Roll out the Perfect Pie Crust
Who doesn’t love good old-fashioned home-made pie? For all those pie enthusiasts out there, it is no secret that the defining element of a pie that can make or break it is, of course, the crust.
Rolling out the perfect pie crust starts with the perfect homemade pie crust recipe. The right recipe can leave you with a flaky, mouthwatering, beautiful and easy to work with crust, while the wrong one can leave you with a sticky, doughy mess. Here are some rules when it comes to selecting a pie crust recipe.
All butter crust, all the way!
By far, using all butter is the most important rule to getting a flaky pie crust. No shortening, eggs, etc. should be used. Obviously, an all butter crust is not the most nutritious option, but it is the most delicious. Only you can decide which one you want to do. At the very least, try to include some butter in your crust.
Choose recipes with a short and sweet list of ingredients.
Most of the time, all that is needed is flour, sugar, salt, butter, and water. Anything more than that starts to be overkill. Remember, simple is key for pie crusts. That is how old-fashioned pie crusts always were, and now there’s so many ingredients and recipes that insist you must have this ingredient, and that one. Before you know it, the list is twice as long as when you started and you end up with a less than perfect pie crust.
Use a food processor.
Not only is this method fast, but it makes for a tastier crust. Whether you use shortening or butter, you have to cut it into the dry ingredients. You could use a fork, or on a rare occasion a pastry cutter, but these methods are more time consuming, and less effective. A food processor will quickly and effectively cut the butter fully into the dry ingredients, which is one of the ways that crusts become flaky.
Now your crust is made, so how do you go about rolling it out to get the perfect end product?
Chill the crust.
Right after you are done making the crust, divide it into however many crusts the recipe says it makes. Squish each piece into a pancake sized circle and wrap in aluminum foil. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, although an hour is ideal. This will make the crust much easier to work with when it’s time to roll it out.
Don’t over-handle the crust!
Try to handle the crust as little as possible, the more you handle it, the less flaky it is, and the tougher it is. Over-handling also makes it much more difficult to roll out.
Use a silicone pastry mat.
A silicone pastry mat is great for rolling out pie crusts for a number of reasons. First, it won’t slip around like wax paper. Second, it will peel off of the counter easily even though it sticks when you want it to. Lastly, the pie crust will stay on the mat while you are rolling it and will peel off the mat when you want to put it into the pie plate. Some pastry mats even have measurements for crusts on them so you can effortlessly roll the crust to whatever size you need for your pie.
Roll the crust out.
Start at the center of the crust, and move the rolling pin up and down. Then move it from the left to the right, and on both diagonals. Alternate between directions until the crust is a relative circle, and it has reached your desired thickness and diameter.
Remember, the best crust often means the best pie. Now you have the tricks of the trade to make the perfect flaky pie crust and wow your friends and family. Happy pie-making!