Hooks for Cooks™

Pastry DayI was reading Kate McDermott’s blog, The Art of the Pie, over the weekend.  Kate discusses her recent adventures testing and retesting a Vodka Pie Crust.

I had never heard of a Vodka Pie Crust, but I read with interest. At the end of her post, she asks folks about their favorite pie crusts…Funnily enough, I’ve been thinking (and dreaming) about pie crusts lately. Unfortunately,  I haven’t yet landed on a single favorite.

For years, I made the basic pastry recipe featured in Gourmet. That was okay, but it never exactly struck home for me. When I went to Ireland’s Ballymaloe Cookery School about five years ago, Darina Allen helped me broaden my repertoire.  Darina taught me that there are different pie crusts for different purposes–sweetened, unsweetened, flaky, sturdy. She taught me to think about how that pie crust will be used…will it be used for a pork pie or will it be used for a seasonal fruit pie? Different uses require different crusts I learned.

Over the years, like Kate, I’ve tinkered with pie crusts. I’ve made  Gourmet’s, Darina’s, Abby Mandel’s, Norene Gilletz’s, Ina Garten’s…I’ve even made press in the pan shortbread style pie crusts and vinegar pie crusts.

After all this experimenting, I can’t honestly say my vision is any clearer than before. I still don’t have slam dunk favorite.  I do, however, have one big fat file on pie crusts!!

3 Responses to “The Pandora’s Box on Pie Crusts…”

  1. Jeanne

    Is there a certain quality you’re looking for? I have just finished my own research adventure (I was developing a gluten-free pie crust recipe that looks and tastes just like gluten pie crust), so I can relate to your search. I found that my needs are: good (but subtle) taste, flakiness, ease of handling, good browning potential.

    Good luck!

  2. admin

    Taste and ease of handling are definitely at the top of my list. Have you seen Darina’s Allen’s gluten free cookbook? I don’t have a copy handy, but I bet she has some really good pie crusts in that book…Thanks for posting Jeanne.

  3. Jeanne

    I haven’t, but I’ll check it out! Thanks!

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