The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How wide is the field?

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leemid's picture
leemid

How wide is the field?

So here I go again. Slap me if needed.

Watch the connection for this question: pizza, pizza pie, pie crust, pie dough, sweet pie dough, sweet pie dough for tart fillers, tart fillers, rhubarb and pie cherries are tart, rhubarb or cherry pie. Ta-dah!

Is pie crust too far afield for this site, 'cause I'm okay with that if it is? But I do have this fabulous sweet pie dough recipe for tart fillers...

Lee

PS, anyone know of a good general baking site, or a specifically pie site?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Bring it on! Cherry pie is my all time favorite and we have certainly had other deserts. Baking a good pie shell is an art all in itself if you ask me. Be sure and post pictures if you can.

Eric

qahtan's picture
qahtan

         2 cups flour          1 cup cold salted butter diced         1/4cup sugar         1 cold egg         2 tabs cold water...............................................qahtan

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I have a recipe that looks very much like the ingredients you show there and it's a food processor method.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I'm sure there are many of us here who would love to have your pie/tart recipe. We've had recipes for dog biscuits, talked about pots and pans, grammar, global warming and just had Nicholas Cage and Kenny Rogers here. Why would we not want pie dough. We always quickly get back to bread. Like Eric said "bring it on".         weavershouse

browndog's picture
browndog

I LOVE pye! Especially rhubarb, and it's springtime in Vermont, my lad!

T4tigger's picture
T4tigger

pie is a wonderful fruit sandwich. I prefer peach, myself.

We can start a whole 'nuther discussion of ice cream vs no ice cream on top (or as my family says, dressed or naked). You haven't lived until you hear your child ask to have her pie naked in a restaurant!!!!

leemid's picture
leemid

I'm at work right now, just finished lunch topped off with a piece of rhubarb pie, and will try to do this from memory.

Unfortunately, neither my wife nor daughters like rhubarb so when I make a pie I have to eat the whole thing by myself, alone, without any help. Hence, I don't make one more than maybe 4 - 6 times a year...

My pie dough recipe once resembled the pie dough cocaine (okay, the word is something in French that I don't understand, but that's how I would pronounce the spelling) recipe in The Joy of Cooking.Then I went a little crazy. I don't believe in sifting flour, but I fluff it with a whisk.

2 cups fluffed AP flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter ( 1/4 lb real butter, unless you have fruit but only stick marg. and have to have a pie right now)

1/2 cup sour cream

ice water

Whisk the flour, powdered sugar, salt, and baking powder together. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter. I don't know about all the other methods, two knives, fingers, etc. but use a wire hoop pastry cutter not the cheap stamped and twisted sheet metal ones, which I think are worthless. Cut in the butter until the chunks are no smaller than peas. Or if you like, between 1/4" and 1/2" in size. Smaller pieces makes for mealy crust. Add the sour cream and stir together with a fork as best you can without working up any gluten. Continue mixing while adding single tbsps of ice water. Your aim is to get it to form a stiff dough but not be wet. The large chunks of butter make for flakiness, the sour cream and sugar make for reallllly tender, sometimes difficult handling.

At this point I divide the dough ball roughly 60/40 and roll out the 60% to make the bottom crust. Lightly flour your counter and the top of the dough to roll. I have rolled out to less than 1/8" thick to 3/16" thick and had it be tender and flaky. Put bottom crust into pie plate, cut to size and butter the inner surface with butter to keep the juices from soggifying the dough (remember, I'm the grammar boy). Put fruit in and top with some configuration of top crust. I usually do a lattice weave, but this last one I just rolled and cut out a solid crust 1/2" less in diameter that the plate to allow steam and boiling juices room. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake until juices are at least 180 F and crust is colored to your liking.

Preparation of rhubarb:

Cut stalks into 1/2" pieces, enough to marginally fill you pie plate.

Add a fair bit of sugar. I use about 1 1/2 c - 1 3/4c per 2 lbs of rhubarb. I like to have that classic bite, not sweetness. Add corn starch, how much is a bit tricky. I never have measured it, but it tastes quite starchy. I would guess about 1/4 c but don't quote me. I have also used tapioca flour. It's the same as pearl tapioca but sensible, not globular. I actually prefer the tapioca in all fruit fillings. It's smoother and less starchy tasting. It's what is used in Chinese sauces that gives such a clear thickening. Let this all macerate together and it will suck the juice out of the fruit (any fruit) and dissolve the sugar.

That's it. No strawberries, they make their own excellent pie. No lemon; for what, tartness?

Hopefully I have remembered all the details accurately. If not, when I get home, I'll review this and make amends.

That's my story...

Lee

browndog's picture
browndog

It's a wonderful word, is cockaigne!
<Cockaigne definition n. An imaginary land of easy and luxurious living. Cockaigne etymology [Middle English cokaigne, from Old French, from (pais de) cokaigne, (land of) plenty, from Middle Low German komacr.gifkenje, diminutive of komacr.gifke, cake.]>                                                                                                                         --but I bet you'll get a lot more attention for pie dough cocaine. Sounds really good, your recipe. I agree about the tapioca rather than flour or cornstarch in pie, though I've never used (or seen or heard of...) tapioca flour, seems like a good alternative but frankly I like the fish-eye quality of pearl tapioca. Now there's nothing to do but wait for the rhubarb to grow! Oh, excuse me while I drum up sympathy for a man who has to eat a whole rhubarb pie by himself.

leemid's picture
leemid

While your rhubarb is growing, let me tell you why I still have some in the freezer. I continue to harvest my wonderful, fat, extra-long stalks deep into September or early October. By then there are other flavors to use, so several 2 lb. bags go into deep-freeze awaiting the time I want to prepare myself for the new crop while gazing out the window at those oh so pitifully short, ground hugging, not quite up to snuff newbies. Plus with this schedule I can supply folks at church and other pot-lucks (or pot-licks as my typing fingers seem to want to say) with my famous rhubarb pie.

That's my story...

Lee

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

between cocaine and cockaigne. People with cocaine addiction live in that IMAGINARY land of easy and luxurious living. I like tapioca the best for fruit pie thickening. Where in your area do your find tapioca flour..grocery store, health food store?

leemid's picture
leemid

Tapioca is an essentially flavourless starch ingredient, produced from treated and dried cassava (manioc) root and used in cooking. It is similar to sago and is commonly used to make a milky pudding similar to rice pudding. Purchased tapioca comprises many small white spheres each about 2 mm in diameter. These are not seeds, but rather reconstituted processed root. The processing concept is akin to the way that wheat is turned into pasta. These tapioca pearls are made mostly of tapioca starch, which comes from the tapioca, or bitter-cassava plant. In other parts of the world, the bitter-cassava plant may be called "manioca" or "yuca".

Cassava is native to South America, and was introduced to Asia in the 1800s. The balls are prepared by boiling for 25 minutes, until they are cooked thoroughly but have not lost pliancy, then cooled for 25 minutes. The pearls have little taste, and are usually combined with other ingredients, savory or sweet.

Tapioca is a word derived from the Tupi language of Brazil (from tipi'óka). This refers to the process through which cassava  (Manihot esculenta) is made edible. Note, however, that as the word moved out of South America it came to refer to similar preparations made with other esculents: 'Tapioca' in Britain often refers to a rice pudding thickened with arrowroot while in Asia the sap of the Sago palm is often part of its preparation.

The preceeding is from some googled site which I included for explanation. It is evident that the flour or powdered starch is an element of pearl tapioca. I get my tapioca flour or starch from Asian food markets.

Lee

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

for tart fillers, tart fillers? I'm not familiar with the term tart filler. Explain please ?

leemid's picture
leemid

Tart fillers, remembering I'm the grammar guy, could be several things. They could be people who's job it is to put the filling in tarts at a tart factory, or people who take the place of tarts, if the tarts have to go on break or something. Or just the stuff that gets put into tarts, or in my case, tart fillers are pie fillings that are tangy, or tart to the taste, like rhubarb or sour cherries.

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

 lol, ambiguity to the fifth degree. There are more to make it + eighth degree ambiguity but not in polite company. 

 

Sourdough-guy

browndog's picture
browndog

...some things desperately want saying, don't they? and some of us by god just step right up and say them, while others of us just cower in the shrubbery...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My sister-in-law showed me her famous Rhubarb pie and to thicken it, she used unsalted club crackers.  She crumbled them with her hands and used about, I'm guessing here, a good hand full.  It does add a buttery note.  Bread cubes could also be used.  Did everyone get the warning about cutting down frost damaged rhubarb?  (lest ye be poisoned?)   Mini Oven

leemid's picture
leemid

from Monte Python and the Holy Grail

browndog's picture
browndog

or a bonsai, as the case may be...

T4tigger's picture
T4tigger

or people with a bad attitude who fill things 

 

edh's picture
edh

To the rest of the world, a yankee is a resident of the U.S.

To a resident of the U.S., a yankee is someone who lives north of the Mason-Dixon line.

To anyone north of the Mason-Dixon, a yankee is someone who lives in New England.

To anyone living in New England, a yankee is someone who lives in Maine.

To anyone living in Maine, a yankee is someone who lives Downeast.

To anyone living Downeast, a yankee is someone who eats pie for breakfast.

cheers,

edh

T4tigger's picture
T4tigger

My mom grew up in an area with a large German population and learned that the best thing in the world for breakfast is a piece of warm apple pie with cheddar cheese on top..Yummy!

leemid's picture
leemid

I new a dear old man, too soon before his death to call him a good friend, although I think of his as a friend and he was a good man, who urged everyone to eat their dessert first, as one could never tell what might happen if you ate the meal first that might prevent the consumption of dessert, and life is, actually, too short.

Eating pie for breakfast is the ultimate in following his advice. I eat pie for breakfast. My brother likes to eat cheesecake for breakfast, which I whole heartedly agree with.

Lee

browndog's picture
browndog

is almost the only way I can get fruit OR breakfast into my teenage son.

leemid's picture
leemid

Belated, the picture and the pie...

half a rhubarb piehalf a rhubarb pie

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Nee!

Leemid, as a fellow "Pie Guy", have you ever used Crisco in place of butter?

I have had a much flakier crust with Crisco.  I've used butter, and even butter flavored crisco, but plain ol crisco has worked the best for me.

I use the two knives method, but cut down to the same size you do at "pea size". 

 I must admit that your sour cream and powdered sugar addition is quite interesting..  I shall give it a go sometime.  I have some nice tart cherry pie filling as well as some nice blueberry filling that a sweet crust would go good with. 

Thanks for the recipe.

Tattooed Tonka

leemid's picture
leemid

I have a few rules about cooking. Perhaps the very strongest is not to use something I wouldn't put in my mouth. Seems reasonable not to put something into food that you wouldn't put in your mouth. I expect to get some examples of things we routinely use in cooking that you wouldn't want to put in your mouth in response to this rule, but I think it makes sense.

Butter I put in my mouth; Crisco? no, I can't dig in my finger and lick it off. I am told the French use nothing but butter for pie dough, not that I have to follow the French, even if they have done pretty well for themselves over the years. I am aware that butter is only 80 some % fat, the rest being moisture, which is not helpful here, but it works for me. I am not primarily interested in flakiness, above flavor. And I know flavor is a matter of taste (?!). I am thoroughly pleased with the flakiness I get with butter. If you want the whole truth, I don't get to eat butter on a daily basis, my family defaults to margarine, so I use butter whenever I can and this is where I insist.

Then again, I have had some excellently flaky pie crust that I am sure was made with Crisco (or lard) that I thought tasted greasy. It wasn't greasy, but tasted so.

Butter don't get everything, it's true.

What it don't get, I can't use,

Now give me bu-u-u-utter

That's what I want...

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Lee

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

This is true, and I appreciate your answer.  I was just wondering is all.  I completely overlooked the simple fact that the flavor above appearance is more important in a pie.  From my grandmother to my mother and down to me, it has been ingrained to strive for that flaky perfection in pie crust.  And when I made it with butter I did not yield the same results.  "Use Crisco" is what I was told, "Plain Crisco". This was how I was taught, right or wrong, it's what I know.  Silly how trying to achieve the best visual crust may not make the best tasting crust.  Not that I am complaining about the flavor of the pies I've made.  Just a little humerous for me to think about.  I cannot honestly say I even remember what a crust made with butter tastes like.  Now I will have to try that too. 

Thank you again for your opinion and answers, you've made me think a little more.  Which in my case, is always good. 

TT

leemid's picture
leemid

Okay, but let me be really fair then. I have had many a pie crusted with Crisco dough that was delightful. I will eat at least one piece of almost any pie put within my reach, and love having it. There are crusts made with that stuff that beats the pants of mine. But if I didn't have an opinion on something, the world would stop spinning. So I takes my stand, and I says my piece, and I wonder afterward, if I take any time to think at all, if I offended someone with whom I would rather be a friend and piece-maker. So if you can't get butter to make it for you, use Crisco and I will love it right along with you. And we both know flaky beats mealy, tender beats tough, pie beats no pie and a whole lotta cakes. But I'll eat at least one piece of almost any cake...

That's my story...

Lee

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

Well, I LOVE PIE! And I have to agree with you that any pie is better than no pie. That said, I will usually ask if it is made with lard because I am a vegetarian, so I won't eat it then. BUT, I am not a vegan - and my crusts are made with BUTTER.

If I may jump in here and give my two cents about FLAKY butter crusts. I must admit that I have achieved many an incredulicious(!) flaky pie crusts with butter. (I am a much more skilled crust baker than I am bread baker at this point in my baking life I am afraid) What I have learned via Matha Stewart's Baking Book was a revelation for me. It is how the butter and subsequently dough is manipulated (a very little) and what the temperature of the butter is when the crust goes into the oven that does it. I thought I was making great crusts before, but now FORGETA-BOUT-IT!

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

Great conversation here!

I think a tart filler is a woman in fishnet hose and a very short French maid's costume who goes around and puts fruit in pie shells! bwahahahaha

And we have the complete works of Monty Python here.

I think pie crusts or tart shells are all about technique, just as bread is!

I have a pretty great recipe for pate brisee (sweet dough) which actually uses an egg yolk.

I also have a great recipe for pie dough that my sis does with all crisco, but I like to do it with 1/2 butter and 1/2 crisco or a little more  butter to crisco ratio. The secret to this dough is having everything ice cold and refrigerating once again after the fat is cut into the flour. Then when you gently and quickly add the chilled water by "ruffling" through the pastry flour and fat with the back of the tines of a fork. Then you pull it together with your hands and let it rest covered for about 30 minutes or so. Pat into disks, maybe give it 1 knead if you have to and pop those babies back into the fridge! Always a tender and flaky crust!

Nee!

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 I'm with the butter eaters.... I only ever eat butter, and only butter is used in my house, in pastry, bread dough, cakes and any thing that needs fat. My motto is

 if I am going to eat fat let it be one that I like, butter, salted butter.

Yes I use an egg in my pastry, some times just the yolk, or hard boiled egg yolks,

I can't abide a fruit pie made with what I call meat pie pastry, (plain pastry)

I never buy magarine or any other shortening, I do use macadamia nut oil, walnut oil or virgin olive oil.. qahtan

leemid's picture
leemid

Now, if we could all stand so firm in all of our beliefs!

Lee

browndog's picture
browndog

rhubarb pierhubarb pie wedge Rhubarb pie

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Browndog, you are an artist, that is probably the most beautiful pie I've ever seen. I don't know how you get the crinkled edges so neat, mine are usully rather messy. Do I detect a bit of strawberry in your rhubarb pie, or is the rhubarb itself reddish? I've never made rhubarb before, I'm not a huge fan but my husband is of strawberry rhubarb.

browndog's picture
browndog

you really are, especially considering how your baking never fails to impress me and make me more than is polite-ly jealous...:D I was an art major back in the day but find baking a more accessible route than paper or canvas have been for a long time. This pie would be easy to recreate for anyone with cookie cutters. It's straight rhubarb, as we come pretty rugged in Vermont...you're right, it is a variety of red and green. As to crimping--when I started allowing a fair bit of overhang instead of cutting the top edge close, it got much easier because there was enough dough to work with. Thanks!