My first pie—the poor little thing!
Posted: 02 July 2012 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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First, I want to thank Julie for all of her help with my pie crust angst!

Second, let me make this tribute to Rose:  Despite the fact that I effed this up in SO MANY ways, this pie was fabulous.  I burned the crust a bit (see item 1 below), the crust had thin spots on the bottom (that burned), I flipped the crust a lot when I was rolling it (see Item 2 below), and I thought I put the uncooked blueberries in too cold, but that actually worked out fine, although I was paranoid for a while (surprise!).

This is the Fresh Open Faced Blueberry Pie from the PPB.  Basically, what you do is cook 1/4 of the blueberries into a sauce and then fold in the remaining 3/4 raw blueberries.  They are ambiently heated/slightly cooked, and they are amazing!

So, in making this pie crust, I found a couple of things didn’t work for me[Edit: I am willing to try this again, based on Julie’s thoughts below.]:

1.  coffee filter as a blind baking rice holder - This didn’t work for two reasons.  First, the coffee filter sucked up a lot of butter.  It was saturated, and I’d rather have the butter in my crust.  Second, and more importantly, you can’t put a collar of any kind—even homemade—to protect the crust edge with this coffee filter shooting up everywhere.  I could have trimmed it, I guess, but I’d just as soon use foil that can also hang over and protect the edge.

2.  plastic wrap for rolling crust - It seems that, unless you frequently lift and reposition the plastic wrap, it constrains the dough and doesn’t let it expand further, so you have to flip it a lot to relieve it.  However, lifting two overlapped layers of platic wrap, that are touching and sticking to the two other overlapped layers under the dough, is not a pretty picture.  Next time, I may try simply rolling on my countertop with a little flour.  I know Hector rolls with plastic wrap—I’d love to see a video.

Amazingly fresh tasting, not too sweet—you almost think it’s unsweetened and that the blueberries are just “that good”.  I am officially on a PIE JAG!  Pie is FUN!!!

By the way —I think I rolled my crust too cold, so it was really hard to roll.  Does anyone have any idea what the right crust temperature is for rolling?  All the Youtubers seem to roll it out like it’s nothing!

—ak

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Posted: 02 July 2012 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Congratulations on making your first pie! I know you had anxiety but it does not show in the final product. The pie looks great! It lis enticing and looks delicious! 

I’m proud of you!

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Posted: 03 July 2012 01:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m not really a fruit person, but if I pretend all that dark stuff in the center is bubbly chocolate, the pie looks delicious, especially with the toasted edges.

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Posted: 03 July 2012 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Anne, congratulations, it looks fabulous!  And I can tell from the flaky crumbs that you did indeed make a flaky crust, which is the whole point and a skill which eludes some experienced bakers.  And now you know how to make a fresh blueberry topping/filling for cakes, pies, cheesecakes, all sorts of things!  I like the stars, too smile

A few more thoughts:
I swear by large coffee filters for blind baking, as I’ve never needed to use a pie crust protector until later in the cooking process, for instance when a crust is both blind baked and then baked again with a filling.  I’ve never used foil, I think Rose mentions that it produces a cardboard-y texture in the crust- perhaps I’ll find the time to do a test with some scraps left over from my latest pie.  And pleating parchment is difficult and doesn’t always fit flush with the crust, so I feel like it allows more of the sides to slip down.

If you find you need to use a crust protector during blind baking, try moving the rack lower so that the bottom cooks more quickly than the top.  You can also just fold over the coffee filter to form its own crust protector- I’ve done this when I know I’m going to bake it a long time later.

I also like to roll on plastic wrap. The thing is, the crust is going to stick to anything you roll on if you don’t flour it.  I like the plastic wrap because it makes it super easy to put the dough in the fridge at any point if it’s warming up too much, and also because it gives the fully rolled out dough some support when transferring it to the pan ( I guess I let it stick to the wrap just a little at the end).  Then I use the same wrap to cover the pie crust while it’s resting.

If you feel like the crust had thick and thin spots, you can try the rubber bands that fit around the ends of the rolling pin or, like Rose, use pieces of wood on either side to keep the pin at an even thickness.  This is something that improves with practice.  I use the bands, they are not perfect, but they do help.

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Posted: 03 July 2012 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Also, wanted to say that your crust doesn’t look burned, the top edges are normally a little darker than the sides. smile

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Posted: 03 July 2012 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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@FG, Thank you so much!!!!!
@CT, Ditto!  bubby chocolate ... yum!  I am also a fan of toasty edges (especially of stuffing)!

@ Julie

I swear by large coffee filters for blind baking

What about how they absorb all the butter?  Does this seem okay to you?  You are the pie goddess, after all!

I?ve never used foil, I think Rose mentions that it produces a cardboard-y texture in the crust-

Good to know—I missed that!

If you find you need to use a crust protector during blind baking, try moving the rack lower so that the bottom cooks more quickly than the top.

Mine was on the bottom rack on a preheated AllClad cookies sheet!  It was browning so quickly, and it was very, very dark brown—nearly black burnt—at the outermost edge.  I will have to try folding the filter over, as you suggest. 

I also like to roll on plastic wrap.

Well, gee whiz, I’ll try it again then—using flour!!!

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Posted: 03 July 2012 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Well I think the pie looks great!!  In photo three it the crust did not stick to the pie plate.  It looks really delicious and I am now thinking of making pie. 

Re: rolling on plastic wrap… I am not recalling having any major issues when doing so. Of course, now when I think aobut it, I have often used a pastry cloth or wax paper.  I recommend trying wax paper if you have it.  Of course, again, I find just using flour (on a wooden board)  just fine with the cream cheese pastry crust recipe.

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Posted: 03 July 2012 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thank you, CRenee!  Everyone here has really inspired me to make pies, so I’m glad my pie has inspired you!  This particular PPB pie is amazing, and the filling is super-simple!

I find just using flour (on a wooden board)  just fine with the cream cheese pastry crust recipe.

I have a big Cathelon (or however its spelled) cutting board.  Maybe I’ll try that!!!!!  Thanks!!!!!

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Posted: 04 July 2012 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Anne in NC - 03 July 2012 08:22 PM

What about how they absorb all the butter?

I think the amount they absorb is minor, but if I must ‘fess up, I increase both the cream cheese (+10%) and the butter (+2-4T) in Rose’s recipe.  I learned from looking at other pie crust recipes that Rose’s are actually not as rich as some, which led me to experiment.  I also find that the increased cream cheese and butter works well with bleached AP flour if that is what I need to use.  However, the richer dough is trickier to work with so I don’t recommend it when learning. 

For a long time I used the recipe as written, and used coffee filters for blind baking and never thought it was a problem.  Rose put this recipe through something like 50 iterations, so when she says she likes coffee filters I believe she wrote that after testing everything.  She is very meticulous and persevering. 

Mine was on the bottom rack on a preheated AllClad cookies sheet!  It was browning so quickly, and it was very, very dark brown—nearly black burnt—at the outermost edge.

Do you think maybe your oven runs hot on the bottom rack?  Have you ever cooked there before- pizza, etc?  Was it completely preheated? (It’s common for the oven to burn stuff if it is still preheating.)  Or maybe the sheet pan was blocking the heat from circulating?  Perhaps you’ll need to use the middle rack for blind baking.

For rolling, I think there are a number of surfaces that work, but they all need to be floured!  I like the portability of plastic wrap, but I don’t think it’s a big deal which surface you choose, as long as you flour it and keep it cool.

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Posted: 04 July 2012 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Anne in NC - 02 July 2012 08:27 PM

I am officially on a PIE JAG!  Pie is FUN!!!

Woo hoo!  LOL

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Posted: 04 July 2012 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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For blind baking, you should use cheesecloth. I learned that on Rose’s blog, in one of her pie dough entries. It allows for all the steam to escape better than a coffee filter.

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Posted: 04 July 2012 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Have you ever cooked there before- pizza, etc?

No—I have no idea what it’s up to at the bottom rack.  All I’ve ever cooked in it was cake, except that I’ve broiled fish, too.  Other than that, it’‘s unused!

Was it completely preheated? (It?s common for the oven to burn stuff if it is still preheating.)

It should have been—I preheated for 25 minutes, cooked the stars for the top, and let it come back to heat (from taking the stars out) while I did the filter for blind baking.

Or maybe the sheet pan was blocking the heat from circulating?  Perhaps you?ll need to use the middle rack for blind baking.

This is possible.  I’ll try a higher rack next time!

Thanks, Julie!!!!

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Posted: 04 July 2012 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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For blind baking, you should use cheesecloth. I learned that on Rose?s blog, in one of her pie dough entries. It allows for all the steam to escape better than a coffee filter.

Thank you!  Maybe I will try this when my blind-baking rice is spent.

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Posted: 05 July 2012 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Jose Lugo - 04 July 2012 07:47 PM

For blind baking, you should use cheesecloth. I learned that on Rose’s blog, in one of her pie dough entries. It allows for all the steam to escape better than a coffee filter.

Thanks for posting- I missed this and am going to go look it up smile  Now, if I could just find somewhere around here that sells cheesecloth…

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