In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Treat.”
A couple years ago I was struggling with a pie crust, when my daughter frowned over my shoulder and asked — why aren’t you using your no-fail recipe?
I’d given her the recipe, then forgot all about it. She dug it out, saving the day. It worked. But — does it pass muster in the real world of pie-making, or do I like it because I can manage to roll it out?
We Epicureans decided to test my no-fail version against two other crusts.
Here are the contenders (recipes below):
- JBW’s “no-fail” crust
- Bev’s Martha Stewart video-inspired recipe. According to Martha, a five-year-old could do it. We’ll see.
- Beckie, our amazingly talented cook and baker, tried a new recipe, rather than her standard part-butter, part-Crisco version.
Two rules for pie crust:
- Use cold ingredients.
- Don’t fuss. Work quickly.
Here’s how it went:
Step one — cut up cold butter:
Step 2: add salt and flour, cut butter into flour until butter is in pea-sized bits.
Step 3: Add liquids. Toss with fingers or fork, just until dough holds together in a ball. Might not need all the liquid called for.
Step. 4: wrap dough in air-tight plastic or container. Refrigerate at least fifteen minutes, or put in freezer for a shorter time.
While the crust is chilling out, prepare the filling.
Step 5: Roll
Step 5: Bake
Step 6: Let cool. If pie is too hot, juices are runny.
Drum roll. And the winner is …
Martha Stewart. My crust was pretty good, but — Bev’s was best, just the right amount of crispy and flaky. Beckie swears her crust was a disaster, although it actually was delicious. Nevertheless, she’s withholding the recipe, and going back to her standard.
Notes: 1. Because our bottom crusts were soggy, Beckie advises that next time, Bev and I use a lower rack in the oven. 2. Bev didn’t like how tightly packed her KitchenAid-sliced apples were, and will hand-slice in the future. 3. Beckie’s pear and cranberry filling was out of this world. Hoping she’ll divulge the recipe in a future post.
Have funny pie-making stories to share? A no-fail recipe of your own? If it’s not trademarked, leave it in the comments for us. We might have to keep experimenting, since Beckie now wants a retrial with her standard. Happy baking.