November 4, 2018 at 4:14 pm #13903
It’s pie time for me and as much as I’d planned on making test pies before Thanksgiving it just didn’t happen.
Any way… I think I may try to change the fat in my pie dough this year – sub out some butter for shortening and sub out some of the heavy cream for water.
I remember Mike’s advice not to blind bake my crust on sheet pans (at least I think that was Mike) but any recommendations for pie pans? I have Pyrex and ceramic and metal tins are not too expensive.
I’m trying to avoid last year’s shrinkage.
ThanksNovember 4, 2018 at 4:31 pm #13905
I don’t specifically remember offering that advice, I think the most important part of blind baking is to make sure you have plenty of pie beans.
I’m not sure what we’re doing for either Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, we’ve told the kids that we’re not making the trip to Pittsburgh this year. My younger son, the one who lives in CA, has Zeldathon (an online fundraiser) in Erie PA right after Christmas. My older son was talking about possibly coming here for Thanksgiving, but I haven’t heard if that’s a go or not. We may invite my wife’s sister to come over for Christmas dinner.November 4, 2018 at 4:32 pm #13906
I am no expert on pie or pie crusts, but what I have heard is shrinking is caused by stretching the dough. Roll it out to the size you need and plate it without stretching.November 4, 2018 at 4:44 pm #13909November 4, 2018 at 6:59 pm #13911
I’ve been using an adaptation of my Buttermilk Pie Crust for all my pies. I’m not sure if I’ve changed the recipe that I posted. It works well for blind baking, and I’ve used it for pumpkin pie.
For a single crust, I bake in an Emile Henry 9-inch ceramic pie plate (not one with a ruffled edge–what the heck were they thinking?!), which is a deep dish, I use 1 2/3 cup pastry flour and 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2/3 cup cold butter, and 1/3 cup buttermilk. I mix the dry ingredients, and cut in the butter. I then add the liquid all at once, and use a pastry fork, then a bowl scraper to bring it together.
I used to make the recipe with half butter and half Crisco. Then, one day, I was distracted by my husband and accidentally used all butter for the fat. The crust was wonderful, and I’ve never looked back.
After the dough has a couple of hours in the refrigerator, I roll it out to 12-inches. I roll on parchment paper, with a wide piece of saran over the top, and I use pie wands. To transfer it to the pie plate, I flip it over and peel off the parchment, put my hand under the saran, and move the dough to the pie plate and carefully fit it in (saran still on top). I carefully pull off the saran once the dough is fit into the pie dish, and I fold over the edges around the rim and make a fluted edge. (The extra dough will help it hold its shape. I set the plastic over it, then refrigerate it for 40 minutes, and then for 20 minutes, I freeze it–if I have a freezer in which it will fit. Sometimes if it is cold enough outside, it sits there!
I line the pie shell with a double thickness of foil, or I have some commercial coffee filters, and I use one of those. I fill with beans–ideally, fill the entire pie shell. (Beans can be used over and over again.) DO NOT USE CERAMIC OR METAL PIE WEIGHTS. These get too hot. I bake for 21 minutes at 375F on the middle rack, or until the dough sides are light, dry, and firm. I then remove the foil, carefully, and return the pie shell to the oven.
If the intended filling for the pie requires no baking, bake another 15-20 min. If the filling will need 20 minutes or less, bake an additional 7 minutes. If the filling will need more than 20 minutes, bake for 14 minutes.
OK, that is what I do. The article that Mike posted, with a suggested baking temperature of 350F is interesting, and if someone tries it, I’d be interested in knowing how it works.
I do want to bake a pumpkin pie this year, and right not, I’d love to do an apple one. However, I’m dismayed when I calculate the saturated fat in the crust, and with only my husband and I to eat it, it’s a problem. I thought about trying an oil crust, but I don’t think that I would find it satisfactory.
There is a chance that we may be “under construction” by Thanksgiving. Our new contractor says he is on schedule to start in later November. We meet with him later this week to see when that might be. We have a smaller, functioning kitchen in the apt. over the garage, where we will be living during the renovation, so we will have Thanksgiving dinner, but it will be on the everyday dishes.
November 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm #13920
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by BakerAunt.
I have used oil crusts with reasonable success on pies. Then there is yeasted crusts which could be made with oil instead of butter. The texture is different but it would be better than no pie.November 8, 2018 at 7:38 am #13941
Thanks everyone for all the advice. I’m still trying to figure out what I will do and maybe I’ll have a chance to make some trial crusts between now and then. Usually I make both a pumpkin and a pecan pie but I found a recipe that is pumpkin with a praline topping in Cook’s Illustrated so I may make that as we’re having fewer people this year.
I like BA’s adding in some WW pastry flour. I’ve used powdered buttermilk for years because it seems to soften the crust.
Usually I use the foil pie tins but I think this year I will use the Pyrex ones we have.
And I’ll lower the blind bake temps. Most of the recipes I’ve seen are at 350 but I’ll drop that down.
And I’ll use tons of pie weights!
I like the idea of a yeast crust. I’ll have to try that. I did accidentally use pie dough to make pizza once. It was fragile but it tasted great.
Thanks againNovember 8, 2018 at 8:43 am #13948
I really like the Norpro non-stick 9″ metal pie pans I have, they are one of the first non-stick products I’ve had that really lives up to the name.
After the pie is cool, just give it a twist and it slides right out of the pie pan. Sometimes I just put it on a plate, which makes it a lot easier to slice, but other times I’ve put it in a different pie pan. If I’m sending a pie to my wife’s office or taking it to someone, I transfer it to a disposable aluminum pie pan.
I think it may just be the two of us for Thanksgiving, maybe we’ll invite a friend over. (My older son and family are coming here for Christmas, haven’t heard back from the younger one yet, but he’s got Zeldathon in Erie PA right after Christmas, and he’s kind of been absorbed into the Google world.)
I probably won’t buy a whole turkey or even a turkey breast, largely because nearly all of them have been saturated with a brine solution and have way too much sodium in them.
Looking at the NorBest site, their ‘all natural’ whole turkey has 80 grams of sodium in a 4 ounce serving. Their ‘basted’ one has 320 grams of sodium in a 4 ounce serving. Guess which one is easier to find in stores?
I’ve been buying turkey tenders (from the breast), which are NOT brined. I think 2 or 3 turkey tenders might be enough for 3 people for Thanksgiving, and they’ll cook a whole lot faster, too. I’ll look around for some frozen turkey necks/giblets to use for gravy. (I’m not sure I’ve got any turkey stock left in the freezer, I think I lost what I had when the freezer failed a few weeks back.)November 8, 2018 at 9:59 am #13949
I like the look of the Norpro pie pan. It has handles! I have one of their griddles and like your pie pan it really is nonstick. I may have to try one of those.
Around here we can find brined, un-brined, organic brined and un-brined, and kosher and organic kosher, as well as fresh and frozen turkeys. Kosher are always brined.November 8, 2018 at 3:58 pm #13950
I’m not all that fond of handles on pie pans, they get in the way when you’re trying to do a nice ruffled edge.November 15, 2018 at 7:58 am #14016
I saw this article reviewing different kinds of pie pans and thought it might be timely here. I would disagree with their assertion that one pie pan should do it all. I like to use ceramic for my pumpkin pie and streusel-topped apple pie, but I use a flat metal pan that has a wide rim to catch juices when I bake a blueberry or peach pie. I’m not sure that rimmed pie plate is even made anymore. My mother had them, and years ago, I bought two at a hardware store when I was in graduate school (one of those independent, carries a lot, in the neighborhood stores that no longer exist). I found another one at a garage sale and snatched it up. In addition to catching spills, the rim also supports the crimped crust.
Underneath the pie, I use a round pan, the size of a pizza pan, that has a 4-inch or so hole in the center. It was left in this house when I bought it, and it is great for catching spills and allowing the center of the pie to get direct heat through the hole. I bought a non-stick version from the old Chefs Catalog.
I’m also a proponent, when baking a pumpkin pie, of cooking the filling–without the eggs–until starting to bubble, then putting a bit of the filling in a small bowl, whisking in an egg, then whisking it into the off-the-burner filling. Whisk in the rest of the eggs, one by one, then fill the warm blind-baked crust. This technique, adapted from Cooks’ Illustrated, helps the filling bake evenly in much less time.
https://www.foodandwine.com/cooking-techniques/baking/best-pie-dish-review?hid=0527ce5bc5a38694da803c7d5550ccbaa89b02bf&did=304070-20181115&utm_campaign=faw-the-dish_newsletter&utm_source=foodandwine.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=111518&cid=304070&mid=16239218061November 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm #14027
OMG They took a picture of the inside of my cabinet, the one next to the stove!! LOL Stained old pan and all. I too have a precarious stacked assortment of pie plates. I seem to have a different type of pie plate to use for each particular type of pie. Baker Aunt, I also have one of those large round pans with a hole in the center, and I ALWAYS bake every pie on it. It has saved me the chore of cleaning my oven several times. Actually, I have two of them, one came from my mother, the other from my mother-in-law.November 18, 2018 at 8:20 am #14064
Thanks for all the pie crust/blind baking advice. I’m going to try my Pyrex this year since we’re not going any place and if I have time I may buy and try a metal pie tin.
Not sure if I’ll find one of BA’s round, drip-catchers. I’m going to make my pie dough today which should allow me to blind bake Wednesday.
Oh, and thanks for the tip about par-cooking the pumpkin pie filling before baking. Even with foil on my crust edge it always ends up overbaked before the filling is fully cooked!November 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm #14068
Aaron–Bed, Bath and Beyond has the Chicago Metalic pie drip catcher–non-stick–that I bought. Vermont Country store carries a different one. Norpro also makes one.November 22, 2018 at 7:53 am #14134
Thanks. Went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it took me three people before I found someone who knew what a pie plate was! 🙂 All they had were Pyrex pie plates. I’ll start earlier next year.
My pie crusts are blind baked. I followed the aluminum on bottom and top AND low (350) and slow. I chilled the crusted in the pans before baking for an hour. I used 50/50 pastry and bread flour (I don’t have AP) with some powdered buttermilk thrown in. I used all butter and my liquid was heavy cream.
I did realize one thing. I can add less liquid if I just dampen the mixture, lightly mix it, then put it onto plastic wrap and wrap it up and “utz it together” as my mom used to say
I still had shrinkage. Oh well… I used one aluminum pie pan and one Pyrex. The aluminum had better results than the Pyrex.
I will try this again (not today) and I will sub out heavy cream for water or vodka (always wanted to try the vodka) and see if that helps. If I still have shrinkage I’ll try subbing out some butter for some shortening or margarine.November 22, 2018 at 10:25 am #14135
Enjoy your pie, Aaron. Remember–taste makes people not think about shrinkage.
You may need to order the drip catcher at their online site and have it delivered to the store.
The bread flour is probably not helping the crust. In bread, I know that when using bread flour, the dough has to rest about 10 minutes after the first rise and being punched down, or it resists.
Have you looked at Ken Haedrich’s Pie Academy online?
November 22, 2018 at 11:09 am #14137
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by BakerAunt.
Thanks BA. And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I don’t think it was the bread flour as it’s the leavening that makes it rise. It’s the gluten that stretches and holds its shape. But the gluten was lower than bread flour since half was pastry flour. I was trying to approximate the gluten in AP flour since I didn’t have any.
And last year I used all pastry flour with the same results.
I have not tried the online Pie Academy but maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll go visit my friend in Seattle and spend a day making pies with her.
Thanks again.November 22, 2018 at 6:25 pm #14139
I made pecan pie, but in tart form using the hamburger bun pan. The crust was fine – I think I may have mastered Pie Crust 101, finally. The problem was I had bought the store brand of corn syrup instead of Karo. I’ve always used the recipe on the jar, and there was no recipe on the store brand jar! I googled and came up with the “classic” Karo recipe. But later my husband said “Something is off, it just isn’t right. Maybe it needs more butter?” I did use the 2 tablespoons of butter it called for. And “more butter” seems like an odd ingredient to fuss over in pecan pie. But, he is eating the tarts, no problem! Next year I’ll buy Karo!November 23, 2018 at 5:37 am #14143
Hi Chocomouse. I used Karo and I checked the back and the recipe does call for two TBSPs.
I used a KAF recipe and it calls for a whopping EIGHT TBSPs! I didn’t really think about it until I saw the Karo recipe. It has more sugar than KAF. Not sure which is supposed to be worse for you now.
Good thing I only make it once a year. 🙂
Here is the Karo recipe:
1 cup Karo corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
I unbaked deep dish pie crustNovember 23, 2018 at 6:58 am #14144
When I bake pecan pie–which I have not done for years, I use the recipe in Bernard Clayton’s pie or pastry cookbook. (I can’t check it right now because that is one of the books still packed.) My only change is to use half light and half dark Karo, which is what my mother claimed was the secret to her pecan pies, which I think were the recipe on the back of Karo.
I will only use Karo for corn syrup recipes, just as I will only use C&H or Domino brown sugar. I tried a cheaper brown sugar once, and yuk–too molasses tasting.November 23, 2018 at 7:22 am #14145
Thanks Aaron. That’s the recipe I found online and I used it. Good that I make pecan pie only once a year, and it’s the only time I use Karo. Baker Aunt, I wonder if the store-brand corn syrup has a different taste? I’m not going to try a taste-test, but will probably toss the rest of the bottle.November 23, 2018 at 10:24 am #14146
BA, the KAF recipe I used calls for light and dark corn syrup and white sugar. Since I didn’t have dark I subbed in some turbinado sugar for some of the white sugar. I also subbed in some turbinado sugar for brown sugar on my pumpkin pie when I ran out of brown. It gives some of the molasses taste but it’s not an exact substitute as it’s much drier than brown sugar. And, like you, I tend to stick with brand names I know. Although I’ve moved away from Land O’Lakes. It’s just too expensive. And I tried Trader Joe’s which is half the price of LOL on sale and I cannot tell the difference and, even more importantly, the people I bake for cannot tell the difference.
I did follow your guidance on par-cooking the pumpkin filling before putting it into the oven and that worked well. I might have even been able to cook it a bit longer. Thanks!
Mike – how did your turkey go?November 23, 2018 at 10:44 am #14147
Well, I started the two thighs in skin down and when I turned them over in 20 minutes I added the turkey tenders. The thighs got done a little before the breast meat, but they needed to rest more anyway. There was enough juice off the turkey in the bottom of the pan to kick the gravy (made with a roux and turkey stock) up a notch.
I think I was the only one who ate any of the dark meat, but that didn’t surprise me.
For a change, I got the potatoes cooked enough that they weren’t any lumps after I whipped them in the mixer. But I started them about 20 minutes earlier than in past years.
My son in Pittsburgh did duck legs using a sous vide circulator for 18 hours. He said they were incredible.November 23, 2018 at 10:50 am #14148
I tend to buy house brand corn syrup because it’s usually half the cost of Karo, I’ve never noticed any difference when using it.November 23, 2018 at 11:48 am #14149
Aaron–I’m glad that your pumpkin pie turned out well.
I also found that the standard butter–what Aldi’s sells–is perfectly fine in baked goods. Of course, for now, I’m not using much butter. Sigh. The canola oil at Aldi’s is a lot less expensive than what Walmart carries, so I buy that. I’ve been reluctant to move too far from name brands of extra virgin olive oil.
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