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Pie dilemma

Dataloungers, what am I doing wrong? Every time I make a pie the filling is awesome, but the crust sticks. I'm using glass or ceramic pie dishes and grease them lightly with butter, but I always ruin the pies when I cut them. They just stick and fall apart.

And is there a secret to cutting a lattice top without totally destroying it???

by Anonymousreply 6711/20/2012

OP - You might have two problems.

The crust might be too 'short' (i.e. crumbly) - if so, try another recipe - or rolled too thin (I presume that you roll it, then place it in the dish).

As for the sticking, after you have greased the dish, spinkle flour over it, so that there is a thin layer of flour all over (and tip out any loose flour).

by Anonymousreply 111/18/2012

Thanks so much, R1. I'll try flouring the dish next time, and also make sure the dough isn't too thin.

by Anonymousreply 211/18/2012

No, no, no. OP, get some parchment paper and cut it to fit the bottom of the pan. Voila. It will change your life.

by Anonymousreply 311/18/2012

Use a sharp knife and a mix of butter and lard in your crust.

by Anonymousreply 411/18/2012

This is what happens when the gays think they're superior to Mrs. Smith's.

by Anonymousreply 511/18/2012

OP, I've never found a way to cut a lattice work crust without "totally destroying" it. I think it's meant to look impressive on the whole pie (which it sure does!), rather than on each slice.

by Anonymousreply 611/18/2012

no stick dish and a sharp knife, but make sure your crust is right cunt.

by Anonymousreply 711/18/2012

R7 has a crusty cunt.

by Anonymousreply 811/18/2012

Pie experts here...what do you all think of shortening vs. lard? I am a new baker, and google leads me to nothing but a bunch of disagreements about if you can use shortening instead of lard, and whether or not trans fats have anything to do with it, and maybe you should just use butter instead.

I don't even know where to get lard, but I bought a container of Crisco, and now am having doubts.

I thought I'd try to make a pie for my sister's family and didn't realize I would need lard.

by Anonymousreply 911/18/2012

I make perfect pie crust and I use 100% butter. Martha Stewart's recipe for the Perfect Pie crust is the best - 2 sticks of butter, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 2.5 cups of flour, half a cup of ice water.

Start by cutting butter into small cubes, then refrigerate for a couple of minutes while you mix dry ingredients in mixer. Add butter and pulse mixture until butter is the size of peas, so it's not completely mixed. Pour a little bit of ice water in and pulse. Repeat this just until dough lumps up in mixer. Too much water and dough is sticky, too little and it is dry and cracks when you want to roll it out.

As four cutting crust, always cut at least two slices right next to each other before attempting to remove one of the slices. I usually cut three slices and remove the center piece first.

by Anonymousreply 1011/18/2012

Take a taste and you'll know why you should avoid using Crisco. Margarine is equally disgusting.

Lard, suet and butter are good. Use them. Technique is everything. Find someone who makes a good crust to show you how to do it.

There are lost of places across the US where you can learn to make a decent crust. One example is linked below:

by Anonymousreply 1111/18/2012

How about a Dremel tool for the lattice on the top?

by Anonymousreply 1211/18/2012

A good pie dough requires at a minimum a whole quarter pound of fat, very little water.

by Anonymousreply 1311/18/2012

Butter is tasty but you won't get as flaky a crust. Substitute a third or a half of the butter with lard or shortening.

by Anonymousreply 1411/18/2012

[quote] I don't even know where to get lard

Some supermarkets sell it either near the meat counter or in the baking aisle.

Your best bet might be an Hispanic market in your area.

by Anonymousreply 1511/18/2012

Making pie crust is a gift - you either have it or you don't.

by Anonymousreply 1611/18/2012

R14 has it. (i use a combo of butter and organic shortening because I'm a vegetarian, but a combo is best).

I suspect the op's problem is that the recipe he's using doesn't have enough fat or else he worked the dough too much. Good luck next time, op.

by Anonymousreply 1711/18/2012

Unless you can get your hands on real lard, just use all butter. Shortening gives the crust an off-taste. And make damn sure you refrigerate your crust before you bake it.

by Anonymousreply 1811/18/2012

I'm not a cook...but my Mother was a very good cook and made awesome pies and cakes. I remember her greasing the pyrex pie plate with Crisco from a can. Maybe this isn't politicaly correct today, but back in the day it worked very well as her crusts were always flaky and never stuck to the plate.

by Anonymousreply 1911/18/2012

Crisco is disgusting and tastes awful...use lard and butter.

by Anonymousreply 2011/18/2012

Ask that fucking naked pie-baking hipster.

by Anonymousreply 2111/18/2012

Lard = pig fat. It's been used for thousands of years. Makes amazingly flaky pie crusts.

Crisco = vegetable oil (trans fat). It's been around since 1911 and the matches the modern rise of heart disease.

by Anonymousreply 2211/18/2012

Support your local bakery and buy a pie made by an expert.

by Anonymousreply 2311/18/2012

Crisco'll do you proud every time.

by Anonymousreply 2411/18/2012

r23 = Bakers union boss who just lost 19,000 members.

by Anonymousreply 2511/18/2012

I bought some leaf lard. I use half that, half butter and it makes the best pie crust ever!

by Anonymousreply 2611/18/2012

Subbing out maybe an eight of a cup of the butter with shortening or lard will make your pastry much, much easier to roll out without overworking.

There should be no need to grease the pie plate - the crust itself is almost 50% fat. It's not the same as a cake. The only reason your pie crust would stick to the pie plate is if your filling has run under the crust, in which case your real problem is that there are breaks in your crust or you have over-filled your pie.

by Anonymousreply 2711/18/2012

Substitute half of the water called for with cider vinegar or vodka -- mix the 2 & chill very well. Acid or alcohol relax the gluten in the flour, which makes the crust much easier to roll out & work with, so the crust won't get too thin from over-rolling &/or tough from over-handling. There's no vinegar or alcohol taste in the finished product.

by Anonymousreply 2811/18/2012

As with R10, I've used the same Martha recipe and use the method for making it in the food processor. I've tried many methods but this one is by far the easiest and comes out perfectly every time. Flaky and delicious. It also has enough butter in it so that I've never had it stick to the pie pan and have never floured or greased the pan.

Ina Garten uses the same method. A couple of minor differences in the ingredients but basically the same.

by Anonymousreply 2911/18/2012

I don't have the pie-crust-making gene. I've given up and just beg my mother to make pie crust for me, then I finish the pie. Yeah, I'm pathetic.

by Anonymousreply 3011/18/2012

Same food processor method from Martha, in this case shown by Sarah Carey who, btw, is a proud lesbian and her family has been featured on the show.

To your question, OP, is you use the right amount of butter in the recipe it will not stick and you won't have to flour or grease the pan. This is a good demo as she points of many of the small details you need to know but it is overall as easy as she shows.

by Anonymousreply 3111/18/2012

I don't like the food processor method because it's harder to tell if you've added too much or too little liquid. I prefer to make it with my hands.

Lucinda Scala Quinn uses whole milk instead of water in her recipe. That's what I do, too. The extra fat makes the dough more forgiving.

by Anonymousreply 3211/18/2012

I also recommend a blend of butter and shortening or lard. You can add a pinch, like maybe 1/8th teaspoon, of baking soda to a two crust recipe. The very slight rise that it provides makes for a very, very tender crust.

by Anonymousreply 3311/18/2012

Christ you guys are weird. A thread like this, and elsewhere you'll be bitching about 'fraus'.

Surely the lard and crisco is saved for your 'husbear'

by Anonymousreply 3411/18/2012

Use Pam instead of butter.

by Anonymousreply 3511/18/2012

Just go out and buy a damn pie. Do you think anyone knows the difference or cares if you slaved in the kitchen?

by Anonymousreply 3611/18/2012

If you're looking for lard in a Hispanic market, look for a white bucket with the word MANTECA.

America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated uses vodka in their pie crust recipe. Claims it's foolproof.

by Anonymousreply 3711/18/2012

After I make my two crust apple pie, I take a handful of ilk and smear it over the top of the pie. Then I lightly sprinkle cinnamon & sugar.

by Anonymousreply 3811/18/2012

Do not use lard from the grocery store, Morell's or any of those. They're hydrogenated the same as Crisco.

If you're going to buy lard, go to a stand-alone butcher shop, a Hispanic grocery, or buy online.

I buy organic leaf lard online, and I use a combination of leaf lard and unsalted butter or butter alone in my pie crust.

by Anonymousreply 3911/18/2012

Another one here who doesn't like an electric mixer. I use a parry blender by hand.

Most mportant thing I learned from my Mom as not to overwork the crust. If you have to roll it a third time - start over with new dough.

by Anonymousreply 4011/18/2012

Here is my piecrust recipe and it works every time and is flaky too and there is no sticking: 2 cups flour 1/2 cup oil (olive oil is acceptable) 1/4 cup of milk generous dash of salt

Stir ingredients together with a rubber spatula to form a ball then very lightly knead 2 or 3 times, no more, otherwise it will turn out tough. Roll out between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Simple and NOT fussy.

by Anonymousreply 4111/18/2012

Butter sucks. If you use butter it will be a tart crust rather than a pie crust. You have to use a lard/shortening. Crisco was the best and only option but with the growing concern over trans fats, other natural shortenings have come along. I use spectrum organic shortening. It is pure expeller pressed palm oil and works just as well as Crisco without the trans fats.

Many people think making a good pie crust is easy, but it is actually incredibly difficult. You have to roll it out very very thin and it tears easily. Transferring it to the plate is nerve-racking.

The best trick I learned from my mother was to use ice water to dab and crack in the crust. It will help close any cuts (which are almost inevitable). I also sometime try to roll the crust between two pieces of wax paper. By far the best pie crust recipe I have ever used is McCall's cookbook published in the 60s.

by Anonymousreply 4211/18/2012

I've never heard of using a mixer to make pie dough. I have gotten pretty adept at using a food processor for pie dough, but they're not the same thing.

Either a food processor or do it by hand with a pastry blender or granny fork. Any other method blends the butter with the flour.

by Anonymousreply 4311/18/2012

I've been making pies for decades and never had a pie crust stick to the bottom of the pie plate. You have to get the correct proportion of fat to flour and add in just enough water to hold it together. It can't be too wet and it can't be too dry.

And, as others have mentioned, you cannot overwork the dough or you ruin it. Handle it as little as possible.

I've never heard of greasing the bottom of the plate before putting in the crust, and certainly not adding flour over the grease -- this isn't a cake. And, if you are making the crust correctly, you would never need to do that or use parchment paper.

I don't care for the oil crust because it just doesn't come out right. Butter isn't right either. I've used shortening and never had a problem or a complaint. And, apparently, Crisco took (most of) the trans-fats out of its formula in 2007.

by Anonymousreply 4411/18/2012

The only time I've had a pie crust that stuck was when I tried an inexpensive ceramic pie pan. I don't think the surface was as well glazed as better ceramic pie pans.

You need to be very careful when putting the rolled out dough in the pan. Gently lay it in place without pressing on it. If you have any trouble getting the dough into the crease between the side and the bottom of the plan, ease it in. Again, do not press the dough down with either your fingers or a utensil.

by Anonymousreply 4511/18/2012

Ah, that makes sense r28. My mom's recipe calls for 1 tbsp of white vinegar in her pastry.

I bet it breaks down the gluten as well. It's a good recipe as she made great pies but I never knew why the hell you put vinegar in it.

by Anonymousreply 4611/18/2012

Julia makes a crust.

by Anonymousreply 4711/18/2012

my granny's recipe

makes 2 crusts

1/2 c peanut oil, 1/4 c milk, 2 c flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt

Mix till it holds together, let set for 15 min

spread out on waxed paper on rolling board, use fingers to flatten flour, then place another wax paper sheet over, use rolling pin to smooth out

peel off top sheet waxed paper, place tin or dish over the rolled dough, invert dough on waxed paper over the tin, remover wax paper and press the rolled dough into the pan. Trim edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.

My granny placed a sheet of tin foil over the dough in the tin, and placed some dried beans on it, covering the whole "floor" of the pie tin. The crust baked perfectly, no bubbles, or bulges.

by Anonymousreply 4811/18/2012

Use R10's recipe but omit the sugar. Also, put one egg and 1 tsp vinegar into your liquid measuring cup and fill with ice water to make 1/2 cup. Whisk. Continue with recipe.

Brush cream or egg onto your finished pie before baking.

by Anonymousreply 4911/18/2012

R48 here

forgot to say to flour the surface of the waxed paper, then place dough, then flour top of dough, then place second sheet of paper

by Anonymousreply 5011/18/2012

This thread angers me. A savory crust only contains flour, butter, salt and water. Add 1 T sugar for a sweet crust.

An egg and 1 tsp of vinegar? Absolutely not. Why?

by Anonymousreply 5111/18/2012

Don't get angry r51. The egg and vinegar is in what's call French Pie Crust. I don't think the French actually make it. However, it's been around forever. My sister has been using it for over 40 years.

by Anonymousreply 5211/18/2012

Well I think buttering or greasing the pie plate before you put the crust down is the reason it's sticking. You should do nothing, or sprinkle bread crumbs lightly then lay the crust.

by Anonymousreply 5311/18/2012

1) Don't use a machine. Use a pastry cutter. Or a fork.

2) Use pastry flour, not all-purpose

3) Use water (or vodka or whatever liquid) as cold as possible. And use as little as possible. There's a reason some people use a spray bottle... to get even application of the smallest amount of water that works.

4) Don't over-work the dough. Cut the fat into the flour, and then add the liquid and bring together as quickly as possible, without kneeding it, or over mixing it

5) Don't over-roll. Don't roll too thin. Try to roll out with as few strokes as possible.

by Anonymousreply 5411/18/2012

You guys are amazing. I was only going by recipes in books, so this has been so helpful. I was doing so much wrong - yes, pushing the dough into the pan with my fingers, and maybe even overfilling it. The worst was the first time I made a pie and the recipe didn't state that the crust had to be to blind baked ... ugh, that was vile.

by Anonymousreply 5511/19/2012

Crisco still tastes vile. Use lard.

by Anonymousreply 5611/19/2012

[quote]Do not use lard from the grocery store, Morell's or any of those. They're hydrogenated the same as Crisco.

I don't know whether supermarket lard is hydrogenated (I don't think it is); however, I've never found supermarket lard that wasn't rancid. It has that nasty, unforgettable odor. Lard should have next to no smell.

Always buy lard at a local farmers' market or from a reputable source online.

by Anonymousreply 5711/19/2012

r19 "Crisco from a can" was complimentary to guests at the The Mine Shaft.

by Anonymousreply 5811/19/2012

I prefer hair pie.

by Anonymousreply 5911/19/2012

lots and lots of lard

by Anonymousreply 6011/19/2012

This thread sounds like the title of a really fantastic psychological-thriller film/book.

by Anonymousreply 6111/19/2012

Nooooo! Never grease a pie pan with butter or lard.

You want to use Cake Release, see link below. For pies, take a paper towel and put a small amount of the cake release on it; then rub the pan until there is just a VERY LIGHT film of it on the pan.

Will not affect the taste, consistency, etc. of your pie.

You can also use this when making other sticky things like lasagna, casseroles, etc. and its also good for the crockpot etc. (fuck you I love my crockpot).

Another pie tip: if you are making a fruit pie and have problems with it coming out too "runny" (the filling), try this: put your pie crust in the pan. Then, before putting the filling in, sprinkle a little bit of corn starch on the pie crust first (bottom only, not sides). The corn starch will help firm up the juices and make them "thicker". Works like a charm!

by Anonymousreply 6211/19/2012


Love this thread.

I've had it with lousy meat pie cooked by "experts" deluded and dazzled by the insincere compliments everybody gives them out of politeness.

Should recipe and preparation of pie crust vary depending upon the filling and the size of the cooking vessel?

The filling consists of cooked ground chuck (Angus prime), celery, onions, and a bit of beef bullion paste all glued together by the best sodium-in-can-ever Campbell's Mushroom Soup.

The pie crust has to be big enough to be baked in a large rectangular cake/lasagna pan.

What difference in temperature and cook time depending upon whether the pan is glass or metal?

I'm determined to take to Thanksgiving the best damn meat pie ever and you guys only have 48 hours to teach me to do it.

by Anonymousreply 6311/20/2012


by Anonymousreply 6411/20/2012

Crust is crust, r63, and a good recipe should work regardless of the type of filling or pie pan.

Recipes for, say, apple pie or cherry pie or whatever often include a Tbsp or so of sugar in the crust and obviously you'll want to leave that out. (If you're feeling daring, you could add a teaspoon of dried herb, like oregano).

Anyway, a cake/lasagna pan is pretty huge, but I have made pastries that size before. I would just go ahead and double a recipe for a double pie crust. You'll have some dough left over, but you can just save it for something else: better to have a bit too much than start working and realize you need more. I found that an hour at 350 worked well for cooking it through.

I'm a vegetarian, so I'm hardly one to judge, but that filling sounds kind of vile. If you're going to go to all the trouble of making the crust and the filling by hand, why not use a decent broth, some fresh spices and fresh mushrooms etc.

Also: that shape: lasagna pan, seems kind of strange for a meat pie. It works well for something like spanakopita which holds its shape, but think about the slices of meat pie that will come from the center of a lasagna pan. Will they hold their shape? Will they look appetizing on a plate? Again, I'm the wrong one to ask since I'm a vegetarian, but you might want to think about making two standard sized pies instead.

Well, either way, good luck and have a great Thanksgiving!

by Anonymousreply 6511/20/2012

[quote]the crust sticks

I have that problem with my pie, too.

by Anonymousreply 6611/20/2012

Thank you, r65.

by Anonymousreply 6711/20/2012
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