Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Five tips for making a better pie crust: Tip #2 - The Golden Touch

Baking a pie isn't magic, but sometimes it sure feels like it.

The flaky consistency, the richness of flavor. For bakers, pastry making is a dangerous proposition of science - both in areas of temperature and chemical agent.

And the quest for a golden brown color is, too.

Once you've assembled your crust and gingerly rolled it out and draped across your pie plate, fluted edge to edge, you have several options to try to manipulate your opportunity to go for the gold.

Adding sugar to your recipe will help with browning in the oven (as does our beloved butter). You can also protect your pie crust by brushing a beaten egg onto the crust. No need for a fancy brush; you can buy little brushes at the hardware store for a dollar or two - a foam painting tool will work, too.

With regards to the egg, you can either go for whole egg, which will help enhance the color of your pie, or you can go for just the egg white. It will add some shine to your pie, making it ready for its close-up with your camera. The latter is good if you plan on dusting your pie crust with a bit of granulated sugar, giving it a bit of a frosted look.

Blend with a bit of water if you think your egg wash is brushing on a bit too heavy for your taste.

You can also brush your raw, fluted pie dough with a little bit of milk or cream to encourage browning during the bake.

Some people brush their pie crust with melted jelly. It doesn't really matter what your preference is, you're looking to create a seal that protects the crust's crispness.

And finally, I wrap my pie with a halo made of aluminum foil. By ringing the edges of the pie, I'm able to protect the crust from too much heat and possible burning. It's not a surefire move, but it is a good way to hedge your bets.

Tomorrow - my final tip for making a better pie crust. And this one is a keeper.

I've been baking pies from scratch for well over a decade, and my mom says I've mastered the perfect pie crust. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I'll share with you my five secrets for making the best pie crust around.

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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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