Wednesday, November 23, 2011
PIE CRUST PREP ~ Part 2
My previous entry went through the steps leading up to forming uncooked pie dough in disc shapes, wrapping them in plastic and aluminum foil, and then freezing them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, I pulled out two discs to make pie shells for pumpkin pie. I actually let them thaw in the refrigerator all night, then removed them from the frig about twenty minutes before I used them. One thing I now know, having made the pies, is that the dough would have rolled better if I’d added maybe another teaspoon or two of water. They didn’t roll quite as thin as I would have liked, but having tasted it cooked -- a small piece broke off -- I can tell it’s going to be flaky and yummy.
You can see in the photo above, and in the next three photos, that there are tiny bits of shortening and bigger pieces of butter throughout the disc. That’s what makes the pie crust flaky.
I used my Wilton Roll & Cut Mat and love that it has circles on it going out inch by inch. I usually turn my pan pan upside down then add 2-3 inches to the measurement and that’s the diameter for my dough circle.
After sprinkling flour on the mat, the rolling pin and the disc, I roll the dough beyond the circle size I want, then trim it off. Believe me when I say, these circles never roll out to a perfect configuration (Does this word work here? I like the sound of it.). After carefully loosening the circle with a spatula, the choices are to fold it into quarters or roll it around the rolling pin.
It easy to see in this picture that the dough could have been thinner. I stopped at that thickness because it didn’t want to hold together if I pressed it any further. By the way, rolling dough calls for light pressure. Don’t lean into it.
To make repairs in the uncooked pastry dough, rub a tiny bit of cold water on the part of the pie to which you are going to add a "patch".
After placing the rolled out pastry in a pie pan, gently manipulate it to fit. Don’t stretch it. Trim it off to 1/4 to 1/2 inch overhang. Tuck under the excess. Gently press down around the edge with index fingers.
Now that the pastry is ready, cover it with plastic wrap and place the pan back in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Follow baking directions according to whatever pie you are making.
If you have any leftover dough, leave it in whatever shape it is when you cut it off the circle. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake on a cookie sheet in the oven till nicely browned. My mother used to do this. I don't remember any of her pies, but I do remember the pieces of pastry sprinkle and baked with cinnamon sugar. It's been a while since I've done this myself, but I think it will take about 10-15 minutes. Remember, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the dough before you put it on the cookie sheet. Otherwise, it will probably burn onto the pan and you'll have a mess to scrub off.
My pies are Pumpkins and Chocolate Pumpkin.
Step by Step in the Kitchen is now on Facebook. Take a look and "Like" the page. I'll be posting extra notes and photos there.
Visit my other blog ~ Corning NY Step by Step, a pictorial view of the City of Corning NY.