French pie crusts

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by nancya, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. nancya

    nancya

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    Dearest Isabelle,

    In another thread, you recommended a pie crust technique --- while I am waiting for my new books, could you please share the recipe?

    Thank you so much. It is time for me to mangle some pie crusts and make pumpkin pie.

    I will also be happy to entertain other no fail pie crust recipes.

    Nancy:lips:
     
  2. isa

    isa

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    There you are Nancy a pâte sucrée recipe.

    I should warn you that this will look very messy when you first put your hands in it. After a bit it will form a nice ball of dough. If you feel the dough is not wet enough or isn’t sticking together add a bit of egg white.

    If you overwork pâte sucrée it will be tough once it’s baked. So give it a rest period before and after rolling it. Once chilled you can grate the dough into your pie mould just tap it gently once grated to make it even.


    You shouldn’t have any problem with this dough. Let me know how it goes.


    1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
    Pinch of salt
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes


    Sift the flour, sugar and salt onto a countertop or into a large bowl. Make a large well in the centre and add the egg, egg yolk and butter. Using your fingers, blend the eggs and butter until they look like wet scramble eggs. Gradually draw in the flour and keep mushing the ingredients together to form soft clumps of dough and coarse crumbs. Gather the dough clumps and crumbs to form a ball.

    Using the heel of your hand, press down on the ball against the counter, scrape it up with a spatula, and repeat until it becomes a smooth yellow dough. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for 200 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using. When chilled roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, sprinkling it with flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick.

    To transfer to a 9 inch tartlet mould, lift one edge of the dough onto the rolling pin and gently roll the sheet of dough onto the rolling pin. Then simply unroll it over the tart pan, and press the dough into the mould. Run the rolling pin over the rim of the tart pan to cut off any excess dough.

    To blind bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the tart shell with aluminium foil, filled with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 20 minutes, until the edges begin to colour. Remove foil with weights and bake for 5 more minutes. Keep a close eye on the pastry because it can change from perfect to burned in a matter of a minute.
     
  3. isa

    isa

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    Almost forgot to ask you which books did you choose?
     
  4. nancya

    nancya

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    Thanks Isabelle, I'll give it a shot this weekend. What do you mean by grating the dough? Do you mean using a box grater and then just pressing the dough in the pan?

    Regarding the books... I chose The Professional Chef, Portale's 12 seasons, Simple to Spectacular, and How to Bake [I think, I could be in for a surprise]. I'm looking forward to getting them.

    Thanks again for all your good advice.
     
  5. isa

    isa

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    Great book choice Nancy! I'm sure you'll enjoy all of them.

    Yes you can grate it using a box grater. Just make sure the dough is really cold. I don't think I tried this, I did see a demonstration on The River Café television program, and it seemed to work really well. Oviously it only only works on the bottom crust

    One last thing. When I'm rolling out dough I always do so on a piece of wax paper it makes it easier to handle and you can lift the whole thing and reverse it onto your pie plate.
     
  6. nancya

    nancya

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    Dear Isabelle,

    I have created an edible pie crust!!!! Thank you. I am inspired to try again.

    As I was mixing the dough and thinking, "wow, this looks weird..." I remembered a Good Eats where Alton Brown made pie crust and it appeared really dry and crumbly before it rested. I am wondering if my long time mistake has been adding too much liquid to my pie crusts????

    I think that, like bread, it will take practice to be really good --- but I am thrilled to have a pie crust that does not look and taste like soggy cardboard. [In fact, it looks and tastes pretty good!]

    Thank you so much for your help!!!

    Nancy
    :lips:
     
  7. isa

    isa

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    Nancy,


    Your pie looks fantastic! I especially love the scallop edge you made. Is it a pumpkin pie? Do you use heavy cream or carnation milk in the filling?

    When you make pie dough by hands there is always a point where it looks like a sticky mess, but it always comes together beautifully in the end. The dough should not be dry but a bit moist, not wet. If it is dry add a bit of the leftover egg white. Some days I’ll add the whole egg white and on other days I don’t need any. Depends on the weather I guess. If you add too much liquid, or egg white, your dough will be really sticky. You will not be able to roll it, should that be the case add more flour until the dough is more malleable.

    There are three basic French pie dough, four is you count pâte feuilletée. Pâte sucrée, sweet dough is the recipe you used, pâte sablée, sandy dough and pâte brisée which might be call basic dough in English but I am not sure. Judging by your description of the television show I think he was making pâte sablée which is a crumbly dough. If you would like the recipe just let me know.


    I’m so glad I was able to help you. If you would like other recipes just let me know.
     
  8. nancya

    nancya

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    Hi Isabelle,

    Actually, I used fat free evaporated milk and Splenda. The filling came out really well. I'm sure that after all the butter in the crust - the fat savings in the filling made a tremendous difference. ;)

    I'd love to have any of your other crust recipes. Now that I have found that I can make an edible crust, I am looking forward to experimenting some more. Practice, practice, practice...you know.

    Thanks again.

    Nancy
     
  9. isa

    isa

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    I'll have the recipes either today or tomorrow Nancy.
     
  10. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Hey Nancya,

    Martha has a great book for pies and tarts. Isa bought it and likes it...and it's my fault!

    :p
     
  11. nancya

    nancya

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    Oops! Double post. Double post.
     
  12. nancya

    nancya

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    Now Kimmie, don't get me started buying more books. I'm an addict, you know! :D

    And, thanks yet again, Isabelle. No rush. I do appreciate your help.

    Nancy
     
  13. kimmie

    kimmie

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    ...from one addict to another, SALUTE!
     
  14. isa

    isa

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    Kimmie is right Nancy it is a nice book and it’s really her fault I bought it. :D

    Thanks for the tips on pumpkin pie.

    Now for the recipes. I spare you my home made translation and found English version of the recipes instead in Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques.


    Pâte sablée

    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    3/4 cup icing sugar
    1 small egg beaten
    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

    Cream the butter and sugar until soft and pale., then stir in the egg. Sift the flour; then stir it into the mixture to make a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

    A rich biscuit-like crust, pâte sablée is sweeter than pâte sucrée. It may be used as a crust for tarts, or for making plain dessert cookies.


    Pâte brisée

    1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    1 egg lightly beaten
    approximately 2 teaspoons water

    Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then rub in the butter. Mix in the egg and enough water to bind the ingredients to a firm dough. Roll into a smooth ball to remove from the bowl and wrap and chill for 30 minutes before use.

    Variations

    Chocolate: Add 2 teaspoons cocoa, sifting it with the flour or 2 1/4 oz. Finely grated bittersweet chocolate for a mottled result.

    Citrus: Add the finely granted zest of one orange, lemon or lime to sweetened pastry dough.
     
  15. nancya

    nancya

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    Oh, wow, Iza. These should keep me busy practicing for a while.

    Thanks yet again. I can't believe I have actually made a stab at pie crusts again....it has been years since I even tried. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Kimmie will probably want me to try puff pastry next.

    :D Nancy
     
  16. isa

    isa

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    Why not Nancy? It’s something you have to try it at least once. Think of it as a challenge. My next one is croissants.

    In any case you better think of a good reason to say no because you can be sure Kimmie will ask you tomorrow morning. ;)


    P.S. You're welcome and please let me know how it goes when you make your next tart.
     
  17. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Thanks Isa.

    Nancya: WHY NOT??????????????

    :chef:
     
  18. nancya

    nancya

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    Really, Iza? You don't do croissants either? That makes me feel a little better. When I have tried my hand at croissants I have ended up with hard little crescent shaped rolls. Good luck on your new adventure and let me know how it goes.

    Kimmie, Kimmie, Kimmie....If I can master pie crust, I will take a stab at puff pastry. Expect that you will be here to guide and help!

    Nancy
     
  19. kimmie

    kimmie

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    You can count on it, Nancya!

    :D
     
  20. isa

    isa

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    Nancy,

    I was saying croissant is my next challenge. Never made them before. I’m trying to familiarise myself with the process by reading everything I have on the topic, once I'm done with it and feel comfortable I’ll go for it. What croissant recipe did you use?

    A week ago you were saying you couldn’t make pie and look at the gorgeous pumpkin pie you made. I am sure you can make pâte feuilletée. Study it for a bit and go for it!


    Think positive!!