Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Perfect Pie Crust

Everybody likes to eat pie.

'Tis the season for pumpkin, pecan or apple pie. Other folks enjoy blueberry, rhubarb or peach. Still others are suckers for those cream varieties - banana, chocolate or coconut.

Everybody has a pie they can call their own.

Me? I am a Derby kind of girl. The Kentucky classic is an homage to the ten years I spent in the Bluegrass, savoring that almost sinful combination of pecans, chocolate chips and the optional (note: why would you forgo this part?!) shot of bourbon.

Derby pie has trumped my mother's French Silk pie as my favorite thing on a crust.

Speaking of crust, I am proud to say I make a kick ass pie crust. It's not bragging, really. I am usually a pretty modest person, but my pie crust is one thing I feel comfortable heralding from every rooftop in OtR. It's rich, flaky and the perfect pastry base for any pie.

My mother says my pie crust is better than hers, and that is a spectacularly huge compliment.

Seeing as we're approaching Thanksgiving, it's high time I give you a couple tips. I won't spill the beans on my super secret techniques, but I'll point you in the right direction.
  • Before you add your fats (butter, margarine or lard) to the flour, make sure they're well chilled.
  • A pastry blender is an essential tool in blending flour and your fats. Williams-Sonoma has a pretty nice version for $10, as does Sur la Table and other culinary stores. Mine is a pretty inexpensive version I picked up at Kroger.
  • Make sure any water you add to the flour-and-fat mix is well chilled.
I have a few other tricks up my sleeve that I employ when making my pie crust. You'll probably discover your own techniques if you begin to regularly crank out pies, too.

Happy baking!

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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