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Pie crust with vinegar and baking powder

bonnieruth's picture

The last time I made a pie crust, I used a recipe that called for a little bit of vinegar and a little bit of baking powder.  It was the best pie crust I have made so far.  But now I can't find the recipe.  I had assumed it was from FC.  Can anyone suggest how much vinegar and how much baking powder to use for a 2-crust pie?  Thanks.

schnitzel's picture

(post #66371, reply #1 of 68)

I did a quick search and found one in FC #65. It's Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe.


bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #2 of 68)

Thanks!  I know this wasn't the one I used because it calls for cake flour, cream cheese and heavy cream; and I didn't use any of those.  But the proportions for baking powder and vinegar may work, except that a tablespoon for the vinegar seems like a lot.  I had been wondering whether to use 1/4 teaspoon or one teaspoon. 

chiquiNO's picture

(post #66371, reply #4 of 68)

MADGE'S BLUE RIBBON PIE CRUST
recipe from the book A TASTE OF AMERICA..Jane and Michael Stern

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teasp. salt
1 teasp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups Butter flavor Crisco shortening
1 teasp. vinegar
1 large egg

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. In a one-cup measure, beat together egg and vinegar. Then fill up to 1 cup mark with cold water.

Mix together flour and egg mixture. It will be soft and sticky. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour. Divide chilled dough into four (recipes says it makes 5 crusts, but I like a nice rim on my pies so I only get 4 out of a recipe).. On a well floured surface, roll dough out to approx. 1/4" thickness 2-3 inches wider than your pie pan. (I like to roll my dough out onto floured plastic wrap or waxed paper, it makes it easier to transfer to pie plate) Lightly flour the pie pan and fit dough into pan. Crimp the edges of the pie into a decorate border. Prick the bottom and sides of pie dough with a fork and chill 1 hour. To bake, heat oven to 425* Lightly dust pie with flour. Place a sheet of foil or parchment paper on top of crust ( be careful not to crush border) and fill with raw beans or raw rice. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove paper and rice. Cool completely. Extra dough can be refrigerated if used within 1 week or else freeze shaped pie shells wrapped well for 3 months. ENJOY!

 


 


This woman has an entire wall in her restaurant with first place ribbons for pie contests.


Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans

 

bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #5 of 68)

Thank you, everyone.  I have been poring over all of these recipes and suggestions.  (This happens every time I make piecrust; I spend half a day studying before getting started.)  I think I have the vinegar and baking powder amounts figured out.  My question now is how to substitute my home rendered lard for part of the fat.  I was going to sustitute lard for Crisco in my basic recipe, using half lard and half butter.  But I notice Edna Lewis uses just 2 tablespoons of lard to 8 of butter (and 1-1/2 cups of flour for one crust - which would be 3 cups for 2 crusts, while most others use 2-1/4 or 2-1/2 - so her ratio of fat to flour is just slightly higher).   Can anyone venture to say whether lard can be substituted one on one for Crisco?  I have figured out I should work the lard in first, to coat the flour before adding in the pieces of butter.  Also, do I need to go to the store and buy pastry flour or bleached white flour?  

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66371, reply #6 of 68)

Yes, you should be able to sub it one for one, and you can work it in with the butter if you like.

Also, the amount of fat to flour varies greatly from recipe to recipe, so don't worry if you see differences there. Just use whatever works best for you (but please, for my sake, stay away from the butter flavored crisco!)


Edited 9/25/2007 12:05 pm by CookiM0nster

bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #7 of 68)

Thanks.  I will sub the lard one for one.  That was what I was hoping to hear.  Unless I hear otherwise from someone, I will not use pastry flour this time because I suspect a recipe needs to be modified in some way for pastry flour.  I will try the epicurious recipe another time, however.  If I live long enough, I am going to get good at piecrust.

bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #8 of 68)

Well, I'll have to live a little longer.  The crust was okay, maybe really good in some ways; it was holding together nicely and had lovely big lumps of butter to keep it flaky.  But it was so sticky that it completely fell apart when I tried to put it in the pan, and it had to be rolled again.  By then of course there weren't any more lovely big lumps of butter, so I figured it would be overworked and not flaky.  The top crust was a little better because I ditched the parchment paper for rolling and went to the basement and found my old pastry cloth and rolling pin cover, which worked a lot better.  But the crust still fell apart when I tried to wrap it around the rolling pin to transfer to the pan and had to be rolled again, as above.  It all came out with a good flavor but was not the melt-in-your mouth piecrust I was after. 


Fortunately my husband's kids have rarely had anything but bought pies and thought it was wonderful.


Since the same thing happened with the dough when I made tortillas with lard, I am thinking the problem must be with my lard.  It seems as though it has too high a fat content, but I'm not sure how that could be since lard IS fat.  What else could be wrong with my lard that makes my doughs too sticky?


Thanks so much to all of you, and I do intend to live long enough to become good at piecrust. 

chiquiNO's picture

(post #66371, reply #9 of 68)

I know that Crisco is not exactly a favorite around here with our fine bakers, but I find a get great results using half real butter and half Crisco.  My guests devour my pies and always comment on the flaky crust.  Go figure!!  Maybe lard from the grocery might work better???  By all means, please don't give up.


Maybe Cooki knows why it crumbled???  Maybe not enough liquid???  Did you chill it before rolling???  This usually gives the flour more time to absorb the liquid and also to firm up the fat.  She is our resident baking expert...maybe she'll know just what went wrong.


Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans

 

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66371, reply #10 of 68)

Too sticky sounds like too much water, either that or it was too warm when you rolled it. You can use a surprising amount of fat for the amount of flour, but you do sometimes need to adjust the amount of water down a bit to compensate.

Years ago I did a bake-off comparing a bunch of different pie crust recipes. I'm sure someone more skilled than I am could find it in a search (hint: help Amy and Jean!)

The thing with pie crust is that so much of it is about technique, not the recipe. If I lived closer, I'd come over and do a demo for you.

Jean's picture

(post #66371, reply #11 of 68)

Here you go.....  http://forums.taunton.com/tp-cookstalk/messages?msg=7036.1


 




Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66371, reply #12 of 68)

Thanks Jean, you're the best!

Jean's picture

(post #66371, reply #13 of 68)

Now if I could only make the recipe come out like you do. :) Pie crusts have never been my forte. Once in a while I get lucky and one turns out well.



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66371, reply #14 of 68)

You just have to see it done. It's one of those things that's best learned by watching.
One of these days I'll make it out to Michigan to show you.

Jean's picture

(post #66371, reply #15 of 68)

Now THAT would be a treat! You're welcome any time.




Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #16 of 68)

The dough seemed to be sticky with oil rather than water.  But if I am wrong about that, could it be my lard has too much water?  I actually didn't add the full amount of water for the crust, just 4 tablespoons.  And I did chill the dough for over an hour, then gave it 15 minutes to warm on the counter before rolling.  It was doing fine until the very end when it went to pieces being transfered to the pan.  However, eating it cold last night, I revised my opinion.  It is delicious, and in spite of being rolled twice, is really flakey.  Don't know what was wrong with me the first night, must have just been my expectation that rolling twice = overworked dough = not flakey.   

Gary's picture

(post #66371, reply #20 of 68)

Lard is 100% fat. Butter has about 80% fat, 20% water.

The people who gave us golf and called it a game are the same people who gave us bag pipes and called it music and haggis and called it food.

bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #21 of 68)

But since my lard was home-rendered, and this was my first try, I wonder if I rendered it long enough.  The pork fat was cooked in the oven with a cup of water until it had cracklings and no more water.  It was fluffy and lovely, but both times I have used it, I got an overly sticky dough that was hard to get into a pan.  I really do appreciate the help from all of you, and I will remember for future use that lard is 100% fat and butter only 20%.   

nexus's picture

(post #66371, reply #61 of 68)

Try starting out with really cold fat and see if that helps.


Cheryl

bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #62 of 68)

I thought I did that, but maybe it could have been colder.  The lard had been frozen, and I meant to let it warm up just enough that I could handle it and it would coat the flour.  The butter I froze in small pieces and added them frozen.  I am ready to try this again soon, with all the helpful tips that have been coming in.  Thanks again, all of you.


Edited 10/4/2007 10:10 am ET by bonnieruth

nexus's picture

(post #66371, reply #67 of 68)

Honestly I've never worked with lard just shorteninng and now butter. I would just leave it frozen and see what happens.


Cheryl

bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #17 of 68)

I just looked at the Bakeoff (thanks, CookiMonster and Jean).  Since ML's was considered the best, it looks like a ratio of 2 to one for flour and fat is best, but with only 2 tablespoons of water.  And nobody seems to need the baking powder and vinegar like I do, but they are a marvelous crutch for me.  Is there any drawback anyone knows of to using them?  Without them, I doubt this last batch would have pulled through.  Another thing I did when the first crust was pretty much self-destructing was put it back in the refrigerator for a while, which seemed to help.  I had the 2nd crust already wrapped around the rolling pin for transfer but saw it was going to self-destruct too, so I put it in the refrigerator rolling pin and all.  It was easier to handle when I took it out, although it still had to be rolled again.  Thanks for encouraging me not to give up; I am going to try again very soon and I do want to use my home-rendered lard. 

chiquiNO's picture

(post #66371, reply #18 of 68)

Look up Food Network specials...they just televised the pie cook off in Florida.  A national pie baking contest.  The biggest winners use the same type recipe you do...egg and vinegar!!

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans

 

bonnieruth's picture

(post #66371, reply #22 of 68)

Wow, I must be on to something!  Thanks for the encouragement; I will look it up.

Biscuit's picture

(post #66371, reply #33 of 68)

Bonnie - in partial answer to your question, the vinegar (acid) reacts with the gluten in the dough to help keep it tender even if overworked slightly (g).  I stress "slightly".  Doesn't work if someone beats the crap out of the dough (G), which I know you don't do, just mentioning it.


The egg does the same thing - acts as a tenderizer.  FYI, though, among classically trained pastry people, egg is only added to pastry to produce a TART dough.  Pie pastry has 4 ingredients:  flour, fat, salt, water.  3 parts flour, 2 parts fat, 1 part water, pinch of salt.  Generally speaking, that's the ratio.  Water is always a bit iffy.


Anyway - I always found sticky dough is the result of being too warm. 


I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66371, reply #24 of 68)

It was sponsored by Crisco and it was on the Food Network - need I say more?

There's no way the truly best pie in the country is made with butter-flavored crisco. Fake butter flavored pie...that is just wrong.


Edited 9/27/2007 10:57 pm by CookiM0nster

TracyK's picture

(post #66371, reply #26 of 68)

ITA.


I do use some shortening or lard in my pie crust, but only 1/2 to 1/3... the rest is all real butter. Artificial butter-flavored anything is just plain vile.


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

chiquiNO's picture

(post #66371, reply #27 of 68)

Well ya'll I didn't judge it...I just reported it!! LOL

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans

 

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66371, reply #28 of 68)

Yes, but it does pay to look at the source you're reporting from. This isn't the Pillsbury Bake-Off discussion forum. It's Fine Cooking. LOL.

chiquiNO's picture

(post #66371, reply #29 of 68)

Sorry...does that mean I have to delete the recipe I posted by Paula Deen??? LOL LOL

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans

 

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66371, reply #30 of 68)

Sugah, you can post whatever you like.