Butter, flour, salt, and water are the essential components of a pie crust. Even when cooking a savory pie, I usually add a small bit of sugar because it makes the crust browner. One slightly uncommon component that you can use in a pie crust is vinegar. Due to its minor inhibition of the production of gluten, vinegar aids in the tenderization of pie dough, resulting in a flakier and simpler to handle crust. The beautiful thing about vinegar is that you only need a tiny bit of it to improve your dough, so when you bake it, you won’t be able to identify the “hidden ingredient!
This recipe for flaky vinegar pie crust is dependable for creating a flaky pie crust. Compared to the amount of water in the dough, it only utilizes a tiny amount of vinegar, but it is just enough to noticeably alter the final crust. Both hand-making and using a food processor will yield nice results when making this crust. The dough will require less rest time after rolling and molding it to fit your pie plate because it is more tender. The dough still needs some time to relax before baking, but compared to other pie doughs, it tends to bounce back less and keep its shape better.
In this recipe, you can choose between white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Because apple cider vinegar has such a mild flavor, I prefer to use it. You might be able to smell white vinegar when working with the dough because it has a much stronger aroma. When given the choice, I still choose apple cider vinegar even though you won’t be able to taste or smell either vinegar in the final crust.
Pie Crust Ingredients:
- three cups of cake flour Which type of flour should be used to make pie crust? Now, if you like, you can use all-purpose flour. For years, we did. However, once we started using pastry flour, people began complimenting us on our pie crust. Because pastry flour contains less protein than white flour, it doesn’t produce as much gluten. This results in a crust that is soft. ideal for pie. If you’re interested in learning more about the many types of flour, check out this fantastic article. Since a pastry flour crust is a little more delicate, you must take extra care to prevent it from tearing as you transfer it from the floured surface to the pie pan. If you decide to use all-purpose flour, be careful not to overmix the batter because doing so increases the amount of gluten formed and toughens the dough.
- 1 salt shakerful
- 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening. The controversy over using butter or shortening in pie crust is heated. Even while I enjoy using real butter, I’ve discovered that I prefer my pie crust when it has both butter and shortening. While butter creates an amazing flavor, shortening creates a crust that is tender, flaky, and melts in your mouth. I use a combination of both to fix the issue. There is also another thing. Shortening and butter should be chilled. A flakier crust is produced by keeping your fats cool. These fats dissolve as the food is baking, creating flaky layers. Even just imagining it makes my mouth water!
- half a cup of ice water. Keep those fats cool by using cold water.
- vinegar in a spoonful. Vinegar aids in crust tenderization and prevents the growth of gluten, keeping your dough soft. You only need a tiny bit of this, and once the pie is baked, you won’t even notice it.
How to Mix Pie Dough
The chilled butter and shortening are incorporated into the flour using a pastry cutter. We recently acquired this kitchen appliance for creating scones. Making crumbs out of your flour/butter mixture for pie crusts, streusels, scones, and other baked goods is simple to do.
How to Roll Pie Dough
Our pastry mat is another kitchen item we use when making pie crust. This summer, we happened to score a great deal on a new pastry mat at a garage sale; now I’m not sure how we survived without it. The non-slip mat makes rolling out your dough really simple.
And once you’re done, you won’t need to clean up all that extra flour from your counter. Just take the mat and give it a quick wash in the sink. Normally, I oppose utilizing “additional kitchen gadgets” that are meant to facilitate the cooking process, but this one actually makes things simpler.
What makes an excellent pie crust so special?
10 Ideas for the Best Pie Crust
- Use Butter or Fat That Is Very Cold.
- Keep a few chunks.
- Reduce the water.
- Refresh the dough.
- Turn the dough by rolling it.
- Consider Curbs Instead of Driveways.
- Allow the dough to drop into the pan.
- Refrigerate the lined pie pan.
What affects dough does vinegar have?
What function does vinegar serve in baking? A mild acid like vinegar aids in the breakdown of the proteins and carbohydrates in your bread. The batter’s pH levels are altered. It can help your bread dough rise properly, have a moist crumb and an airy texture, and it also improves the flavor.
What happens when vodka is added to pie crust?
Important baking news: We recently discovered a recipe for the flakiest piecrust possibly ever that will change your life (well, your dessert life, anyhow). And it’s all because of a peculiar last-minute addition.
It truly is magic. This Cook’s Illustrated recipe, which appropriately describes itself as “foolproof,” tells us about the secret.
There are two reasons the vodka works. First of all, it gives the dough a much moister and easier to work with feel. Additionally, the vodka’s ethanol prevents the gluten in the flour from adhering, resulting in a more soft final product.
Since we know you’re wondering, the answer is yes, the alcohol cooks off, so you don’t have to be concerned that it will either a) make your pie taste strange or b) make your kids intoxicated.
What caused my pie crust to be chewy?
A dough that has too much water in it becomes sticky and becomes tough and chewy. When rolling and shaping your pastry, too little liquid may cause it to crack and crumble. Water should be added until you can make a ball that won’t fall apart when you tug on it.
Which is preferable for pie crust: Crisco or butter?
Shortening received the lowest rating out of our three alternatives. We could tell from the assortment of little crusts that this one baked up the darkest and had the least amount of rise. This did not in and of itself cause us to feel particularly concerned.
But as we bit through the exceedingly crumbly crust, we were a little apprehensive. It was impossible to divide our pie wafers in half; instead, they crumbled into a variety of smaller pieces. This prompted us ponder whether a shortening crust might support the weight of fillings that were more substantial. We were a little anxious about cutting into our favorite pies and having them crumble in the pan. Would the flavor compensate for the crust’s brittle texture? Sadly, no, it didn’t. Both in taste and texture, we thought it was fairly fatty (we were definitely cleaning a film off our hands after this test). The shortening was not that flavorful, either. We received a crust that was bland, flat, and largely flavorless.
Our lard crust placed not much higher than shortening. This crust resembled the shortening variant in many ways. It makes sense because lard and shortening behave similarly and are both entirely composed of fat (as opposed to butter, which is around 85% fat and 15% water).
As a result, the lard also resulted in a crust that was flat, crumbly, and visibly greasy. Because the lard had a stronger flavor than the shortening, this one performed a little bit better in the test. In this sample, a tad bit more richness was visible. Nevertheless, we weren’t impressed with the performance of the traditional component.
Our butter crust hit it out of the park with an almost perfect rating. This one was clearly unique based on appearance alone. The little crusts were large, light golden in color, and had a lot of rise. When cut in half, they revealed a variety of stunning, flaky layers.
We all sampled it and were impressed. We finally found the rich, buttery flavor we were looking for in this crust. We both agreed that we could eat these small discs without any other food (though one clever tester grabbed a jar of jam for a little extra oomph).
We also noted how much substance this crust had after devouring a fair number of buttery wafers. Although it was light and airy, it never broke apart like the shortening and lard crusts had. We’ve at last discovered the ideal pie crust. This robust, flavorful version would undoubtedly hold all of our favorite fillings in place. Learn how to create your own butter from scratch if you want to take it to the next level!
This issue has been resolved, but what about salted versus unsalted butter? Learn which one you ought to be utilizing.
The Pie Crust Takeaways
Check out our winner for the best store-bought pie crust to see how closely the competition is normally divided in our blind tasting tests. But this time, there was just one very obvious winner. By far, a butter crust was tastier, flakier, and more sturdy.
This is not to suggest that lard and shortening aren’t beneficial components. Desserts can be made exceedingly tender by using shortening. It contributes to the deliciousness of these pumpkin whoopie pies. However, in pie crust, both of these resulted in a grainy, crumbly product that fell short of butter’s delicious, flaky perfection.
The Best Pie Crust Recipe
We’re sure you want to try making this pie crust on your own after hearing all this talk about pastries. Follow along for the basic crust recipe from our Test Kitchen. Although we obviously preferred butter, you can also use shortening, lard, or a combination of the two in place of the butter in this recipe.
Why isn’t the crust on my pie flaky?
You definitely overworked the dough or added too much water if your pie crust is tough rather than delicate and flaky. Not much can be done in this case other than to dish up a slice and add a dollop of ice cream. Don’t worry; you’ll perform better the next time.
Why does rolling out my pie crust cause it to crack?
Making a pastry pie crust is usually the most challenging aspect of baking for a beginner. Recognize that no one is naturally talented at making pies. Experience and knowledge of pastry mechanics are the antidote for pastry intimidation.
The fat pieces that were sliced into the flour were too big. It was necessary to quickly work the dough. Due to type or seasonal variations, flour requires extra hydration.
To begin, try using your fingertips to incorporate the fat into the dough. Add a tablespoon at a time more cold water if the mixture is still dry and crumbly. Stop and give the dough a quick knead to bring it together into a cohesive mass when it just begins to come together. The dough should contain small bits of fat.
The edges of the dough disk were ragged and dried because the dough was either too cold or wasn’t kneaded sufficiently. Additionally, the dough might not have had enough time to rest for the flour to hydrate uniformly.
Gather the dough into a ball if there are numerous cracks and the edges appear to be dry. Retry after 20 minutes of cooling; the dough should roll out more easily this time around because it has been handled more. By brushing with water and sealing the edges together, one or two cracks can be repaired. The following time, if the dough is extremely cold, allow it to warm up a little and roll it as evenly as you can close to the edge to prevent cracking.
After the water was added, the dough was overworked. Or perhaps the dough wasn’t allowed to rest after rolling.
The next time, stop mixing as soon as the water is included and the dough just starts to come together. Don’t hurried the procedure. After rolling, place the dough in the fridge for at least 25 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate and the structure of the gluten to relax.
The dough’s fat and flour components were overworked; visible fat chunks ought to have been left in the dough. These chunks will melt during baking, leaving behind air pockets that will cause the crust to be flaky. The dough can also have too much fat in it.
When most of the pieces are the size of peas, cease cutting in fat the next time. Some bits will be smaller, but if the fat is properly incorporated, the cooked crust will resemble crumbly shortbread. If the mixture is still crumbly, cut the fat.
Underbaked or made using flour that has been bleached crust. Acidic doughs, such as those made with vinegar or lemon juice to facilitate rolling, may color less quickly.
Use unbleached flour for the crust the next time. If you put an acid in the dough, brush milk or sugar on the dough to promote browning.
Bottom crust did not receive enough heat. Or, the fruit released its juice before baking because the sugar and sliced fruit were left out for too long before the pie was put together. The shell of custard pies was not sufficiently prebaked.
Pies and tarts should be baked on a warmed baking sheet that is placed close to the bottom of the oven for crisp crusts. Avoid letting the fruit and sugar mixture remain for longer than 15 minutes before baking the next time. For custard pies, prebake the crust whenever possible.
How do I get a shiny pie crust?
Before baking, use a pastry brush to lightly and evenly brush one of the following washes onto the top crust of double-crust pies, being careful to avoid the edges:
Brush with an egg white that has been lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water for a gloss and light browning.
Brush with an egg yolk that has been beaten with 1 teaspoon of water for a glossy golden finish.
Brush with heavy whipping cream and half-and-half for a subtle sheen.
Brush with water to create a crisp, brown crust.
After brushing with one of the washes, add some sugar or decorator sugar for some sparkle.
Warm up 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup to add a little more sheen to a double-crust pie that has been baked. Brush lightly over the warm, cooked crust.