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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pie Crust Ratings

People keep asking, so here are my thoughts on the crust recipes I tried.

Least fussy: Butter Pie Dough, Fine Cooking #54.
The pros:
1) You can throw it together with out any freezing of ingredients or silly mixing instructions and you roll it right away, without chilling first.
2) Taste matters, and this crust is all-butter and all-delicious.
3) It was flaky and crisp.
The cons:
1) It did shrink some. Not terribly, but enough that I give it a few demerits.

Nearly guaranteed results
: Cook's Illustrated Fool Proof Pie Dough
The pros:
1) Fool Proof
2) Little to no shrinkage
3) Using vodka is fun
4) Great texture, very good taste
The cons:
1) Shortening. Even though I used "good" shortening, shortening is kinda gross.
2) Fussy.

Least favorite: Basic Flaky Pie Crust, The Pie & Pastry Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum
The pros:
1) I love Rose.
2) Her recipes give me confidence to try things I'm scared to try.
3) Very good taste
The cons:
1) Shrinkage!

Those are the three about which I figured most people would be most curious. I tried several other recipes, and while none of them was particularly bad, none was particularly good either.

Other things I learned:
  • I didn't find as much difference in the results whether I used glass, ceramic or metal pie pans.
  • To get a crisp crust, preheat a heavy-duty (restaurant quality) sheet pan while you preheat the oven. Bake the crust in its pie pan directly on the hot sheet pan.
  • Don't underbake. The deliciousness comes from the carmelization. Pale skin is good. Pale pie crust is not. Use a shield if necessary. I love this one.


At 2/24/2010 12:25 PM, Anonymous Jean said...

Curious about the shield--are you using 9 or 10 inch plates with that one?

I appreciate your comments, BTW.

At 2/24/2010 2:20 PM, Blogger Amy said...

They are all 9" (I think)


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