Monday, November 30, 2009

Pie Tutorial

Hi all, I am joining the crew! My name is Tammie and I have prepared a pie crust tutorial for today. I love making pies, and my husband loves to eat them!!! My mom is a great cook, and she taught me none of it, I didn't want to learn I was going to have my own maid and cook!! Huh, that didn't work out like I planned, but making a pie crust is probably the only thing in the kitchen that I do better than my mother! Maybe that's what motivates me to keep making them!! :-)

I tried to do this step by step, but taking pictures of step by step is not as easy as it sounds. Steps aren't always clear and taking a picture with my left hand while doing something with my right is next to impossible. Do they make camera's for lefties??? I could sure use one, or maybe a tripod and camera remote that I could take pictures with my teeth. What do you invention idea??? Here goes, I hope this makes sense and you don't get bored before your finished!!!!

Here are the ingredients you'll need to make a basic double crust pie or 2 single crusts.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup of shortening (Crisco)
1/2 tsp salt
6 - 7 Tbls. ice water
Pie crust is a very simple recipe with basic ingredients.
Step 1 use a pastry cutter and put the flour, salt and Crisco and cut in. Now I know that I have heard it said that you shouldn't over work pie crust, I have come to discover that for me at least that rule is after the water has been added.

Keep mixing until it looks like this, now if you read in the Betty Crocker cookbook it says to blend until the texture of cornmeal, but if you've never worked with cornmeal you might not know what that looks like and I don't think it looks like cornmeal anyway! Just make sure all the flour is blended into the shortening. It takes about 3 min with the pastry blender.

This is where pie crust becomes tricky and this is my trick. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over your mixture and lightly stir in with a fork. Don't press just sort of toss, as you toss, the water adheres to the mixture and sticks together.

Add 1 Tablespoon at a time at this point and keep tossing with your fork, depending on the moisture in the air depends on whether or not I add a 7th and sometimes if its a humid day (not usual in Idaho) I've only added 5 but that is very rare. At 6 if there is no loose flour left or if there is very little take your hand and squeeze it all together into a large ball.

Do not knead!!! Just squeeze into a ball.
Split the ball into 2 equal halves.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you need to use it. If its in the fridge longer than 1/2 hour then it might need to sit for a few minutes to become slightly pliable before rolling out.

I would like to make a small disclaimer. I have read many, many different ways to do pie crusts, and I have tried most of them. Most recipes tell you to work with very cold ingredients I have never noticed a difference between cold shortening and room temperature except cold is harder to cut into the flour. Before rolling, I like my dough slightly chilled, because then it doesn't stick to the wax paper when rolling out, but not too cold because then it seems crumbly when I try to roll it out. (10 min chill is plenty) I have noticed that the pie crust doesn't shrink as bad if the pie sits for at least an hour before baking and is chilled before baking.

Put your crust between two pieces of wax paper and roll out. As you roll peel the paper off the dough on top press lightly back on and flip to the other side and then re roll and repeat, until its the right size. Just before you lay your crust on the pan, make sure that both sides of the wax paper have been loosened (or peeled and lightly pressed to the wax paper) or it could possibly tear your crust when you try to take it off on the pie tin, take the top paper off and lift the bottom paper turning crust over onto the pie tin.

If using this recipe for a fresh fruit pie, cream pie or cheesecake type filling you will need to pre-bake the crust. Roll out the crust slightly larger than the pie tin, center and lay over the top.

Take excess and tuck underneath edge to give you enough dough to crimp/flute.

tucking the extra underneath
fluting the edge
The first pie is ready to be filled for a two crust pie and have the top added, the second is ready to be baked and then filled for a single crust.

Bake at 400 for 20-25 min, let cool and add your filling and serve. I will post a couple of pie recipes next to give you a few options.


  1. Ok. I might not be so intimidated to make pies now. Thanks for posting your expertise.

  2. Not so sure its expertise, but your welcome. It ended up being way longer than expected!