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Cracked pie tops are invading my dreams

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 


I am at my wits end. When I cook my pies, the tops crack, and the pastry, while flaky, leans toward sandy in texture. The crust does not have enough body. When it is cut, the pastry falls apart some. I use 3 cups all purpose, 8 oz shortening, 2 oz of butter (cold) and cold water. Combine fat in processor with half the flour and then the 2nd half of flour. Use 1/3 cup water or a little more. I also refridgerate the dough before using. I've tried different amounts of flour, fat and water. I've tried processing less and processing more. I'm using a commercial convection oven at 330 Fahrenheit. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions appreciated.
post #2 of 2
First I want to welcome you to Chef Talk where there is always something delicious going on.

Now for your question....
It is your technique.

If you are going to use the processor throw everything in at once and only pulse a few times.
When you see the fats are covered with flour and are the size of a green pea stop.
Anymore than that and you will not get those beautiful flakes.

Then drizzle the liquid in and pulse only until the mass just begins to come together.
Dump out on your work space and knead a couple of times.

I found this and thought it interesting...

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2013/11/23/butter-vs-shortening/

Practice makes perfect in everything so do a lot of that.
No need to make the whole dish every time just roll it out (I use a pastry cloth) maybe sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar then bake.

Although if you simply must and end up with people in the neighborhood not answering the door when you knock I will gladly pay the shipping from your kitchen to mine lol.

mimi

OBTW....weight is the most accurate measure when baking (especially when tweaking things).
IMO start off fresh with a reliable recipe and make it several times without changing anything.
If you are still having problems switch recipes.
There are a couple of good ones in the above link.

m.
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