Collapsing border (double crust)
Posted: 20 February 2010 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m having problems with the borders of my pies. Using the flaky cream cheese pastry.

Rose says that for double crust pies, it’s best to cook at the bottom of the oven on top of a pre-heated baking sheet. I’ve been doing that (well using the bottom rack instead, it’s almost touching the bottom of the oven).

The problem is that the borders of my pie collapse and also lose the crimping. I have a pien pan with quite a wide supporting border (probably about 1 inch wide); the top layer is tucked under the bottom one so it’s raised.

What should I do? I find Rose’s book contradicts itself a lot in various places when it comes to cooking times, locations and temperatures for double crusts; in one place she says she’ll cook it on the bottom shelf and then raise it to the top one, then in another section (but still talking about double crusts) she says cook it for 45 minutes on the bottom shelf.

Could you give me some advice? smile

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Posted: 20 February 2010 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have found that pie crust recipes that have a lot of fat in them tend to lose their shape more when baked. This does include Rose’s recipes. It helps if you chill the pie before baking, but even then the edge can sag. I put up with it because I love the taste of the richer crusts!

Anyone else have any good suggestions?

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Posted: 20 February 2010 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree with your explanation Barbara.  Yes, it helps to have the dough completely chilled (if you can freeze it, even better, esp. for blind baking). Also, the oven needs to be hot enough to set the shape—that’s why the temps. tend to be high in Rose’s recipes.  If the shape is really important to you, then using half or all crisco holds its shape better, but the flavor isn’t butter! (but not bad either). Haven’t ever tried it without, but have also wondered if the baking powder interferes with holding the shape too.

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Posted: 21 February 2010 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think chilling the dough in the pan again before baking is the key. I forgot one time, and it collapsed.
I have found my best pie crusts are when I re-chill, re-chill, re chill after each step. It makes a big difference.
I also found that I had been trying to make the dough too thinly rolled out when I used to have problems.
My other big epiphany about pie pastry is to roll from the centre outward and rotate. Pie seems has a memory and will shrink back if it has been over stretched in one direction.
I have most success with rolling between two pieces of parchment paper. I never had tough over worked dough any more!

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Posted: 21 February 2010 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thank you all, I did actually think about chilling the pie first. I normally do that when I make tarts with pate sucree, I actually pop the tart in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea with pies, but I will try that next time.

Am I correct in also thinking that Rose now recommends covering the edges in foil right from the start (unlike what she says in the book, which is after the first 30 mins). I did that, although my pie crust shield didn’t fit and the foil kept falling off. I need to make a proper foil ring…

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Posted: 21 February 2010 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yes, that is right. I’ve been using a silicone ring this last year and I like it better. It is easier to take on and off and doesn’t mash the crust, plus they are fairly inexpensive. If you get one, just make sure it has a high enough temperature rating for Rose’s recipes.  Some of them are only rated for 400.  I think mine is 500 or 600.

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Posted: 21 February 2010 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I believe you are right, Matthew about baking powder affecting the crust’s ability to hold its shape.  I omit the bp if I’m making detailed cut-outs.  But I like the extra lift and tenderness for eating, so I leave it in for crusts. 

Asphodelia, regarding the different baking instructions in different places, I have never noticed a contradiction, I think perhaps that there is a standard procedure in the crust section, but that occaisionally a particular pie needs a slight modification to that, so different instructions are included there.

As for your crust, it sounds like it is melting before the dough has a chance to set.  Chilling the pie should help a lot, as does a hot oven (as Matthew points out).

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