Making pies has always been something I pride myself at. I am one of those few people whom enjoy making the crust. Though I am a perfectionist when it comes to any baking. I have been known to throw out crust, that did not meet my expectations. Making of the crust whom would think this would be the easiest task. There are only about 4 ingredients give or take. If your one of those people whom just skip making the crust and run to store and pick a already made one; I understand!
You can find a ton of different recipes to make a crust, there is the no fail pie crust, the flaky pie crust and on and on. There is science behind the crust. I have found that its very important that all the ingredients are chilled. Flour, salt, butter/shortening, ice water and even the bowl and pie plate. Even when using a food processor, chill the bowl and the blade. The pie crust recipes will vary in instructions.
Understanding the ingredients play an important roll on just when to add them. Flour needs to be chilled, in my recent circumstances chilling has succeeded. Flour either gluten free, almond flour, all-purpose flour. Knowing the protein of your flour is nearly impossible to know, being there is no nutritional label on the sack of flour. The lower the protein in your flour the better the crust. For instance you would not use a Bread flour for a pie crust. As there is more protein in bread flour.
Salt for instance is used as a strengthener, which can be good and bad. Salt can make your crust tough if added to soon, or if you added to much. Adding sugar helps or any other seasonings.
Iced Water is seen in recipes as the pull together of the flour and the butter. Too much water can lead too a tough and leathery crust. This is a touchy issue, being the recipes generally say 6-7 TB of water that has ice cubes in it. Adding the water one tablespoon at a time. When you make crust enough you tend to know what works best. You basically want it to look like cookie dough after you have creamed it. (this is with using the food processor). When cutting it up in bowl, it may look dry. As you form it in your hands (which are warm), the fat will melt.
Shortening/Butter/Fat I have better success with shortening. When making a pie crust I like to use a butter flavored shortening and regular shortening together. The key here is the coldness of the Fat. I have tried recipes where they say to freeze the fat and then shredded and add to crust. Sometimes it works, there is a but. When storing ingredients in the freezer your adding a cool moisture to your flour. You don’t want this moisture to become to wet.
Mixing of the dough is just as important as the ingredients. Some recipes say mix in a bowl with a pastry cutter, and that is fine. You can also use a food processor. I use a food processor and that has worked for me to get to the consistency you need. I tend to add the salt in last along with sugar. For the gluten free crust that I have made, its little more difficult. So I am still practicing with results in regards to gluten free using other free of gluten flours. Though the recipe that I previously shared for the “my tweaked recipe for a flaky pie crust that is gluten free” is delicious.
Rolling out the dough. Many recipes say after you have mixed everything to place in refrigerator. Well that’s why I have you freeze everything before you start, then you can skip this step. The dough should be soft, and you can roll out right away.
Making decorations as these roses. You get to be the artist. Look up ways to make your pie spectacular on Pintrest and YouTube. This was quite easy.
When baking your crust you can add egg white/water mixture to the crust to make a browner texture. Also I added a little food coloring to mine.
Here is my recipe for a pie crust;
2 1/2 cup Flour
1 tsp salt
3 TB sugar or any herbs for flavoring
1/3 cup butter shortening
1/3 cup shortening
7-10 TB of ice cold water
Best wishes on pie crust making!! I am going to be testing another crust, so soon I shall share pictures and possibly a new recipe.