Everything You Should Know About Pies
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Everything You Should Know About Pies

Making & Baking Pastry for Pies

Pastry is a shortened dough that is made of flour, water, salt, and fat and used in the preparation of desserts. Chief among these deserts are pies. These are made by baking foods between two crusts of pastry or with a single crust, which may be an upper or a lower one. 

Some cooks, especially the French ones, regard as pastry such foods as certain small cakes, the paste used for cream puffs and éclairs, and the sweetened breads made with yeast, such as brioche. In reality, such desserts resemble cakes in use more than they do pastry, and for this reason are included and discussed in connection with them in Pastries Section on this site.


The proportion of ingredients for the making of pastry varies with the kinds of flour used and the kinds of pastry desired. Some pastry varieties can be made with a comparatively small amount of fat, while others require a large amount. The use to which the paste is to be put will determine the proportion of fat to be used. It varies from the minimum amount of one-sixth as much fat as flour, by measure, or one-third, by weight, which is the proportion for economy paste, to one-half, by measure, or an equal amount by weight, which is the proportion used in the making of puff paste.

NOTE: For the ordinary preparation of pies, an amount midway between the two extremes is usually sufficient, while oftentimes less may be used to advantage.

The amount of liquid in proportion to the amount of flour is about one-fourth, by measure, because pie crust is an example of a stiff dough, and such dough requires four times as much flour as liquid. However, liquid should be added to the other ingredients until the correct consistency is obtained, regardless of the quantity used. The consistency is not right until the flour and the fat cling together in such a way that the mixture may be rolled out to form the crust for a pie. The less liquid used to accomplish this condition, the flakier will be the crust when it is baked.

More skill is required in the handling of pastry when the smallest amount of water that can possibly be used is added, but the results achieved usually justify the care that is taken.

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Pie à la Mode
A very attractive as well as appetizing way in which to serve pie is known as pie à la mode. This method of serving, which is often resorted to when something extra is desired, consists in placing a spoonful or two of ice cream of any flavor on each serving of apple or other fruit pie. Pie served in this way is high in food value and is a general favorite with people who are fond of both ice cream and pie.
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