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Pie crust question

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
So I love to make home made pies and my husband loves to eat home made pies:lol: But.... he always complains that even in a store bought crust he can taste the shortening. So my question is..... Is there a way to make the crust (without using lard cause we are vegitarians) so the flavor of the shortening isn't so overpowering?
post #2 of 26
Use butter!!!!

Add 25% more butter than the lard in your recipe to account for the water content of butter. Much tastier!
post #3 of 26
and butter gives a much nicer texture and the most lovely smell
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

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www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
Reply
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestion. I'll have to try it. Is there anything that might be less fatening maybe? I'm trying to reduce that stuff for my husband.
post #5 of 26
I usually use a 50-50 mixture of butter and shortening in my pie crust. When adding the butter I keep it chilled in the refrigerator until I'm ready to use it.

good luck,
dan
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
I found a recipe on line that uses veggtable oil instead of shortening. Anybody ever tried that? If so is it a pain and does it taste good?
post #7 of 26
If you're going to eat pie, the calories come with the territory. :D
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post #8 of 26
When i was a kid my mother used to make 7 or 8 pies at a time, (we'd pick the blueberries in the woods) and to save time, she used a recipe betty crocker cookbook had, for a piecrust with oil and milk. It wasn't horrible, but i can't say more than that.
For some savory turnovers (swiss chard, olives, anchovies and raisins, or pumpkin, sauteed onion and pine nuts) i use an olive oil crust, which is wonderful for that sort of thing, but not for sure for a sweet pie.

I'd stay away from shortening which is horribly unhealthy and fake and besides, pretty disgusting
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 26
Calorie for calorie a pound of shortening or vegetable oil has more calories and grams of fat than a pound of butter... I don't understand what your issue is. If you are afraid of saturated fats and trans fats butter in my opinion isn't the greatest of your worries. There is simply no way the texture of an oil crust will be the same as one with a butter/shortening crust, but those sorts of doughs can be used as pastry for other things (I typically see something similar for a samosa dough).
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #10 of 26
I can suggest a ton of things, but none of them involve pies.

My Dad used to say "Eat REAL stuff" - we weren't allowed things that were labeled "low fat" or "Fat-free" simply because they were full of other things that were more difficult to predict than fat. I wish there was an easy answer to making a healthy pie but the word "healthy" is something completely different these days. I consider something healthy when it is made with 100% natural ingredients, including butter.

Think about it... there is no such thing as low-fat fat. Margerine and spreads are full of additives and chemicals that although may seem less fattening cause your body to become addicted to them or start craving something else.

Have your pie. A real pie made with real ingredients that won't make you feel awful. Just eat a little bit and not too often and you'll be healthy AND happy in the longrun!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 26
mapiva - my sentiments exactly
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 26
I agree, and margerine is one molecule away from plastic
I only ever use butter to bake with

If you use great quality ingrediants to start with you will always (hopefully if nothing goes wrong)end up with a great
end product.

and isnt it better to have a great product even if its a small amount rather than a mediocre product that is full of additives
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
Reply
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
Reply
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
thank you so much for your input. i agree i want the best tasting pies i can i have, i was just under the understanding that butter was worse for you then shortning.

any way butter it is, again thank you for your input this weekend is pie weekend :lips:
post #14 of 26
I've personally never been able to detect the flavor of shortening in my pies but what I've been doing with my apple pies is adding a touch of cinnamon, since its present in filling. I'd sometimes sub the water with apple cider. I haven't been able to tell much of a difference in texture or flavor though.
post #15 of 26
Butter will give you the best flavor, high quality vegetable shortening the flakiest texture. Many people mix them 50/50, which is not a bad idea for you; and neither is butter flavored shortening.

Unfortunately "New Now with ZER-0 Transfat" Crisco doesn't work as well or taste as mild as old Crisco. Lard is best by far, but oh well.

Once opened, store your Crisco in the fridge, and throw it out after a couple of months at most. Crisco should have a very clean taste, DH's reaction may mean it's rancid.

Add a little sugar to your dry ingredients -- about 1-1/2 tbs for each 9" crust -- you'll not only get a better taste but a nicer browning. Another trick is to use some sweet wine or liqueur instead of water to put the crust together. Triple sec works well as do white creme de menthe, creme de cacao and spiced rum.

Make sure the shortening and butter are very cold before cutting in, then cut in very quickly and thoroughly -- and you'll get better texture AND taste. People who want the flakiest possible pie crusts, refrigerate the flour and fat mixture before adding water. I'm sure you already use ice water; but if you don't that will help also. So will thoroughly chilling and resting the crust before rolling out.

Good luck,
BDL
post #16 of 26
I've read this is partly because gluten forms with water, but not alcohol. So you get the hydration but not the gluten so you don't have to worry so much about over-working. Certainly the flavor is a good enough reason.

Any one know for sure?

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #17 of 26
Someone does. I've been making pasta frolla, which I use for crostata di ricotta, with one spirit or another for decades; and the booze doesn't help much with the texture -- but does make a nice taste difference. Speaking of pasta frolla, I should have mentioned sweet Marsala as one of the wine possibilities.

BDL
post #18 of 26
My MIL makes pasta frolla, why did I think it was greek? Do you have a recipe that will blow hers out of the water?

I am NOT a baker.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #19 of 26
Just for the record - I know the original poster wanted a vegetarian crust, so this is sort of off topic, but i bought some lard and substituted two tbsp of the butter in a piecrust recipe with lard. That little bit made such a difference, it was by far the best piecrust i have ever eaten (i usually leave the edge crust on the dish). I can't believe how much difference it made - it was delicate, flaky, and melted in the mouth. I recommend it to anyone who has no problem with pork or meat.

As for pasta frolla, i always hated it, dry and tasteless, sweet but not short, but there's no accounting for taste, i guess. I'll take brisee any day.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #20 of 26
I've always disliked pasta frolla too, I just want to make it better than my MIL.

I'm curious about the lard now. Where does one buy lard? Is it labeled lard? Or do I just go to the butcher and ask for pig fat?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #21 of 26
Because of our huge ethnic populations, in California lard is available at nearly every grocery store in or around the meat section. Nationally, I believe most butchers have it, but ... You want to make sure you're buying pure lard.

"Pure lard" doesn't necessarily mean rendering your own from "leaf lard," but it might. In California that available lard is usually excellent quality -- but I understand that's not the case nationally.

Moving on to Pasta Frolla: The "right" way to make it is with everything at room temperature. A different way to make it is with everything cold and minimal handling, like a regular pie crust but wetter. The "different" method results in a more fragile dough, but flakier crust than the "right" way.

I sometimes bake a deep crostata di ricotta with a lattice top in a spring form pan. (IIRC, the recipe is up on ChefTalk someplace.) Because of the high, straight sides the dough needs to be very cooperative, and the finished crust needs to be sturdy to accept a straight cut. That gets the old fashioned crust. For something like a gallette or a more normal crostata, "Technique 2" is better.

Anyway, here's two ways to do it:



PASTA FROLLA
(Makes 2 crostatas)

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
2 tsp grated (microplaned) lemon, lime or orange zest
1 cup lard (butter, or some butter may be substituted for the lard)
6 egg yolks
6 tbs sweet marsala, triple sec or spiced rum
(Technique 2 only) 3 ice cubes

Technique 1
:
Make a volcano with the flour (in or out of a mixing bowl -- your choice). Add all ingredients (room temperature) to the center of the well and work everything together until a dough forms. If the dough is not oily, it may be rolled out immediately. If the dough is oily, break it into two pieces, wrap them tightly in cling wrap and rest them for about 45 minutes in the refrigerator before rolling.

Technique 2:
Have everything cold that can be cold. Mix the flour with the sugar and grated zest. Cut cold lard into small pieces, measure it, and cut it into the dry ingredients. Texture does not have to be "like coarse corn meal," but you do have to make sure there is no loose flour at the bottom of the bowl.

Beat the egg yolks until blended. Measure the spirits into a glass with the ice cubes. Stir until cold. Then add the cold yolks and spirits to the dough. Bring the dough together as quickly and gently as possible. Form into two disks, wrap them in cling wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling.


Hope this kicks MIL butt,
BDL
post #22 of 26
Creme de menthe in my crust? Where's the barfing smiley.... ;)

A

(still traumatized over a highschool incident with CDM)
post #23 of 26
I think the "right way" pasta frolla is exactly what i don;t like. And it's usually used for jam crostate, about the only thing home cooks bake here (if not ciambellone riddled with holes, dry and tough). Jam on top of a sweet crust makes no sense to me, and i guess it comes from a poor culture where sugar was a luxury item, so the more the better, and rather indiscriminate as to the other ingredients.

I imagine the "wrong way" pasta frolla would be good for a ricotta pie, or even a rice pie. I am sort of partial to my grandmother's rice pie recipe. (Tuscan version of the Napolitan pastiera) . And her ricotta pie had two layers of filling, on the bottom was a chocolate pudding with lots of bittersweet chocolate, and on top was the usual ricotta stuff. If anyone's interested i'll try to write out the recipe(s).
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #24 of 26
Sounds great.

Yes please. Italian style desserts are delicious and somewhat liberating. I always feel I can go slightly rustic on appearance -- which is so much less intimidating than the French stylings real pastry chefs do so perfectly -- and concentrate on flavors and textures.

Any other recipes you feel like maybe passing along, by all means pass.

BDL
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thank you so much. Actually I didn't know about the ice water and stuff. Thank you . I will try the ice water and mixing 50/50 I really appriciate all the in put I have gotten.:bounce:(Jumping for joy)
post #26 of 26
Ok, b.d.l - i'm finally posting the rice pie and ricotta pie recipes. see the recipe forum
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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