Tis the season for pie.

Inspired by Jon’s new cooking blog and Kate’s reinvigorated cooking blog and a desire to impress Bethany and her handsome and so polite son Dominic, I made a cheese pie. Unfortunately they only had a tiny bit so I had to eat the whole thing. The all butter crust was pretty good right out of the oven but became rocklike in the fridge. What’s your secret, experts?

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Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

5 thoughts on “Tis the season for pie.”

  1. Vodka apparently is the secret. A friend of mine suggested a recipe from Cooks Illustrated which I plan on trying the next time around. It is as follows:

    1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 1/4-inch slices
    1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening , cut into 2 pieces
    2 tablespoons vodka , cold
    2 tablespoons cold water

    You make it exactly the same way you make other pie crusts, but at the end of the mixing stage you use the vodka for the final bit of moisture. My friend swears by it.

  2. I think all butter crusts are just tougher to deal with. The above recipe is probably easier because of the shortening, though who am I to underestimate the power of vodka? I was just reading up, and my favorite cookbook suggests grating frozen or very cold butter into your flour to ensure even distribution. I’m going to try this for my pies this year.

  3. Oh yeah, the fat has to be cold, for sure. This causing the “crumb” thing. You can replace the shortening with lard, apparently, which is super great. I usually just go with all butter, but then again I suck at crusts so I’m basically talking out of my butt. Thus far my crusts have been a pain in the ass (although quite tasty).

    As a counterpoint: my mother’s recipe basically avoids making a crust that can be laid into the pie pan. Instead her’s calls for using a sheet of wax paper and just pressing the dough in clumps onto the wax paper until it’s smooth(ish), then inverting it on the pan. No rolling or trying to get a smooth crust you can pick up. My latest crust was so crumbly I had to press it into place in a similar manner, which ended up working out great. Wouldn’t make a good video on the food network but it got the job done. 🙂

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