Pie & Pastry Tips
use the very best materials in making pastry.
shortening or butter used should be fresh, sweet and hard.
water used should be very cold (ice-water is the best).
paste should be rolled on a cold board and handled as little as possible.
the crust is made, it makes it much more flaky and it will puff much more
if you put it in a dish covered with a cloth and set in a very cold place
for half an hour, or even an hour during the summer.
great improvement is made in pie crust by the addition of about a heaping
teaspoon of baking powder to a quart of flour.
you are interested in making pastry that will rise in leaves or flakes,
try brushing the paste as often as rolled out. Your pastry will rise even
more if pieces of butter are placed thereon, with the white of an egg.
currants or raisinsare are to be used in pies, they should be carefully
picked over, washed, dried in a towel and dredged with flour before they
are suitable for use. Other dried fruits for pies and cakes, should be
seeded stoned and dredged with flour before using.
crust, if not frozen, can be kept for a week in a tightly covered dish
in a refrigerator.
crust for any custard pie should always be baked in a deep pan.
baking custard, pumpkin or squash pies, you should not let mixture to be
absorbet by the paste. To avoid that common problem, always partly bake
the paste first, that way the mixture cannot be absorbed by the paste.
When stewed fruit is used the filling should be perfectly cool when put
in, or it will make the bottom crust sodden.
juice should never be cooked with the corn starch, as the filling will
gradually become thinner and the starch will lose its value as a thickening
particularly juicy fruit, such as berries, cherries, peaches, etc., is
used for pie, flour or other starchy material must necessarily be used
to thicken the juice and thus prevent it from running out when the pie
prevent the juice soaking through into the crust, and making it soggy,
wet the under crust with the white of an egg, just before you put in the
pie mixture. Also if the top of the pie is brushed over with the egg before
baking, it gives it a beautiful glaze.
best way to make puff paste is with the cold butter, because it can be
handled more easily and rolled into the paste with greater success if it,
as well as the other ingredients, are cold. If the puff paste is made with
the ingredients that are not cold, the mixture will have to be placed on
ice at various intervals, for it positively must be kept as cold as possible.
However, it is always preferable to make puff paste without the assistance
care is requisite in heating an oven for baking pastry. If you can hold
your hand in the heated oven while you count twenty, the oven has just
the proper temperature and it should be kept at this temperature as long
as the pastry is in; this heat will bake to a light brown and will give
the pastry a fresh and flaky appearance. If you don't have proper
heat in the oven, the under crust will become heavy and clammy and the
upper crust will fall in.
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PIE CRUST FLAKY
a pie, after you have rolled out your top crust, cut it about the right
size, spread it over with butter, then shake sifted flour over the butter,
enough to cover it well. Cut a slit in the middle place it over the top
of your pie, and fasten the edges as any pie. Now take the pie on your
left hand and a dipper of cold water in your right hand; tip the pie slanting
a little, pour over the water sufficiently to rinse off the flour. Enough
flour will stick to the butter to fry into the crust, to give it a fine,
blistered, flaky look, which many cooks think is much better than rolling
the butter into the crust.
TIPS FOR ICING PASTRY
To ice pastry, which is the
usual method adopted for fruit tarts and sweet dishes of pastry, put the
white of an egg on a plate and beat it to a stiff froth. When the pastry
is nearly baked, brush it over with this and sift over some pounded sugar;
put it back into the oven to set the glaze and in a few minutes it will
be done. Great care should be taken that the paste does not catch or burn
in the oven, which is very liable to do after the icing is laid on.
You could also make a meringue
by adding a tablespoon of white sugar to the beaten white of one egg.
Spread over the top and slightly brown in the oven.