Today, we are going to be talking about one of life’s greatest things. Pie. So, since this Food Friday is probably one of my favorite’s I’ve ever tackled, it will be an all-day feature. Check back often to see what else we have in store! We’re gonna be talking about everything from the filling, to the baking and cooling, to the serving, to the pastry to the pan, and yes… at least one recipe.
I must say, I’ve always loved pie, but my extreme addiction came from a beloved, and sadly cancelled show, Pushing Daisies. Week after week, the Pie Maker dished up some of the most delicious looking pies I’d ever seen. And while I’m sure they had a whole team of prop department cooks, I could barely resist after each episode, racing to the kitchen and trying something new out. I even subscribed to the Pie-of-the-Month club. Yes, there is such a thing! And I’m a card-carrying member!
Let’s jump right in first and discuss… the crust! Because what’s a pie without a flaky, delicious pastry??
- For your best results, remember what momma always told us. Have all your ingredients (even the flour) as cold as possible before beginning. Especially your water and butter.
- Use all-purpose, or even pastry flour for pie crust. Your bread flour can make the crust tough and cake flour too soft.
- Want your pie to taste yummy and be tender? Use half shortening and half butter. Shortening gives it that tender, flaky goodness; butter tastes delicious. So, do half and half!
- And really now, while we’re at it. We’re not making health food after all. Use the real stuff; none of this vegetable oil fat lard.
- For an extra-flaky crust, substitute sour cream or whipping cream (again, ice-cold) for any water your recipe calls for.
- You can further personalize your dough by adding allspice, ginger, ground cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg. If you’re making a savory pie, add basil, chili spice, curry powder, tarragon leaves or the like. Stir these into the flour before adding the shortening.
- If all else fails, I have sometimes often cheated by buying a refrigerated pie crust in a pinch. They’re always consistent, so keep a couple of the sheets in your freezer for a quick shortcut.
“For generations, it has been as American as apple pie to want a piece of the pie, even though getting it might not be as easy as pie…” -Jay Jacobs