To Make Pie Shell

Taken from “Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook”

UNBAKED: On lightly floured surface roll Pastry for 1-Crust Pie.  Roll it lightly from the center out in all directions to 1/8″ thickness, making a 10″ – 11″ circle. Fold rolled dough in half and ease it loosely  into pie pan, with fold in center. Gently press out air pockets with finger tips and make certain there are no openings for juices to escape. Fold under edge of crust and press into an upright rim. Crimp edge as desired. Refrigerate till ready to fill.

BAKED:  Make pie shell as directed for Unbaked Pie Shell, pricking entire surface evenly and closely…(1/4″ to 1/2″ apart) with a 4-tined fork. Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven. Bake pie shell in very hot oven (450°) from 10 – 15 minutes or till is browned the way you like it. Cool before filling.

TIP: Use a light hand with pastry, rolling lightly from the center in all directions to make a circle, lifting the rolling pin near the edges to avoid splitting the pastry or getting it too thin. Lift the pastry to the pie pan gently – as carefully as you’d handle a full-blown rose – and avoid stretching it. Bend you right index finger (if you’re right handed) and fit the pastry into the pan.

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUSTS:

Graham cracker crumbs, finely rolled are available in packages. Each (13 3/4 oz) package will make 3 (9″) pies. Or you can make the crumbs in a jiffy by blending the crackers in an electric blender. If you crush and roll the crackers, place them in a plastic bag or between sheets of waxed paper before using rolling pin.

  • 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (16-18 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft butter or oleo
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon, optional

Blend till crumbly. Press crumble evenly on bottom and sides of 9″ pie pan. Can be baked at 375° for 8 minutes.

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Pie Crust Clinic

Taken from “Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook”

WHAT MAKES PIE CRUST……..

Tough?

  1. Use of too little fat or too much flour.
  2. Failure to blend flour, fat and water enough.
  3. Handling or rerolling dough too much.
  4. Incorrect proportion of ingredients.
  5. Too much water.

Crumbly?

  1. Too much fat or too little water.
  2. Insufficient blending of flour, fat and water.
  3. Use of self-rising flour without special recipe.

Shrink and lose its shape?

  1. Stretching of dough when fitting it into pie pan or when fluting edge.
  2. Rolling dough to uneven thickness, too much rerolling or patching.
  3. Not pricking dough enough when baking pie shell.
  4. Use of too much shortening in proportion to flour.

Soggy?

  1. Underbaking – too short baking time or too low oven temp. Recommended is 450° to 475°, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Using shiny pie pans that reflect heat so crust does not bake thoroughly.
  3. Placing pie pan on aluminum foil or baking sheet deflecting oven heat from pie.
  4. Pricking, a break and tear in bottom crust of 2-crust pie.
  5. Allowing filled 2-crust pie to stand too long before baking.

Fail to brown?

  1. Same reasons as for soggy crusts.
  2. Too little fat or oil; or too much liquids.
  3. Overmixing or overhandling of dough.
  4. Too much flour used when rolling – rolling too thin.

Brown unevenly?

  1. Oven shelf that is not level; baked too high or too low in oven; placed too close to oven wall or pies baked too close together.
  2. Rolling dough to uneven thickness or shaping it unevenly; edge too high; not enough filling.