Pies

What’s the crustiest?… my pie crust

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The first time I have ever heard of pies was in 1999 when I first visited my family in Canada. I consider the time before that wasted! From that point on, pies became my number one favourite baked desert and have upheld their status for the last 17 years. Blueberry and peach pies are my absolute tops and I am know to resort to belligerent badgering and even violence when they are not up to proper standards. Do not mess with the pies!

A good crust is the foundation of a great pie. I like my crust buttery and flaky and not too sweet. There is nothing more heart wrenching and offending than soggy crust. Below is the crust recipe I deem acceptable and use for my pies.

Ingredients:

This recipe makes 1 pie crust and is meant for a standard 23 cm/9″ pie plate. This recipe does NOT include a fruit filling recipe. You must prepare that separately. Feel free to try my blueberry or peach pies.

  • 225 g cold butter cut into 1 cm chunks. Put the butter in the freezer for 10 min before you begin
  • 2 1/2 cup of flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs of icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup of ice water

Procedure:

Below are some photos to guide you through the process

  1. Combine frozen butter, flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and process until rough-looking.
  2. Add ice water and process until well combined.
  3. Take the dough out and divide into 2 halves.
  4. Flatten them into 2 pancakes and wrap in a plastic wrap. Leave in the fridge to chill for minimum 2 hours or over night.
    • this is a good time to think about and make your fruit filling.
  5. Once the dough is ready, roll out on parchment paper. It will be difficult because the dough will be cold. The parchment paper will help.
    • one half of the dough will serve as the bottom of the pie: it must be rolled out to a larger size than your pie plate. I roll my bottom to about 30 cm/12″ in diameter.
    • the other half of the dough will serve as the lattice/top of the pie: it must be rolled out to a slightly larger size than your pie plate. I roll my lattice/top to about 28 cm/11″ in diameter.
  6. Prepare your pie plate by coating it with butter and sprinkle with flour. Shake off excess flour.
  7. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F.
  8. Place the bottom dough in the plate making sure it fits snugly in it. Leave whatever dough is hanging over the edges of the plate.
  9. Fill the plate with your fruit filling.
  10. Arrange the lattice on top; see my photos below or watch a video showing you how to do it.
  11. Bake at 200°C/400°F for 10 minutes.
  12. Reduce the oven to 180°C/350°F and bake for another hour. Check the pie frequently, making sure the top is not burning; use aluminium foil to cover the pie if necessary.
  13. Let cool for at least 2 hours (the worst part!).
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Flatten and cling-wrapped dough to rest in the fridge.
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Buttered and flour dusted pie plate.
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Rolled out bottom crust.
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Bottom crust in the pie plate ready for filling.
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Filling the plate (peaches).

 

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Rolling out and cut top crust/lattice.

 

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Lattice forming, step 1: take 5 dough strips and lay them on the pie vertically.
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Lattice forming, step 2: peel back 2nd & 4th vertical strips of dough, and lay a horizontal strip of dough. Bring back 2nd and 3rd strips.
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Lattice form, step 3: peel back 1st, 3rd & 5th vertical strips and lay the second horizontal strip. Bring back the 3 vertical strips over the pie.
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Lattice forming, keep repeating steps 1-3 until the pie is covered.
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Full lattice.
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Cutting off excess dough leaving about 1 cm hanging from the lip of the plate and fold it underneath itself forming a rim.
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Shaping the pie rim in your favourite fashion.
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Finishing touches: brushing the lattice with butter or egg yolk and sprinkling with sugar.
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Ta-daa! Well done you. Now wait 2 hours and then have a slice with some ice-cream.
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