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pie bakeoff

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I would like to enter the pie bakeoff at my kids school. I have only made a few simple apple pies, pecan and pumpkin in my short baking life. Anyone has any ideas or recipes that would give me a chance?
vale
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vale
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post #2 of 14
I would stick with one of your own recipes that you know, rather than trying something new.

Adding a little 'twist' to a tried and true recipe would give you something different - adding nuts and/or flavoring to any of the pies, or a different topping would put your 'signature' on it.
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post #3 of 14
Does anyone make pumpkin pie with real pumpkins any more? I do that and everyone goes wild. Especially if you can get a good pumpkin or squash - there's a type they use for ravioli, shaped like a smallish sort of low and wide pumpkin, but very dark green and bumpy outside, yellowish greenish color inside (very bright) which is creamy when cooked rather than watery, and has a great deal of taste. Then follow a pumpkin pie recipe in a good cookbook (i can provide one, but there are plenty) just avoid those with condensed or evaporated milk, etc. Use one with good real ingredients. I;ve had good results with the squash shaped like an acorn too.
I also recommend making the crust with part lard, and part butter (no crisco) because it comes out wonderfully flaky.
"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 #4 of 14
There aren't any pie dough formulas I'd call special. Other than the shortening choice, they tend to fall into two classes. Those with egg and vinegar; and those without. Without are the vast majority.

What does make one crust different from another is technique. With well made crusts, the difference can usually be defined as the distinction between crumbly and flaky. "Flaky" is often confused with "tender." Flaky and crumbly crusts can both be tender, but a flaky crust breaks into large thin leaves and a crumbly crust breaks into crumbs. A truly flaky crust is a rare and wonderful thing.

If you want a very flaky crust and are willing to try advanced technique:

Use all lard and no butter for the crust. If you want butter, put it in the filling.

Chill the lard, the cut it into medium dice. Put it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes, so that it's cold when you add it to the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients together with a fork. Add the diced lard, and toss the dice with dry ingredientsm making sure each die is well coated.

Put down your fork, and use a pastry cutter to cut the lard in. Do not cut the lard into the flour thoroughly. Rather cut just enough to leave pea-sized pieces, thoroughly coated with flour.

Refrigerate the flour and lard for half an hour after the cutting-in, so the lard is cold.

Remove the flour and lard from the refrigerator. Empty the dry flour onto your board. Form it into a compact disc.

Hint: If you like you can cover the board with waxed paper before putting the flour/lard down; and cover the flour with waxed paper.

If you don't choose to use waxed paper, put your pin in the freezer at least half an hour before the next step. When you remove it from the refrigerator flour it generously.

Use your pin to roll the lard into the dough. This will press the lard into wide but very thin "leafs." As you roll, check to make sure the lard is well coated with flour. If it is not, you may have to fluff the flour mixture with a fork, or gently toss it with your fingers. Clean and re-flour your pin as necessary.

After the lard is rolled, quite thinly, into the dough -- rest the flour mixture in the refrigerator for another half hour before mixing in the ice water. The idea is for the lard to preserve as much integrity as possible.

Finally, using very cold water, mix in as little as possible to bring the flour mixture together as a ball; handling as little as possible to do so. If there's a little flour mixture left over -- fine, save it in a small bowl and refrigerate it.

Portion the dough (if necessary), and wrap each portion tightly in cling wrap. After wrapping, press down on the wrapped portion, and pat the sides to form as neat a disc as possible. (That's going to make it a lot easier to roll out neat circles.) Allow the discs to rest in the refrigerator for yet another 30 minutes so the lard can reharden and the glutens relax.

Flour your board thoroughly, unwrap one of the discs, and put it on the board. Sprinkle a proportionate amount of the unincorporated dry flour/lard on top of the disc, then sprinkle some bench flour on top of that.

Start rolling the disc. Roll from the center out. When you've gone halfway to your desired diameter, pick up the dough and turn it over -- reflour the top if necessary, and at long last finish rolling the dough out.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #5 of 14
BDL - Thanks for the post, I think you've just helped me improve my pie crust a great deal. The key is the constant chilling of the ingredients as you go through the process. I think I need to go bake a pie!


Willie
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the tips, I think I will do apple pie since they said no nuts. I may try the brown bag apple pie recipe posted online. BTW, where can you buy lard:smiles:
vale
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vale
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post #7 of 14
Hmm. High quality lard is not a problem through most of California, and I forget that it can be an adventure in other parts of the country.

Texas, quien sabe? But because it's such a staple in Mexican cooking, you can undoubtedly get fresh lard at most Mexican meat markets (aka carnecerias) and supers. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of "regular" supers carry it as well.

I'm not predicting this, but if the lard has too much pork odor, or has visible pieces of meat in it, you'll have to clean it up by melting it in a big pot on medium low heat, frying a little bread or a few pieces of potato at the same medium-low temperature; filtering the lard through a very fine sieve and/or cheesecloth; and finally, chilling and storing.

Alternatively, you can try ordering "leaf lard" or "leaf fat" from a good gabacho butcher and render your own if it isn't already. Just melt, filter, and refrigerate as already described. Processing your own leaf lard is snobby cooking of the highest order. You get beaucoup brownie points.

BDL
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I did a practice apple bag pie for the bakeoff. The crust turned out to messy. It won't hold and kept falling apart. I could not manage to roll it out. I used all lard as suggested... 1 cup lard, 2 2/3 flour.. 3 tbsp cold water (did not have ice). Do I need more water? I ended up putting the dough in the pan and pressing it that way. It looked all patched up. The pie itself was juice using the brown paper bag.
vale
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vale
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post #9 of 14
Probably not enough water. The amount of water you need is variable. You have to keep adding water until the dough comes together enough to "clean" the bowl. Or at least almost.

This technique might require more experience and "touch," than you've got now.

If you'd like to try it again, try adding water not as a specific amount, but in an amount that makes it work. If that seems like it requires too much judgment, you can do a food processor crust. They come together so quickly and so visibly, they're pretty much "never fail."

BDL
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post #10 of 14
* 500 g potatoes for mashing
* 50 g grated cheddar cheese
* 1 tbsp vegetable oil
* 1 onion, diced
* 2 carrots, diced
* 2 sticks of celery, sliced
* 1 kg minced mutton (sheep)
* 30 ml beef broth or stock
* 1 tbsp flour combined with 1 tbsp of butter
* 150 g butter
* salt and pepper to season
* 100 ml milk
post #11 of 14
Step 10
Stir in the sautéed onions

Step 11
Transfer the meat into the baking dish. Spread it out to make an even layer. Spoon over the mashed potato and tease the surface with a fork to create some texture. To finish, brush on the last of the melted butter.

Step 12
Place the shepherds pie in the oven and back for half an hour.

bethecook.com/recipes/Shepherd-Pie
post #12 of 14
Since I was but a wee lad, I had thought pies were a mediocre dessert. Then my girlfriend made a pecan pie with her mother's crust recipe and showed me that it isn't pie I don't like, just a "crumbly" crust. Haven't let her go since.

It did however have the side effect of me nearly comparing, unfavorable, my mother's crust to my girlfriend while my mom was around... Thankfully I have a quick tongue that can often avert such dangerous situations.
post #13 of 14
Lard...Fiesta Grocery Store. I recommend the small green box unless you want to discover the heaven that is homemade tortilla. In that case the tub with the green label.
post #14 of 14
apple is always great, to add a little bit of flare add two packets of celestial seasonings mandarine orange zest tea to the recipe, it turns out great!
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