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Pie Making a Pie Crust Pie

When we think of homemade pie, the sensory overload is so strong that we can almost see pies cooling in picturesque window and smell the scrumptious odors wafting through country houses! Forming piecrust shells is the basis for this delicious pastry, and we've got tips to make pie crust better than just great!
We used the recipe for Best Ever Pie Crust to illustrate this example. There are 4 necessary ingredients in a standard piecrust: flour, fat ,liquid, and salt. Flour is necessary to form the structure and bulk of the crust; fat to add moisture and to help keep the crust flaky; liquid to keep the dough somewhat pliable; and salt to enhance the flavor and brown the crust.

When making pie crust, chill the fat (butter, shortening or margarine) and liquids (milk or water) before beginning. Chilling will prevent the fat pieces from dissolving into the flour. Stir the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Cut the chilled butter or shortening into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or by pinching the fat into the mixture with your hands. The resulting mixture should have fat lumps no smaller than peas.
Pour the chilled water, a small amount at a time, into the dry mixture; mixing gently with a fork until the dough is wet enough to be packed into a ball. The dough should be handled as little as possible to prevent the blending of all of the fat lumps, as a crust with no fat lumps will be dense and hard.

Split the dough into two equal amounts, roll them into balls and wrap them in plastic before placing them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. Chilling will prevent the fat from absorbed by the flour and give a lighter texture to the crust when it is baked.

Generously dust a clean, dry surface with flour and remove one of the packages of dough from the refrigerator. Flatten the dough slightly and dust the dough's top before rolling the dough out with a rolling pin .

&Start rolling at the center of the dough and work outwards. Some people prefer do this between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap because it makes clean up and rolling easier.

Quickly roll the dough into a circle 1/4 or 1/8 inch thick. The size of the circle should be about four inches wider in diameter than the pie pan.

A trick for getting the dough positioned in the pan correctly is to fold the dough in half and then into quarters. Gently pick it up and place it into the pan so that the center point is in the center of the pan.

Unfold the dough into the pan and it should be perfectly centered. If the dough cracks a little during this process, press it back together with your fingers or patch the cracks with a bit of dough from the outer edges.

Press the crust firmly into the pan and trim any excess dough from the edge. Leave a 1/2 inch flap of dough around the edge for fluting or to use when sealing on the top crust.

Once the pie is filled with your chosen filling, it is time to use the second package of dough. There are many different designs that can be made out of crust to top pies, but to make a standard top crust, roll the dough out as explained in step 7 and lay it carefully over the pie. Seal its edges to the lower crust by using a small amount of water as an adhesive. Use your fingers to pinch the edges together.

Making a Lattice Top Pie Crust Print

Create new memories with an old-fashioned lattice topped pie! Your friends and neighbors will be amazed at your terrific baking skills! Making a lattice top is not a complicated process and is a great way to present a wide variety of fruit pies and savory pies and quiches.
On a lightly floured surface, roll refrigerated dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness.

Carefully cut the dough into strips approximately 1 inch wide. We are using a small knife to cut the dough, however a pastry wheel will {A small utensil consisting of a sharp cutting wheel attached to a handle. Small pastry wheels with plain cutting edges are used to mark and cut rolled-out pastry or cookie dough. Larger, plain-edged wheels are used to cut pizza. Jagging wheels or pastry jaggers have fluted cutting edges that make a decorative design in pastry dough's }. work very well if on hand. A ravioli wheel will give the strips a scalloped edge like pinking shears do to ribbon. Some cooks use a ruler as a guide to ensure straight strips. A ruler is also useful to ensure the strips being cut are identical in width. Some strips can be shorter than others, but try to keep them all the same width.

Moisten the lip of the pie with a small amount of water, then begin laying the strips across the pie one at a time. It can be difficult to remove the strips of dough from the cutting board, if this is a problem, roll the strips up (like a rug) and unroll them onto the top of the pie. Press the ends of the strips firmly to the lip of the pie and break off any excess length.

Continue the process of placing strips across the pie.

Some people like to overlap the strips in a woven pattern; we have opted to arrange them in a more haphazard fashion. Lattice can be made to barely cover or completely cover the pie filling. The amount of filling left to peek through the lattice is entirely a matter of style.

Once the pie has been covered with strips, the top can be brushed with egg or milk if the recipe you are following directs you to do so. The lattice top can also be dusted with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
These delicious pies are perfect for topping with a gorgeous lattice top:

Making Fancy Pie Crust Toppers

Making special additions to decorate the top of your pies doesn't take much time and works wonders for your pie's presentation. We've outlined a few tips to make your everyday pies look like award winners!
1. We will illustrate a leaf and berry motif using leftover pie dough, an egg wash , and a cinnamon and sugar mixture. We will illustrate how to make cinnamon-spiced swirls and leaves. We began by re-rolling out the scraps of dough into a small rectangle, then brushed on a small amount of egg wash to help the spices stick to the dough and to keep the swirls from un~swirling.

Dust the dough's surface generously with cinnamon, cinnamon-sugar or any mixture of spices you please.

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder.

Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into thin wheels; they will look like tiny cinnamon rolls. These circles can be dotted into the latticework or used along with other decorations.

Cookie cutters are a great tool to use when making decorative shapes out of pie dough.

We used a circle cutter, then cut the circles in half to look like leaves. If no cookie cutter is available, the rim of a glass can be used to cut circles.

Brush the cut out shapes with egg wash.

We scraped lines onto the surface to look like the veins in leaves. The lines scraped in will remain light-colored as the pie bakes, while the surfaces with the egg wash still on will darken. This coloring will create a nice effect.

To stick your decorations to the top crust, brush the surface with egg wash then arrange the decorations to your liking. Do not layer the toppings on too thick or they may not bake evenly. For added glamour, sprinkle some white sugar over the pie. Sugar will add some sparkle to the finished pie as well as provide a little extra sweetness!

Get creative with toppings! Mini cookie cutters are excellent for making decorative shapes.


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