ran out there is no richness, no moisture, oh yeah. I cracked it, but i need to crack it to show you look, look how brittle that is it’s just so when people tell me their crust is really tough a lot of times it’s because this has happened that that fat has run out of the dough in The oven so, if you’ve experienced repeatedly sort of a very tough hard to get your fork through brittle crust, it can happen for either this reason not chilling it enough or your oven, not being hot enough when it goes in. If your oven isn’t hot enough, you don’t have an oven thermometer at that nice. High temperature.
Some of the butter is going to melt out before the crust has a chance to set instead of creating that steam effect. That happens when a really cold crust hits a really hot oven, so yeah. The other time that this sort of brittle fat melting out situation can happen is if the fat isn’t fully coated in flour. So remember again, when you’re mixing that dough that you’re continuing to toss the cubes well in flour, so that they are coated on all sides. If, just you know, a raw piece of butter hits the oven.
Of course it’s going to want to melt, but that flour sort of performs a protective sort of barrier. So, to avoid issues like this to keep your crust, nice and flaky, you want to make sure it’s really really cold, that your oven is really really hot and that all the pieces of butter are fully coated in flour and you’re. Gon na have success and a nice tender crisp flaky crust, not a tough brittle whatever this is. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of bake it up a notch where we talked all things pie dough, be sure to share your pies with me with hashtag bake it up a notch. Leave me some comments.
Send me some dms. Let me know what kind of pies that you’re making i’ve already forgotten. The other thing, i’m going to say here’s my book. Our next episode is going to be all about custard pies, so be sure to tune in next month to check it out. Don’T forget to check out the book on pie and we’ll see you next time here on bake it up a notch: happy baking, bye,