Pie Crust Recipe Baking Tutorial Demonstration: How to Make Tender, Flaky Pie Crust

So, today in the Jordan kitchen, I’m going
to show you another recipe that people have problems with, which is flaky pie
crust. And, it’s actually very simple. So I’m going to show you the recipe that
I’ve used for years and then explain how you can change some of the ingredients
to end up with the product that you want. It’s very basic. Actually, there’s three
main ingredients flour, water, and your fat. And then, I also have some sugar and
salt that I add for flavor and also for the browning of the crust. First of all
the flour, you’ll find that most recipes call for pastry flour. Pastry flour is
different than bread and all-purpose, in that, it has less protein. So, it’s going
to give you a softer product. You’ll end up with a flaky or more tender crust.
Bread flour would give you a really tough, thick crust which you don’t really
want for a pie. Cake flour has less protein than pastry, it’ll give you
it’ll just be too flaky too tender and crumble. I usually use all-purpose
because it is very similar and it’s what I always have at home. And, if you handle
it right you can still get a really flaky product. Some recipes will
recommend use bleached flour because the bleaching process takes out some protein.
So it’s again a little bit softer and it’ll give you a little bit more tender
crust. But, because of what it does to the flavor, I still prefer to use unbleached.
It’s a little more natural. Gives a little bit better flavor. You could also do a
combination of half pastry flour, half all-purpose. Whatever you want. But that’s
the first thing that goes. And so along with the dry ingredients, I’ll add my
sugar and salt. So the recipe I go with, I call it “three, two, one.” That’s three cups
of flour, two cups or two cubes of butter (4 ounces), one cup of water. With your dry,
with your three cups of flour, I’ll add a tablespoon of sugar and then just about
a teaspoon of salt. Your next ingredient would be your fat.
So, there’s different fats you can use. A lot of recipes will call for either
lard, shortening, or butter. Lard has a really rich flavor. Probably not what you
want to use or a sweet pie crust. Maybe for a savory
that would be fine. So then, your two options here would be a shortening or
butter. Shortening has a hundred percent fat. Butter has 80 percent so it has some
more solids and water and liquid in there. But, I still prefer to use butter
because it’s more natural. The flavor is better. Shortening can also
be inconsistent in the quality and the flavor side. And, I never have it at home
so I just kind of prefer to stay away from it. But, if it’s what you prefer,
because it’s 100% fat, you’ll have a more more flakiness in your crust. You can
also do half butter and half shortening because it’s pretty neutral; it’ll
take on the flavor of your butter. So what I have here, I have here just regular
butter that’s 8 ounces. And, I cut it up in about hazelnut sized pieces. And one
of the most important things is that you keep it very cold. Same with your flour,
some people will actually keep their flour in the freezer for recipes like
this. And, your butter should be refrigerated until you’re ready to use
it. So this 8 ounces of butter goes in with the dry ingredients. And, about right
here where you would turn on your mixer. I use a stand mixer on very low speed.
You can start right here just for about a minute or two to break up some of your
butter. The reason why you want your ingredients cold is because if they’re
warm they’re going to all kind of come together really quickly. You want them to
stay separate. You want to still have some butter chunks in there when you’re
done so that that’s going to create a lot of layering that you’re looking for. Let’s go for like about two minutes. So, this is a commercial mixer. We also
use KitchenAid. That’s what I always use at home. Works really good. If you don’t have
that, you can also do it by hand. But the mixer is just much quicker. This is about
what you’re looking for in your dry before you add the liquid. You can see
that the the flower looks like it’s taken on some some moisture because some
of the pieces have worked itself in. But, there’s still a good amount of large
chunks of butter. So, you want to try and keep a lot of those in there. And, I’ll
show you why in a little while. So, this goes back into the mixer. And, in the
three-two-one recipe, the “one” is your ice water. And, it’s about a cup. You don’t
want to add all of it at once, because depending on the temperature of your flour
and the humidity in the room, may take more may take less. So, I add the majority
of it right now while the mixer is off. And then, one tip that other people will
all tell you to do, is they’ll recommend about a teaspoon of cider vinegar. And,
what that does is it weakens the gluten which is what makes your dough stretchy
and hold together. It weakens that so you actually end up with a really soft dough,
that’s really easy to roll out and it gives you just a little bit of an acidic
flavor. I usually don’t do that only because it’s just one extra step and one
extra ingredient. And it really doesn’t make a huge difference unless you have a
lot of trouble with rolling. So, at this point, I’ll just give it a few turns in
the mixer. You want to be really careful not to overmix your dough. So, if it’s looking a little dry add,
about a teaspoon of water at at a time. This is about what you’re looking for. It’s not going to be completely mixed and incorporated. The reason why is you
want to do that by hand. If you mix it completely in the mixer, you’re going to
tend to over mix it. And, so you finish everything by hand. You want to just
lightly flour your board, your working area. Turn out your dough .And, you will
have a lot of dry pieces there. That’s fine. And, what you want to do to finish
mixing rather than needing your dough and squishing it together, you’re going
to flatten it. Get all your pieces. Just flatten them. And then, fold it on itself.
And, what that does is the layers of butter kind of layer on top of each
other. And, it will give you a really flaky crust. And, you don’t need it to be
totally put together or one big mass. It’s going to feel a little loose still.
This is about what you’re looking for. It’s still kind of loose, mostly, put
together. And, you’re going to still see some good sized pieces of butter. That’s
what you want because when it bakes the liquid in the butter is going to
evaporate and create layers between your dough. So, at this point is when you would
cover it and refrigerate it, probably for about an hour. And, what that does is it
rest the dough so that it’s easier to roll out and also helps it to keep its
shape once you are ready to bake. So, now I’ll show you, with a dough that I made
earlier, how to roll it. You want to flour your surface again. This is the dough
that’s been resting for a couple hours, so it’s ready. You’ll see this one was cut.
So, you can see how there’s layers of butter. You can see how you can where
you’ll be able to tell how flaky it will be. So, you flour this and flour the top.
And, one tip I learned with rolling is you never want to move your body to roll
things in a circle. Always roll straight ahead of you.
And then, if this needs to be turned, you turn the actual dough. That way you
always guarantee that it’s not sticking on your surface. If you were to just
leave it in one spot and keep rolling, you wouldn’t know if it was sticking. And
then, by the time you’re ready to lift it, it could be stuck and you could tear
your dough. If you need more flour, you can put more flour on.
So, this is how the dough is going to look. You’re still going to see pretty
good sized pieces of butter in there, which is good. That’s what you want. All
right, at this point, this is when you would add it or start using it. I have
one that’s already been rolled out here for your bottom. So, as you see it’s not
important for it to look perfect on the bottom layer. You’re going to end up
cutting and trimming. Right here is just a glass pan. The glass, a lot of people
like because you can see if the bottom crust is cooked evenly or not. That’s a
problem that a lot of people have is that their crust bakes on top but not on
the bottom. One way to help that is to cook your pie towards the bottom of your
oven or even on the directly on the bottom of the oven. You can also use
ceramic, it really conducts heat really well. So, you get a nice even crust you
just it’s just harder to see when it’s done. Or, metal is really durable. Although,
the same problem you can’t see when it’s done. In the filling I use, you can use
whatever you want. I use a cooked apple filling. I use
Granny Smith because they’re nice and tart. You can always find them. And,
because I cook it they hold their shape really well. So, this is what I like to
use. And then, I just cook it on the stovetop with sugar, some lemon juice,
vanilla cinnamon, and ginger. And, I’ll include the recipe for you. So, at this
point you would just lay your top on. If it’s giving you some trouble and it’s
gotten soft, another thing you can do is roll it onto your rolling pin. And then,
just roll it back over. So, you just want to kind of attach the top and the bottom
to each other. And then, all this extra you just want to
cut it off; probably about an inch away from your pie. And then, with what I have left, I like to
try and put the top tuck it in under the bottom layer. And, that way you won’t see
any bursting after the pie is baked. You’ll get some points where there’s
more dough than others. If you feel that there’s a spot where there’s not much
dough, you can get a piece of your scrap and tuck it in so that the trim looks
pretty consistent all the way around; one thing I try and do sometimes. And, once
you’ve got it folded, you just press it together and make sure it’s together and
you got kind of a base to work with for your shape. You can see now you have kind of a lip
there. So, to finish you can really do whatever whatever you want. A lot of
people will press a fork, use crimper, or crimp it themselves.
I always crimp it myself, it’s really simple. I just put um index finger and
then these two fingers around it. And, you just do that all the way around your pie.
Of course, I have big hands so my crimps always seem to be a lot bigger than
other people. It’s whatever you want it to look like. It really doesn’t matter.
And, once you have this done, you can go ahead and actually refrigerate this
before you bake it for about a half-hour or if you want to freeze it for about 15
minutes. What that does is it keeps all the ingredients really cold so that when
it actually goes in the oven it’s going to hold its shape much better. But, at
this point you would freeze it. We’ll just pretend that it is frozen. Now what
you would want to do, an egg wash. It’s basically just egg that’s beaten up. And,
you just brush it over your pie. This is going to give you a really nice shiny
pie. When you’re finished, brush over the crust. And then, one thing you want to
do with every pie especially fruit when it bakes a lot of liquids going to come
out. If you don’t have any vents for the air to escape from, it’s going to try and
come out; burst out of your sides. Your sides will get ruined. Fruit will be
falling out the side. So, you just create some vents for the air to escape from.
And, you can play around and make any design you want. I just kind of open them
up make sure that they’re well ventilated. And then, one thing I always
do, you don’t have to optional, I just sprinkle about two tablespoons of sugar
over the top just for the look and because it’s crusty and sweet. At this point,
you would put it in your oven. And, most ovens in general, you’d bake it about 375.
I would check it after 40 minutes; could take up to an hour depending on your
oven. I also keep an eye on it. You may want to rotate it if one side is
browning more than the other. If you’re using convection, you would start
about 350. And, again, check it after about 40 minutes make sure it’s cooking right. So, after about an hour this is what your
pie will look like. I did have to rotate it a few times. As you can see, it got
dark on some edges. And, just move it in the oven so that you can make sure that
if your oven is not consistent, you’ll get a nice even browning on that. If you
don’t want to do something so traditional, another option you can do is
a lattice pie. And, I’ll show you real quickly how you can do that. You would be
using the exact same recipe as this traditional pie. When you go to roll it
out, rather than trying to get a circle, I try and make more of a rectangular shape.
And then, you just cut strips out of your pie dough. This is just also half the
recipe. The recipe I showed you “three-two-one,” you would cut that in half. One would
be for your bottom. One would be for your top. So, this is just half of that recipe.
And, I usually get a plate and kind of put it upside down with a piece of
parchment on there. And you can start building your lattice on this. You don’t
want to build it directly on the pie, because with the fruit if you’re moving
this around it’s going to get messy and discolored. So, you can start with one
strip sort of towards the center. And then, just kind of crisscross. Your second
strip will go over just like that. And then, when you get to several pieces you
just start moving them around so that you want to create that lattice shape. I
just cut them with a knife. You can eyeball it. If you want them to be
perfect, you can use a ruler. And, you can flip these over, add another piece, put it
back. Same here, you want that under. And then, when you have your basic lattice
shape, you can do them thinner. If you want more detail, you can do a much
thicker. If you want a different look, it really doesn’t matter, it’s up to you. The
nice thing about this is it naturally has vents in there for your pie. At this
point, I would stick it in the freezer probably for about 10 or 15
minutes. That way, these pieces aren’t soft. They’re not going to shift on you
when you go to slide it onto your pie and they’ll keep the shape. And, that’s
also the nice thing about using a plate is it gives you a little bit of a dome
in about the shape that you’re looking for on your pie. And then, after you
pulled it out of the freezer you would just kind of easily slide it over over
your pie. Make the readjustments to make. And then, I just I just kind of pinch off
the ends. What you’re going to see when you’re done. Again, you want to egg wash
it before it goes in the oven. This is a traditional lattice pie. What’s nice is
you can see the layers that you’ve created with your pie dough. So, that’s by
handling it carefully not over mixing. And then, when I showed you mixing by
hand, all that layering creates these nice layers and gives you a really flaky
tender crust. And, if you do a lattice pie, the baking is basically exactly the same
as a traditional pie. The baking time, temperature is all the same. So, I hope
these tips have helped you. Again, it’s really simple
easy to remember, three-two-one, your basic ingredients. And, if you have any
questions or comments about baking please feel free to post that for us and
we’ll be happy to answer those questions.

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