On Saturday I hosted the big bridal shower that I've been planning for weeks. A tomato tart was on the menu and I had planned on making the dough from scratch, but simply ran out of time. Instead, I used store-bought pie crust. However, when asked if I had made the dough, I lied and said yes. Everything else was homemade and I couldn't bear to share the fact that I took some help from the store. Am I alone? Have you done this?
This Summer, I'm conquering my fear of dough by making a lot of pies from scratch. After gaining confidence with successful and delicious blueberry and peach pies, I decided to see if my luck would continue with blackberry pie. Alas, I ran into problems with this one. The dough was dry, crumbly, and very hard to roll out. I started to panic and didn't really pay attention to the recipe when I was assembling the filling. The resulting pie was still delectable (and eaten in one quick sitting by my guests), but deep down, I knew it wasn't my best effort. If you want to give it a try, the method and measurements I used — it's Mario Batali's mom's recipe! — can be found after the break.
This Summer, I'm in a pie state of mind: I've been making at least one pie a month and show no signs of stopping! Lately, I've been tackling fruit pies, like peach and blueberry, but perhaps the time is right for me to move on to cream and custard pies? There are countless pie recipes out there, but if I had to choose one type of pie to be my favorite, I would select key lime pie. It's cool, it's creamy, it's divine. Second runner up? Banana cream pie. Classic cherry pie is third! How about you? What is your preferred pie?
On Sunday, I went to Pie Or Die, a pie bakeoff at the SF Food Wars. Much pie was consumed, to the extent that I think I'm still in a mild sugar coma. Anyway! Here are some pictures.
Currently I'm obsessed with pie. Not only am I baking them, but I've also been researching the art of pie-making. The key to super wonderful flaky crust is very cold ingredients. Since most pie dough recipes have you add cubed butter or shortening to flour, I always make this my first step. I dice the butter or scoop the shortening and place it in a small dish. Then, I put this in the freezer while I prep the flour. It ensures that the fat is completely chilled.
Do you have a secret for making perfect pies? Please share it with us below!
Thanks to your encouraging words, this Summer, I've made it a goal to officially get over my fear of dough. I'm following ticamorena's advice, she says, "it's more about experience." Since practice makes perfect, I'm taking every opportunity I can to make dishes that involve dough. I made grilled pizzas, blueberry pie, and last weekend, this peach pie. Although I prefer pies with a lattice on top, as an exercise, I made a double-crusted pie. I followed the recipe to a T, and the dough wasn't that hard to roll out! Oh, side note: the pie is really good. You should make it. If you want the recipe I used, keep reading.
This Summer I'm embracing my inner baker while facing my fear of dough by making lots of pies. The recipe for my blueberry pie was double-crusted and called for a vented piece of top crust to cover all the fruit. However, I've always thought lattice-topped pies are the prettiest and opted to cover mine with the crisscrossed pattern instead. How about you?
Before last weekend, I was in the majority when it comes to pie: I preferred cherry pie over blueberry pie. I think it was because I had never really enjoyed homemade blueberry pie. Naturally, I had to remedy the situation by making it from scratch. I'm so glad that I did: this was my best pie yet! The filling was thick, juicy, and not overly sweet. The dough was buttery, flaky, and crisp. The awesome thing is I only experienced moderate difficulties when rolling the dough out. Thus, baking this pie has made me a more confident home cook. Want to see the recipe I used? It's after the break.
I'm afraid of dough. For some strange reason, whether it's pie or pizza dough, I almost always have a hard time rolling it out. When I recently made grilled pizzas, I had to roll the dough out three times. How about you? If you are a pro on dough rolling, please share your wisdom below!