Friday, November 18, 2011

How to {Pie Crust}

It's my favorite season of all--pie season! Ok, so maybe that's not an official season, but Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations usher in pies of every kind--pumpkin, apple, pecan. Pie, glorious, pie! 

A few weeks ago, a friend from college gave me a call and wanted a bit of pie crust advice as she was baking up my Apple Pie with Streusal Topping. It occurred to me that I had a large whole in my pie recipes--the step by step pie crust directions. The pie crust is what keeps many people intimidated by pies. I consider pies one of my specialty and certainly one of my favorite forms of dessert. Everyone always raves about my pie crusts, so I am excited to equip of all you with the confidence you need to make awesome pies this holiday season! 

First of all, check out my Never Fail Pie Crust recipe. It seriously lives up to its name. 

Now, pull out your flour, the rolling pin your grandma passed on to you, and the completed pie dough. Roll up your sleeves, and let's get started!

1) Dust your working space or (clean!) counter top with flour. You'll want your hands and rolling pin lightly dusted as well. 


2) If you made the full Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe, you'll want to divide the dough into four equal parts (the recipe makes 4 single-crust pies or 2 double-crust pies.) Form each dough ball into a round flat-ish disc. (see how scientific I am about this?! flat-ish.)


see?! everything (even the dough ball) is lightly dusted. You don't want too much extra flour or the dough will start falling apart. The perfect amount of flour, however, will keep the dough from sticking and tearing.


3) Gently begin to roll out the dough, working your rolling pin at every different angle to achieve a mostly-round pie crust. Don't be too freaked out if some of the edges begin cracking. You should have a wide enough circle to get rid of any mistakes. Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.


4) Then comes the tricky part--the board to pie plate transfer. It's a risky move, but you can handle it, I promise! (and don't beat yourself up if it falls apart a time or two. It's good to have a few mistakes along the way to help you perfect your technique.)

There are two methods for transferring your pie crust. First, you can gently fold your crust in half, then in half again. (this is the way store bought crusts come.) Then, just pick up the little pie triangle and transfer it to your pie pan and unfold.

The second method that I prefer is the rolling pin transfer. It takes a bit more gentleness, but it keep those fold marks from occurring (more important in top-crusts than bottom-crust, of course.)

Lay your rolling pin at the edge of your crust and gently fold the crust over the rolling pin, peeling it slowly off of the rolling surface.


You can either roll the crust around itself OR just hang the crust over the rolling pin like this--


5) Once the transfer is complete, gently press the crust into the edges of your pie plate.




6) Now, work around the edge of the crust and remove the additional crust pieces (Save these for later--you can either bake them with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar for a tasty snack OR make a small/mini pie crust out of the leftover crust pieces.) You should still have enough crust to cover the lip/edge of your pie plate and enough to flute.


7) Now for the fluting! (If you're doing a two-crust pie, return to step 1 with your top crust and flute once both crusts are in place.) Don't take this too seriously--just have fun! You can simply use a fork and press it into the edges of your crust or you can have some fun and give fluting a try.

I am 99% sure I don't flute the "right" way--but it works for me.

I fold the "rough" edges underneath and then use my though to press a small section of dough in between my index and middle fingers. Like so:


Work all the way around the pie.

flute, flute flute.


8) and VOILA! You'r done! Now fill your crust with your recipe of choice, bake and enjoy! (I don't bake my crusts before filling unless the recipe instructs otherwise.)


10) Now, this particular pie crust was an extra so I decided to freeze it. Very simple, and very awesome to find an already made crust when you want a last-minute pie. Simple cover the pie crust with aluminum foil and freeze. (For not much more than a couple months.)


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