… from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? Fasten your seat belt… this is going to a long blog—but one that will make you a “perfect” pie maker. Did you know that pies are an All-American dessert? Pies are not difficult to make if you start with a well-prepared crust. Of course, you can use a store-bought frozen crust or a refrigerated roll-out crust, but it just isn’t the same. Why bother? Making a pie crust is a cinch. The following is trouble shooting guide to perfect pie crust and my famous Palm Grill Apple Pie. Let’s get going!
Do you have overcooked and cracked crusts, soggy bottoms, are they stogy with burnt edges and fruit slush inside the crust? Do your pie crusts poop-out at parties? You’re not the only one. These are the things that drive pie makers crazy, and it happens to even the most experienced pros. If you don’t bake pies on a regular basis, you can easily forget some of the most common solutions. Want the perfect pie that everyone’s talking about?... then continuing reading. If not go to the frozen pie section of your local supermarket or skip down to Granny Fanny’s recipe below.
Do you have a soggy bottom? Is your undercooked pie crust stuck to the bottom of the pie pan?
This is horrible and unacceptable. Your top crust is beautiful and golden brown, your filling has achieved that perfect, firm yet a little gooey delicious texture. But when you attempt to serve a slice, your pie server only picks up the filling and top crust. I hate when that happens!
Are your pies, soupy, sloppy and wet?
You’ve got all these perfect, fresh ingredients and you’ve been peeling fruit all day. You’ve baked, what appears to be, the perfect apple pie for an hour or so and you come up with apple cider pie—wet, slushy and disgusting.
Are your pies suffering from ‘gap-osis’?
I prefer my fruit pies to be brim high, right up to the top crust—no gaps.
If you’re baking a pie a day you can master pieology in a week. If you are only baking pies once a year, there’s a lot to remember so keep this valuable cheat sheet holiday handy.
Ed’s Perfect Pie Crust
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
Blind Baking Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Yield: 2 9-inch Single-Crust pies or 1 9-Inch Double-Crust Pie
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold lard cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice-cold water
ChefSecret: If only making a single crust you can freeze the second dough disk wrapped in food film for up to 3 months.
Granny Fanny’s Deep-Dish Apple Pie Filling
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 1 to 1-1/4 hours
Yield: 1 (9-or 10-inch) double-crusted pie
4 or 5 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored, soaked in lemon water
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or 3 tablespoons of corn starch or other starch)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
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