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Pie Crust
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kyle



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Pie Crust Reply with quote

I use a pie crust recipe that includes an egg and a tablespoon of vinegar in addition to the flour, water, and fat. It turns our very tender and flaky and is much easier to roll out than recipes without them.

Can anyone tell me what the vinegar and egg do to the crust?
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyle, I haven't researched this and am answering off the top of my head, and I suspect you could find the answers more completely by checking out a food/cooking resource such as the books by Shirley Corriher or Harold McGee. However, it's my understanding with regard to the vinegar that the acidity in the vinegar helps to break up the gluten strands developed in the flour, thus thwarting the toughness that sometimes results from overworking the dough. Make sense?

I'm not sure at all what the egg does besides add moisture and richness and perhaps helps the browning process. Perhaps someone else can address that ingredient.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You call, the Mighty Georgia responds! I have never heard of vinegar being added at all, so this is a new one on me.

Where's KYHeirloomer when you need him?! If anyone would know, this sounds like he would.

KYH?
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyle, I t would be nice if you could share with us your wondeful crust pie recipe.
thanks


No more war, more vinegar ( wow, it rhymes!!!)
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kyle



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject: Pie Crust Reply with quote

Georgia, thanks for the tip about the vinegar. As for the egg; adding moisture, richness, and color is plenty for one little egg to accomplish.

Simona, here's the recipe. I got it from my ex-wife's mother. My son, daughter, and this recipe are all of value that I got out of the marriage, but that's a topic for another discussion.


Ingredients:

4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups shortening
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
1 egg
1/2 cup water

1. Mix flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour until well mixed and about pea sized pieces.

2. In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Add them to flour and stir until they come together. Finish by using your hands until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. This will only take about one or two minutes.

3. Chill at least 15 minutes before rolling out. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Can also be frozen.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, Kyle...out of pain...humor. That's a good sign. A son, a daughter, and a good piecrust is a lot more than many others get! May your piecrusts always be flakey (and your kids not...)
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so, what exactly is shortening and what could you replace it with?!?
It must be ' something fatty' , I guess?
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, swan, shortening is the fatty component of a pastry crust, could be vegetable shortening, a solidified white block that comes in rectangular boxes much akin to those in which one buys North American butter, or lard, or come to think of it, Crisco comes in cans!

Vinegar was always used by my mother and grandmother when making pie pastry, now I understand why!
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yuk, that does not sound very appetising, we obviously don't know something like that in NL, allthough now that I think about it, it does exist especially for deep frying, those blocks of fat.
Perhaps for some people butter gives the same goosebumps- but for me: butter, or perhaps oil, nothing else funny-fatty in my pies!! Crisco...funny name. one supermarkt in NL close to my home sells it, haven't been looking for it here in HK yet. Could one just blindly replace it with equal amounts of butter?!
Why would one use shortening, what does it do different or better?
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kyle



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject: Pie Crust Reply with quote

Swan, feel free to use butter, probably cold, cut in small peices.

The flaky texture that we want in a pie crust depends on the inclusion of fat. The best pie crusts will use lard, but most of us don't have it in our kitchen. Different fats will give slightly different results so use the one you like.

I've never tried to use margerine so I don't know how it would work. Soft margerine has too much water so I'm sure that it would not work but the sticks might.
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champ



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Island of Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

georgia wrote:
I haven't researched this .......


Georgia - I see you are still around from time to time. Wink

Some of us are still waiting to hear how your trip to Ireland was. Question

Maybe you'll let us know and if the suggestions given were of any help. Very Happy
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Champ...how lovely of you to notice my presence (also absence...). Thank you. I do suppose I was remiss upon our return from Ireland (ask Donna...haven't seen her, as I promised I would...since I got back...). I won't go into great detail here as it's the wrong forum, but let me just say that we LOVED Ireland, the Irish, the countryside, the food, the music. All of it. Could not have asked for a better holiday. Some day when I have much energy, I'll post a travel report in a more appropriate spot.

Back to pie crusts...no, no, no. No margarine. In fact, no margarine for anything, if I had my way.

Lots of traditionalists (Marion Cunningham among them) believe the best pie crust is made with vegetable shortening, i.e. Crisco. That's the way I learned to make pie crust myself. Others believe in all-butter formulas, and I think those are very close to traditional French pate brisee. Really delicious crusts, flakey and tastey, use a combination of mostly butter combined with a small amount of vegetable shortening. Julia Child (among many others) liked that version.

I've looked further at the recipes using vinegar and an egg and something strikes me: all the vinegar recipes do include an egg--that is, not just vinegar alone. I wonder if there is some chemical reaction between those two ingredients that makes a difference. However, I haven't found any explanations in that regard. Any food scientists out there who want to venture a guess?
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clotilde
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to say I found confirmation of the role of vinegar in Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking.

On Controlling Gluten Strength (pages 523-525 in my edition), McGee writes, "There are a number of ingredients and techniques by which the baker controls the gluten strength and consistency of doughs and batters." And he ends the list with, "Acidity in the dough (...), which weakens the gluten network by increasing the number of positively charged amino acids along the protein chains, and increasing the repulsive forces between chains."

Clotilde.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

any question...'n the answer is out there in C&Zland...I love it to bits!
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leejay



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Pie crust Reply with quote

Cooks Illustrated (my "bible") published a recipe a while back that uses vodka instead of water as the liquid. Apparently the vodka adds moisture but doesn't cause the crust to toughen. I've made it with success. Only problem is that they use Crisco which makes my arteries seize up with the thought. Anyone else tried to vodka (no need to use Grey Goose!).
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