Baking (rec.food.baking) For bakers, would-be bakers, and fans and consumers of breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, bagels, and other items commonly found in a bakery. Includes all methods of preparation, both conventional and not.

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  #16 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-10-2003, 03:42 AM
Alex Rast
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pie Crust

at Tue, 14 Oct 2003 22:00:31 GMT in da99096b.0310141400.247dfe28
@posting.google.com, (michele) wrote :

I would like to know if anyone has any advice on how to make a pie
crust that is flaky and easy to prepare. I've just starting to do
more baking and I am not familiar with many tips on pie crust recipes.
Thanks


90% of the problem is skill and practice. Making a crust flaky isn't
difficult once you've done it enough, but without some practice and skill,
risks failure even though the directions are simple. The basic idea:

Cut (solid) fat into flour using a pastry cutter or 2 knives. This means
use literally a cutting motion through the fat, which you've dumped into
the flour, not a stirring motion. You can lift the flour over the fat, but
not stir it.

Don't proceed too far with cutting. The mixture should still be very uneven
and not fully blended when you stop. I aim for a mix resembling coarse
breadcrumbs mixed with peas.

Do everything gently. This means don't apply much force at any point, in
any direction.

Use lard for flakiness. The best is leaf lard you've rendered yourself.
Next best is leaf lard that you've bought. Supermarket brick lard will work
OK but is not an ideal choice.

Not all the fat need be lard. In fact, it's best if it isn't. Half lard,
half butter works better because the flavour is almost infinitely better.
Once you get skilled, you can use all butter, but this will require working
quickly and being very careful.

Don't skimp on fat ratios. I've used a ratio of 2:5 fat : flour for some
time, and in fact 1:2 is less risky if you've not got plenty of practice.

After you've cut in the fat, add water. Add only just enough that it will
barely hold together when you press it gently. Adding too much water is
your ticket to an iron crust. You'll probably think you haven't added
enough the first time you make a crust. It's best to add a tablespoonful at
a time, staying on the low side initially.

Roll gently as well. It should roll with *no* pressure at all on the pin.
The weight of the pin itself should do the job. Your hands should guide the
pin only. This means the best way to do it is to cradle the handles rather
than grip them.

Keep everything cold. This means chill fats, flours, and water before
making, and chill bowls, boards, pins, knives, etc. Work quickly and in a
cool room. If you're making a 2-crust pie, put the ball for the top crust
in the fridge while you roll the bottom.

Again, practice, practice, practice. Take stock of what you did for each
pie and make note of the results. That way you can find what works and what
doesn't.
--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)

  #17 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-10-2003, 06:26 AM
Wayne Boatwright
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pie Crust

Eric Jorgensen wrote in
:

On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 05:43:24 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Eric Jorgensen wrote in
:

On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 05:04:32 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

"Vox Humana" wrote in
:


wrote in message
...
My family has loved my pie crust for years. I use a 50/50 mix
of cake and AP flour.....and I use only LARD. I just don't tell
them! The secret is Frozen cut lard pieces going into the food
processor, and Ice Water. I divide into 2, wrap in plastic wrap
and refrigerate for at least a full hour before working.
If making a fruit pie, like apple, cherry, etc; before
putting the
fruit into the crust, lay down a thin layer or peach or apricot
preserves. This will keep the fruit juice from going down into
your crust, making it soggy, before it bakes.


I tired lard and it did go well. The only lard I could find was
some in a box like butter comes in. Maybe if the lard was frozen
it would have worked better, but the stuff was at room temperature
and melted virtually upon touching it. I know that I had elderly
family members who make lard crusts and I doubt that they froze
the lard first. Did I buy the wrong type of lard or were the
problems due to my technique?
I make a pretty good crust with butter.

You're correct that our elders would not have frozen the lard.
However, they were probably using a somewhat different type of lard
called "leaf lard". It has a much firmer texture and, aside from
that, simply make a better crust. Unfortunately, leaf lard is
rather difficult to find. You might check with you butcher and ask
if they can get it for you.


What about Manteca?



I'm unfamiliar with Manteca. What is it?


Manteca is 'stabalized' lard. In summary, it's hydrogenated so

it's
more solid at room temperature, and somehow treated so that it doesn't
require refrigeration either. It's common in mexican food. Or at least
it used to be. I know a lot of people who argue that flour tortillas
just aren't the same without it.

- Eric


Is it truly "lard", as in animal fat, or is it a vegetable product?

Wayne
  #18 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-10-2003, 07:14 PM
Eric Jorgensen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pie Crust

On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 05:26:25 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Eric Jorgensen wrote in
:

On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 05:43:24 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Eric Jorgensen wrote in
:

On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 05:04:32 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

"Vox Humana" wrote in
:


wrote in message

...
My family has loved my pie crust for years. I use a 50/50 mix
of cake and AP flour.....and I use only LARD. I just don't

tell them! The secret is Frozen cut lard pieces going into
the food processor, and Ice Water. I divide into 2, wrap in
plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a full hour before
working. If making a fruit pie, like apple, cherry, etc;
before putting the
fruit into the crust, lay down a thin layer or peach or

apricot preserves. This will keep the fruit juice from going
down into your crust, making it soggy, before it bakes.


I tired lard and it did go well. The only lard I could find

was some in a box like butter comes in. Maybe if the lard was
frozen it would have worked better, but the stuff was at room
temperature and melted virtually upon touching it. I know that
I had elderly family members who make lard crusts and I doubt
that they froze the lard first. Did I buy the wrong type of
lard or were the problems due to my technique?
I make a pretty good crust with butter.

You're correct that our elders would not have frozen the lard.
However, they were probably using a somewhat different type of

lard called "leaf lard". It has a much firmer texture and, aside
from that, simply make a better crust. Unfortunately, leaf lard
is rather difficult to find. You might check with you butcher and
ask if they can get it for you.


What about Manteca?



I'm unfamiliar with Manteca. What is it?


Manteca is 'stabalized' lard. In summary, it's hydrogenated so

it's
more solid at room temperature, and somehow treated so that it
doesn't require refrigeration either. It's common in mexican food.
Or at least it used to be. I know a lot of people who argue that
flour tortillas just aren't the same without it.

- Eric


Is it truly "lard", as in animal fat, or is it a vegetable product?



Yep. Hydrogenated rendered animal fat.
  #19 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 17-10-2003, 07:02 AM
Wayne Boatwright
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pie Crust

Eric Jorgensen wrote in
:

On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 05:26:25 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Eric Jorgensen wrote in
:

On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 05:43:24 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Eric Jorgensen wrote in
:

On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 05:04:32 GMT
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

"Vox Humana" wrote in
:


wrote in message

...
My family has loved my pie crust for years. I use a 50/50 mix
of cake and AP flour.....and I use only LARD. I just don't
tell them! The secret is Frozen cut lard pieces going into
the food processor, and Ice Water. I divide into 2, wrap in
plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a full hour before
working. If making a fruit pie, like apple, cherry, etc;
before putting the
fruit into the crust, lay down a thin layer or peach or
apricot preserves. This will keep the fruit juice from going
down into your crust, making it soggy, before it bakes.


I tired lard and it did go well. The only lard I could find
was some in a box like butter comes in. Maybe if the lard was
frozen it would have worked better, but the stuff was at room
temperature and melted virtually upon touching it. I know that
I had elderly family members who make lard crusts and I doubt
that they froze the lard first. Did I buy the wrong type of
lard or were the problems due to my technique?
I make a pretty good crust with butter.

You're correct that our elders would not have frozen the lard.
However, they were probably using a somewhat different type of
lard called "leaf lard". It has a much firmer texture and, aside
from that, simply make a better crust. Unfortunately, leaf lard
is rather difficult to find. You might check with you butcher and
ask if they can get it for you.


What about Manteca?



I'm unfamiliar with Manteca. What is it?

Manteca is 'stabalized' lard. In summary, it's hydrogenated so

it's
more solid at room temperature, and somehow treated so that it
doesn't require refrigeration either. It's common in mexican food.
Or at least it used to be. I know a lot of people who argue that
flour tortillas just aren't the same without it.

- Eric


Is it truly "lard", as in animal fat, or is it a vegetable product?



Yep. Hydrogenated rendered animal fat.


As if by magic, I happened onto some at Walmart tonight. I didn't buy it
so I don't know the consistency. However, the hydrogenation process may
very well make it firm enough to use without freezing.


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