A holiday favorite - tender and flaky pumpkin pie.
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My son said that this crust was my best yet! So I will be using this for all my pies from now on-as Bill wrote, just wish it didn't take so long to make but it IS worth it. My son suggested getting the Crisco in the sticks and freezing it partially even before cutting it into little pieced so that part will go more quickly. I was trying to measure the messy stuff out of the can and then get it into little pieces to freeze :) The only problem was that I used the crust for an apple pie and it got a little brown before it was done because of the pre-baking. Could I have baked the apple pie without that step? Or pre-bake and just cover the edges with foil?
Par baking is something that can be done to many different degrees, like par cooking, it really depends how wet the filling that will go in is. It takes some experimentation, a lot of people do not par bake their shell and have good results, and yes you can also cover the edges with foil if they get too much colour.
The addition of the acid, in this case, white vinegar, cuts the gluten strands in the pie dough making for a more tender crust. It also helps to keep the crust from getting too brown.
If you were to use apple cider vinegar, I am not sure that you would notice a difference. You could certainly give it a try though. You can also use lemon juice. Some people even use vodka instead of vinegar.
Regarding making the crust ahead, we actually make it and bake it the day before. As for just making the crust ahead and then rolling it later, yes this can be done. If freezing, be sure to thaw it well in the refrigerator before attempting to roll it. Cheers!
The pie should be okay to sit out for a bit. However, for food safety reasons, I wouldn't recommend any longer than a couple of hours. That doesn't mean you wouldn't be okay if it was left out for a bit longer, I just can't say that it would be okay, if you know what I mean. Cheers!
HELP!!! so I made the pie dough as i was rolling it out it kept riping. My crisco from the tub never got firm after in the freezer for 30 mins. Will crisco get as firm as butter? Also as I was rolling it out I had big chunks of butter which kept sticking to the rolling pin. My dough as I was gathering it in a ball was cracking. Not sure if I added enough liquid. I would like to attempt this recipe again. Any thoughts how I can improve my pie dough? thanks
Pie dough can sure be frustrating, so let's take a step back and evaluate what is going on. From what I can discern, everything you describe can be easily remedied- so let's take it step by step.
Crisco will get as firm as butter, it just needs time to set and harden. 30 minutes in the freezer should be ample time, but the core may not be getting cool enough and the temperature differential between the very cold exterior and the not-yet-cold interior may be contributing the textural issues.
If there are large chunks of butter that cause sticking, simply sprinkle a small amount of flour on your board and rolling pin to keep things from clinging. I find it's best to have small clumps of butter in the dough--something around the size of a pea. Keeping the dough as cool as possible and handling it minimally also helps--remember that when we touch the dough with our hands, we are essentially melting the fat.
If you are experiencing dry dough--that cracks and doesn't stay together as a mass when formed in a ball-- then you can add 1-2 tsp. of very cold (iced) water. Go slowly in adding more water, as too much liquid will make the dough gummy and a yield a somewhat tough finished product.
Happy Cooking. Enjoy!
I made these pies again this year and wanted to post back my experiences and more comments.
Here they are:
1. I froze the cubes of butter and shortening the night before making the pies. That worked well and saved me some time in the morning. I thought the fat would be too hard to mix in the food processor but it actually seemed to work well.
2. I searched several markets, but none of the stores in my area carried cake flour. I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. It seemed to work well and the crust tasted good.
3. I used non-sweetened evaporated milk again and figured I'd add my own sugar as I did last year. However, I didn't remember to add the sugar until after I was admiring my perfect pies baking cozily in the oven :) Fortunately, it was in the first 5 minutes of baking and I was able to remove the pies and stir in the sugar carefully with a fork. No one was the wiser. There's a lot to be said about organizing each ingredient beforehand instead of working down a list.
Despite the error above, making the pies was definitely easier this year.
I, too, didn't have cake flour but it is easy to make (although I am definitely going to try your whole wheat pastry version). Put 2 T. of cornstarch in a measuring cup and sprinkle all-purpose flour in to fill. I did this three times (yield 3 cups) so I would have enough cake flour for 4 crusts. You must put it into a sieve or sifter and sift it at least 5 times to distribute the two ingredients and to aerate it to be light. Then measure out the 3/4 cup per one-crust recipe. I freeze the rest although this is probably not necessary.
This is a good generic pie crust. I am not sure of the exact English pastries that you are trying to make, but this recipe could possibly work — you might just need to make a batch and see how it goes. Hope that helps Andy. Cheers!
Hi - quick question. Is this recipe fine for use in tarts? And without the blind baking? I just can't see how blind baking is possible with the smaller size of tarts. The recipe I want to use requires baking for 20 - 25 minutes at 350F. Thanks!
Hi Terry - This would work in a tart, but it is more of a pie dough which has a slightly different character in that it's flakier. Pâte Sucrée is better suited for tarts and we have one in this great Fresh Berry Tart recipe. Let us know how it works!
Will try this one. I've made it before with the berry and lemon curd tarts which use a larger diameter tart pan than the muffin cups I will be using to make butter tarts. So I will be baking the tarts with the dough raw. I imagine it will still turn out okay as the size is so much smaller. Do you agree?
Butter tarts are a quintessential Canadian recipe and there are probably as many ways of making them as there are Mothers. Mine made very runny tarts in flaky pastry. The no-fail pastry recipe in the Five Roses Cookbook to be precise. What ever you choose will probably be great. The pastry in this recipe is very close to what I use and my Mother and Grandmother before me. It should be very good.