Every weekend brunch memory you have, will never be without the dessert pie of either your mom, your aunt, or your grandma. Pies are a staple dessert in every household. That’s why, it is important for you to be able to perfect making one.
If you’re fond of watching shows like Master Chef on TV, you’ll hear Christina Tosi say that to have a perfect pie, it’s all in the pie crust. Read on below for the 10 essential things you need to know to get those perfect pies every time.
First off, you need to decide which pie dough to make. There are 2 types of pie dough: flaky and mealy.
Flaky pie dough
A flaky pie dough must be mixed by hand. The fat must be rubbed or cut into the flour until fat particles are pea-sized. The liquid is then added and absorbed by the flour. When rolled out, the lumps of flour and shortening makes the “flakes” of this pastry.
Mealy pie dough
This one is mixed more completely. Some even use a food processor that it almost looks like a paste. This type of dough is best for pies that tend to have a moist bottom like custard or fruit because by coating the flour so completely with fat, the crust is unable to absorb moisture. Add the water slowly when making mealy dough, it tends to require slightly less water.
Now, that we’ve covered the pie dough, let’s move on to whether you should use butter or shortening.
Most bakers would swear by butter. The science behind this is that the plasticity of shortening makes it very easy to rub and cut into flour — resulting in a very flaky crust. The disadvantage of using shortening is it often lacks flavor. Butter will yield a tasty crust but is often tough because it is harder to work into the flour and contains slightly more water. Many cooks opt for a 50/50 split of butter to shortening — so they can get the best of both worlds.
There are 2 rules to follow in choosing your fat:
- Butter contains more water than shortening so decrease your moisture slightly if using butter in place of shortening.
- Substituting all butter into a recipe that calls for all shortening means the amount of butter must be increased by 1/4. Therefore, one cup shortening will become 1 1/4 cup butter.
Another thing to note when making your pie is that the pie dough has to be chilled before you roll it in. Any time flour, fat and a liquid are mixed together gluten is developed. Allowing the dough time to chill gives the gluten time to relax and become more elastic, making it easier to roll out. Most recipes say 30 minutes, but an hour is ideal. When you remove your dough from the fridge, wrap it in plastic and pound it gently with your rolling pin.
Now, that we’ve got the basics covered, you can now start making that perfect pie! You can also share this tips to your friends by clicking the share button below.
Looking for the perfect way to make dinner and dessert pies? Then check out our Mini Pie Maker Kit.