Pie Crust
Posted: 06 July 2010 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am on a quest to make the perfect pie crust.  Yesterday I thought I had achieved it - the crust looked beautiful before I put it in the oven.  When I took the pie out I found that one side of the crust had slooped down and lots of melted butter had pooled in the baking sheet under the pie.  When I sliced into the pie, the crust was tough. 

I think what had caused the pooling of butter and the slooping of the crust is that the butter had become soft and I should have put it in the fridge or freezer one last time before baking.  Is this correct?  But, what would have made the crust tough? 

Also, this was my first blueberry pie and I used 2 Tbls. of Quick Tapioca as a thickening agent.  It didn’t thicken the filling.  Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Posted: 06 July 2010 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks- vodka is on the agenda for the next pie crust!

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Posted: 06 July 2010 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Can someone suggest a brand for low-protein flour?  Would some kind of pastry or cake flour do the trick?

Also, the oven was at 350 degrees.  Is that hot enough to fully cook the filling?  It was bubbling a lot!  I like the idea of pre-cooking the filling.  I’ll try that next time with the vodka crust!

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Posted: 07 July 2010 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I use white lily bleached ap flour, it has brought me to award winning pie crusts. (locally…lol) Also, I use a mix of butter and shortening, ratio 3 parts butter to 1 part shortening, with a bit of ice water to bind it… not too much or use vodka…and I put my pie crusts in the freezer for atl least 30 min, fill with fruit and bake. I also go old school and use cornstarch, Rose likes it too, if you make sure the fruit boils it will cook the starchy taste out and leave a beautiful looking and flavored pie.

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Posted: 07 July 2010 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi - it’s been a while since I have posted anything here because I have been working so hard. I started a little pastry business that specializes in cookies, tarts and pies. Because of that I feel that I am qualified to respond to this post as it has all happened to me! The shrinking pie crust is a result of overworking as Bill mentioned but I believe that your recipe may have had something to do with it as well. If you overworked the pie dough chances are that it would not have come out correctly with a flaky texture no matter what. A flaky American pie dough requires very little work with your hands or the pockets of fat from the butter and shortening will integrate into the flour preventing a flaky texture. The fat should be left in small pea size increments so that they explode when they hit the heat and cause air pockets that end creating the flaky texture. All ingredients must be cold as mentioned earlier. I believe that a combination of flours works best. A combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour works best for me. Also a combination of cold butter and cold shortening provide the best flaky texture. The addition of one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar that retards over browning and helps to make it flaky is also good. As to the runny filling - I have never found that the two tablespoons of cornstarch that most recipes call for ever worked for me. I often find that blueberries are too runny for that small amount of thickener and I made a cherry pie once using that amount of thickeners that ended up looking like a red Lake Erie. Those problems ended when I discovered Clear Jel which is available on Amazon.com. Equal amounts of Clear Jel and Tapioka flour have been a miracle for me. Although the directions say to use it cooked I have found that if you just sprinkle three to four tablespoons over the fruit you will be fine -depending on the size of the pie of course. Using a little less will result in a pie that has some juice running but I tend to like that.

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Posted: 07 July 2010 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Just wanted to correct a miss typed line in my post - the pea sozed bits of shortening and butter - or fat - in the crust hits the heat and explodes creating thousands of air pockets that end up being reponsible for creating the flaky texture that is the signature of an American Pie crust

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