The Secret To Perfect Pie Crust
Perfect Pies start with Perfect Pie Crust.
Pie crust from scratch can be tricky and intimidating. Armed with a little know-how, a few secrets and the right tools, making tender and flaky pie crust is a mystery no more!
Butter Or Shortening? The answer? Both. My mom's pie crust was renowned in our family and she swore the secret was vegetable shortening. Shortening makes crusts flaky while butter makes crusts tasty. Combining both into your recipe ensures you won't have to sacrifice either.
The Right Balance. You must achieve the right fat content. A balance between the butter, shortening and flour are optimal for flavor and tenderness.
TIP! Leave out a cup of the flour while you use a food processor to blend the flour and fat together until it forms a uniform paste, then pulse in the remaining flour.
Vodka You Say? A friend let me in on a little secret a few years ago. A lack of tenderness has to do with the added water in the pie dough. While you need a bit of water (moisture) to facilitate working with the dough and rolling it out easily and evenly, without crumbling, adding water to the flour creates unwanted gluten. Excess gluten can make your pie crust tough. The solution? Substitute vodka for the water in your recipe. Unlike water, vodka is 40% ethanol. The vodka provides the necessary moisture without creating excess gluten in the dough. The result, enough moisture to be able to work with your dough and a finished pie crust that is flaky, tender and delicious.
When making pies we can't live without these four pie baking essentials.
First, I'll share with you my new favorite rolling pin. Made of smooth beechwood, this inventive adjustable rolling pin features four sets of removable discs that let you roll your dough to the perfect uniform thickness, from 1/16 of an inch to 3/8". This rolling pin is a great investment!
Rolling out the perfect size dough for your pie dish just got easier. Stop guessing and quickly roll out the perfect circle of pie crust dough with Mrs. Anderson's Pastry Mat.
Next up is the pie dish. I never ate one of my mom's beloved pies from anything else. This old-fashioned glass pie dish from Anchor Hocking has been a staple in the kitchen for many, many years. It's a favorite of moms everywhere! It bakes evenly and browns very well without burning the bottom of your crust. And, it cleans up like a charm! Some things just don't need improving.
Last but not least, when you take the time to make the perfect pie crust don't ruin it while baking. Burnt crust edges are no fun at all! Finally I've found a pie crust shield that actually works. Tin foil is a pain, the metal ones fall off and the one-piece metal pie shields never fit my pie dishes. The solution? This clever silicone pie shield that's one-piece and adjustable. That's right, I said adjustable!
I hope all this info gives you the confidence to leave those bland frozen pie crusts in the freezer section and get out your rolling pin and flour!
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