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Old 07-28-2011, 06:25 PM   #1
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I made a pie today, ISO help w/crust

I made it from scratch. For the crust, I used cold water, salt, cold butter, and flour. but my crust came out all tough and dry, and not at all flaky. was this because i didn't use enough butter? Or something else. What caused this? How do I make really light, flaky crust? thanks.

oh i baked it for 50 minutes at 350 degree farenheit and it wasn't burned at all.


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Old 07-28-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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the usual culprit for tough pie crust is overworking the dough - the dough develops some of its gluten - which one does not want in a flaky pie crust.

also the water quantity - use the absolute minimum of ice water. too much water makes for easy mixing, but at the cost of flaky.

"all butter" is not the best - in my opinion - option. vegetable shortening plus 1-2 tablespoons of butter for flavor is one suggestion.

I personally have stopped with the vegetable shortening and gone further back in history to lard (plus butter for flavor) - the lard is superior, I think

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Old 07-28-2011, 10:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
the lard is superior, I think
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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definately lard +butter. Try googling a lard and vinegar pie crust recipe. the butter gives it flavor and the lard makes it flaky (butter helps too). You should know you have a good crust when you can see the flecks of butter in the dough. You'll know what I mean when you see it. Remember, pie dough knows if you are afraid of it.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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This is why I buy prepared crusts. I buy one package of 2 Marie Callender pie crusts in aluminium pans, and if I'm making two crust pies, one package of two rolled up crusts, either Pillsbury or the store brand. I prebake the Marie Callender's crust, fill it, roll out the rolled up crust on top, pinch the edges, and throw it in the oven according to the directions on the package. I have never made a pie with a bad crust!
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:56 PM   #6
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I use the evil Crisco for pie crusts. For a two crust pie I use 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup Crisco and 1/4 cup ice water. No matter how you feel about Crisco, the Crisco.com website has some great tips and videos on pie crust making that may help you. No matter what method you use pie crust takes quite a lot of practice to get right. It also helps if you know a good scratch baker that you can watch make a pie or two. Good luck!
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:25 PM   #7
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Lard makes the best pie crust, but is out of favor with the medical community. I have always used butter flavored Crisco. It makes delicious pie crust, and gives it a slight golden color that is quite appealing.
If you don't already have one, I recommend you get a tool called a pastry whisk, for cutting the shortening into your flour. The heat from your fingers melts the shortening, which makes the pastry tough. You don't want those little molecules of shortening to melt until the pastry bakes, when it leaves tiny spaces between the bits of flour mixture, making it flaky and tender.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Constance View Post
Lard makes the best pie crust, but is out of favor with the medical community..
You are right, lard has been villified. I figure that since I only make pies at the most once a month (if that often) and no one ever has more than two slices from each pie we are not getting enough lard to cause a problem. We probably get way more meat fat from the bacon and sausage that we eat. Frankly, that lovely flaky lard pie crust is worth the risk to me.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:59 AM   #9
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If you want a flaky crust, freeze your butter the grate the amount you need, fork quickly into the flour, add your "wets" bring together quickly and gently, rest in the fridge.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Try this from Kenji Alt/Serious eats. The Food Lab: The Science of Pie Dough | Serious Eats: Sweets

Kenji is the MIT grad who was the genius behind a lot of America's Test Kitchen recipes. He also has a recipe for using vodka instead of water for pie crust.

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