Let's Talk Pie Crust: Rolling out, Blind Baking, etc. Your Method?

Discussion in 'Pastry' started by J13, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I love peaches too. Apparently the trees are loaded with fruit this year. Her neighbor always gives the fruit away. So my sister makes pie and cobbler every year.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 2, 2019
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  2. J13

    Danny Lamprey Member

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    I saw the Preppy Kitchen Guy use Vodka along with his water for hydration. Then did an egg wash on the crust. It looked good but being new to this i had never seen Vodka used for pie crust. It looked interesting... but NorCal’s recipe has yet to fail me so I don’t know if I’m comfortable venturing into that yet... lol
     
    Danny Lamprey, Aug 6, 2019
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  3. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    The vodka definitely works. But vodka is fix for a self-inflicted problem caused by under-hydration. Hard to tell how much water he’s actually using because he doesn’t specify an amount, but 3 tablespoons and 300g flour would be around 12% hydration. Then he adds the vodka.

    So strange that Americans go to all this trouble trying to fix the problems caused by low hydration instead of just putting in more water.

    Find flaky pastry has hydration. Puff pastry is 50% hydration. I just posed a question to Stella Parks on her pie dough, because I noticed her hydration is at 50%. She mentioned it really has to do with the recipe, Her butter is also equal in weight to the flour.

    So her piecrust is 100% flour and butter, and 50% hydration. That’s classic puff pastry ratios.

    My piecrust is 100% flour, 70% butter, 30% hydration. I think my ratios are more typical for European tart crust.

    Elizabeth Pruiett, American but French trained,
    uses 100% flour, 66% butter, 33% hydration

    Now if you look at her recipe you can see the simplicity of that, it’s a 1-2-3

    But I find for my flour the water is too much and the fat not enough.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 6, 2019
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  4. J13

    Danny Lamprey Member

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    He mentions in another video the exact amounts he is using but I also forget what those were. It was an interesting watch...

    I have to confess, my crust from the previous forum did not turn out as flaky as yours seemed to... I also didn't do a double crust either or any type of egg wash or anything. It was very good and got rave reviews!
     
    Danny Lamprey, Aug 6, 2019
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  5. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes it takes a little bit of practice. It’s a little scary adding all that water because it goes against everything we’ve been taught about piecrust.

    Why don’t you give Stella Parks pie crust a try? Her techniques are very similar to mine. We all use tha rough puff pastry technique. It has a lot more butter and a lot more water. But the extra butter and water will make it a lot easier to work with. It’s a little greasier, but it will also give you some very serious flaking.



    https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/06/old-fashioned-flaky-pie-dough-recipe.html
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 7, 2019
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  6. J13

    Danny Lamprey Member

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    I mean... I am not gonna lie, I do enjoy mashing the butter up by hand rather than putting it into the food processor... lol I'll give this a go as well! In the previous forum for the custard pie I made, I was A LOT more focused on getting the butter really incorporated into the flour... So I mashed and mashed until basically the dough was a very silky texture... Which was great for the custard pie. I didn't realize the aim was to keep the butter sort of in tact and hanging around the flour. I'll have to try again!
     
    Danny Lamprey, Aug 8, 2019
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  7. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Lol. Smashing that butter into the flour is very therapeutic:). And I’m really glad to hear that you enjoy making the piecrust by hand. There’s a time and a place for tools. But some things are best made with the hands.


    I think after you try this method a couple of times, whether it’s my ratios or Stella Parks ratios, you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll be making some amazingly flaky pie crust. You’re baking skills are well into the intermediate level. It’s just a matter of getting used to a new method for pie crust.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 9, 2019
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  8. J13

    Danny Lamprey Member

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    Quick question though, I’m going to attempt to make a blueberry pie... since I’m not blind baking do I still need to dock the bottom?
     
    Danny Lamprey, Aug 9, 2019
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  9. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    No never dock a crust when you are baking it raw with filling. The juices will leak through the holes and cause the crust to get soggy.

    For high water content fruit filling like blueberries and cherries it’s critical you thicken the filling. The fruit will release its water during baking. Use Stella Parks ratios of sugar and tapioca starch. It works every time.

    Weigh the fruit and use then use the following

    Sugar 25% to 30% of the weight of the fruit

    Tapioca starch 5% weight of the fruit

    I just taught my sister how to make pie crust and a blueberry pie. She sent me a text last Sunday morning with these pics and said, “Holy S#%*! It Works!” Just amazing crust. And with a jellied fruit filling, it’s flakiness and thickness makes a great balance and mouthfeel.“

    Stella Parks ratios sets the filling perfectly every time
    8A75FDE2-AC43-471F-AF03-0617E9124529.jpeg

    To get a nice brown crust on the bottom like she got here, place the rack lower in the oven. If using your ceramics pie plate you may not get as nice a crust as ceramic is very slow to heat. Glass and metal are the best material for browning pie crust. If using a metal pie plate you can preheat the rimmed baking sheet to aid browning the bottom as well.

    Always use a rimmed baking sheet when baking high water content fruit, especially when it’s a lattice top. You can see where the filling bubbled up.

    Baking hot is important to. I bake at 400F. I like to cover my pie with lightweight foil at 35 min into the bake to prevent over browning. Then remove at 55 min. I forgot to tell that to my sister so her pie crust is a bit brown.

    864A200F-0E67-4220-941F-C763480F3E45.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 10, 2019
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  10. J13

    Danny Lamprey Member

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    Hmmm ok. I am using a glass pie plate and i have a rimmed baking sheet but, I don't have Tapioca Starch. I have Corn Starch i was going to use, would that work?
     
    Danny Lamprey, Aug 10, 2019
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  11. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    There’s several reason for the tapioca starch.

    The tapioca starch is clear. It’s very reliable. And it’s not thick and gooey in the right concentrations. It also will not impart any taste.
    And it helps create a flaky, brown bottom crust.

    There’s actually an incredible amount of science behind the tapioca starch and the sugar. That’s why you have to weigh the fruit, And use 25% and no more than 30% sugar. Then 5% tapioca starch. The sugar raises the gelatinization temperature of the tapioca starch. That keeps the starch from breaking down. If the starch breaks down, then the fruit releases all of its water. And you have a soggy crust. Then you don’t have a nice brown flaky bottom crust. It’s the magic of the tapioca starch and the sugar ratio that helps create brown and flaky crust on the bottom by keeping that filling thickened.

    That’s why my sister sent me the photo of the bottom of her pie. She wanted me to see that everything I told her about the piecrust was right.

    Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Starch is the brand I always use. They recently changed their packaging and they have it labeled as “Tapioca Flour”. Then underneath that it says “Same As Tapioca Starch”. Why this stupid name change I don’t know.

    By contrast cornstarch Is unreliable; is cloudy; is gooey; and if too much is used is chalky. There’s no way to guarantee cornstarch thickening the filling like tapioca starch.


    You can read about the science of tapioca starch in pie filling in Stella Park’s article on Serious Eats

    https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/06/how-to-make-the-ultimate-cherry-pie.html
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 10, 2019
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