Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Perfecting The Pie Crust

       My son and I went to a pie making class at an Eat Local grocery store. The idea was to learn how to make a crust from scratch. It seemed like a skill worth learning well, as the season for pies is coming.

          The recipe was simple but the technique is everything. We used 2 1/4 + 2 T pastry flour, 13/4 sticks of  cold butter, 7 T of ice water, and 1/2 t of salt. A flaky crust comes when the butter is not completely worked into the dough, hence the cold butter and cold water. You can work these ingredients with your hands or put them into a food processor for about 20 seconds until the mixture resembles peas. At that point we heeled the dough a tiny bit, pushed into the dough with the heel of our hand, and formed it into two balls which were refrigerated for at least 1/2 hour.
       We rolled out the dough making sure the dough never got stuck to the board. That meant plentiful flouring under and on top of the dough. The filling recipes used cornstarch which turned out to be better than flour.

  We each made a pie, mine was apple, my son made blueberry. We took them home ready to bake.

   Eat Local is a store that makes ready to heat food with only local, organic ingredients. The class was held in the back of the store where they prepare the food. The baker was very skilled and quick, a little disorganized, but very fun to be around. Our class mates seemed very excited to make their own pies for evermore.

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