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Old 12-03-2013, 08:54 PM   #851
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How to fill a pie maker perfectly?

I love the pie maker and made mini pies for Thanksgiving desserts. I find that I fill the pies perfectly about 70% of the time. If I overfill them, the filling is squeezed out. If I under-fill them, the tops do not reach the top of the pie maker and so they do not properly bake.

My question is whether anyone has a trick or a tip to fill the pies perfectly every time?

Also, I continue to seek for a fool-proof pie crust. My crusts are lacking.

So I ask you all, obi-wan-pie-nobis....you are my only hope.

~Kathleen
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #852
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Shrek uses Pillsbury Pie dough for the bottom crust and Pepperidge Farm Puff pastry for the tops.

We also use a 1/3 cup to fill the pies.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:40 AM   #853
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Shrek uses Pillsbury Pie dough for the bottom crust and Pepperidge Farm Puff pastry for the tops.

We also use a 1/3 cup to fill the pies.
Thanks PF. I made a note on a Post-It and stuck it inside my pie maker. Now every time I open the lid, I see the amount for the filling before I even start to fill it. Also, my grocery chain sells a pie crust that is in Spanish. I have no idea what it says. But it is so much tastier than Pillsbury. And it is easier to work with. I swear there have been times when I bought a Pillsbury crust and they completely forgot the salt. Totally lacking in any flavor. The PF Puff pastry does make a difference for the top.

I am pie crust impaired. I need to get down the flour canister, some shortening, salt and ice water and spend an afternoon practicing making crusts until I get it right. ATK has one recipe that uses vinegar in the crust. They also have one that calls for Vodka. But since I don't have alcohol in my home, I think I will have to go for the vinegar one. I would think an apple cider vinegar crust would be perfect for an apple pie.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:46 AM   #854
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post
I love the pie maker and made mini pies for Thanksgiving desserts. I find that I fill the pies perfectly about 70% of the time. If I overfill them, the filling is squeezed out. If I under-fill them, the tops do not reach the top of the pie maker and so they do not properly bake.

My question is whether anyone has a trick or a tip to fill the pies perfectly every time?

Also, I continue to seek for a fool-proof pie crust. My crusts are lacking.

So I ask you all, obi-wan-pie-nobis....you are my only hope.

~Kathleen
I don't believe you heard any complaints about the pies. But if you need to keep practicing, we will have to continue to help you get rid of the evidence.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:50 AM   #855
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Kathleen always wanted a walking evidence disposal unit! Lucky girl.

Now I know where to send my failures...
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #856
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post


So I ask you all, obi-wan-pie-nobis....
~Kathleen
I make pie crust regularly and do a riff on the recipe on the back of the crisco can..


For a double crust:

2 C flour (plus some for dusting)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 C chilled butter flavored crisco
1/4 C chilled (cubed) butter
4 to 8 Tbls ice water

- Mix flour, salt and sugar
- Cut fat into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it's pea-sized bits
- Sprinkle half the water into mixture and stir in with a fork. Add more water as needed until the mixture just begins to hold together as a ball.

Divide in two and pat into patties.

IF YOU HAVE TIME: Chill dough for a few mins before rolling

TIPS:

- If you have time, chill the flour before beginning.
- Avoid over mixing after you have begun to add water. Your hands heat up the dough and the mixing will begin to build gluten (makes the dough tough - not flaky)
- When using a full size pie dish, sprinkle a little flour in the naked pan. This seems to keep the crust crisper on the bottom and also makes crust placement easier because you can slide it around a little more easily.

- you need one of these:

Click image for larger version

Name:	cutter1.jpg
Views:	111
Size:	18.8 KB
ID:	19955

not one of these:


Name:   cutter2.jpg
Views: 98
Size:  10.4 KB

They still make good cutters (new) but you can get an old one in a thrift shop for a buck or two. The slightly flexible tines are waaaaaay better than the stiff new-style.


May The Force be with you....
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:03 PM   #857
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I have a large canister full of flour and some vegetable shortening. But I bit the dust and bought more flour, butter and a large can of veggie shortening. So I am going to bite the bullet and start working on improving my pie crust making skills. I don't know why, but I do make a reasonable puff pastry. And that is supposed to be the hard one.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I make pie crust regularly and do a riff on the recipe on the back of the crisco can..


For a double crust:

2 C flour (plus some for dusting)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 C chilled butter flavored crisco
1/4 C chilled (cubed) butter
4 to 8 Tbls ice water

- Mix flour, salt and sugar
- Cut fat into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it's pea-sized bits
- Sprinkle half the water into mixture and stir in with a fork. Add more water as needed until the mixture just begins to hold together as a ball.

Divide in two and pat into patties.

IF YOU HAVE TIME: Chill dough for a few mins before rolling

TIPS:

- If you have time, chill the flour before beginning.
- Avoid over mixing after you have begun to add water. Your hands heat up the dough and the mixing will begin to build gluten (makes the dough tough - not flaky)
- When using a full size pie dish, sprinkle a little flour in the naked pan. This seems to keep the crust crisper on the bottom and also makes crust placement easier because you can slide it around a little more easily.

- you need one of these:

Attachment 19955

not one of these:

Attachment 19956

They still make good cutters (new) but you can get an old one in a thrift shop for a buck or two. The slightly flexible tines are waaaaaay better than the stiff new-style.


May The Force be with you....
Those old one always have a red handle. Don't know why. Once in a very blue moon, you might just come across a green handle one. But I think the red handle ones do a better job.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:12 PM   #859
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
...

- you need one of these:

Attachment 19955

not one of these:

Attachment 19956

They still make good cutters (new) but you can get an old one in a thrift shop for a buck or two. The slightly flexible tines are waaaaaay better than the stiff new-style.


May The Force be with you....
What's the problem with the second one? I find that the loops go every which way with the first one. But, now I have discovered the FP for cutting in the fat.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:38 PM   #860
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
What's the problem with the second one? I find that the loops go every which way with the first one. But, now I have discovered the FP for cutting in the fat.

Interesting observation. Maybe it depends on how hard you mash?

I prefer the older one for several reasons. The hoops are closer together, the fat gets cut to the right size faster, the more flexible hoops conform to whatever the curve of my bowl is, the hoops extend around the sides of the tool so you can use the side of the bowl as well as the bottom and finally because well... sometimes old seems better. Channeling my grandmas pie is a good thing ;)

I have made crust in the food processor but find that it's easy to overwork the dough and frankly, the old way only takes about a minute. Getting the processor out and then cleaning it up after takes too long and is more work than just doing it the old fashioned way.
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