New Castle News

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June 29, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Pies are worth the fuss it takes to make them


I’ve reached a conclusion about pie. Just about everyone likes to eat them.

But not everyone likes to make them.

The phrase “easy as pie” isn’t always applicable for those trying to master the task.

It’s not quite as difficult as assembling an Eiffel Tower replica from toothpicks or making an origami swan, but making pastry can be touchy.

Through the years, I’ve made my share of pies and could write three or four more columns about the subject. And I’ve learned many lessons about accomplishing the perfect pie crust. One of then is to go easy on the water. Although liquid makes the dough easier to work with, it yields a tough result. You need just enough moisture to hold the dough together.

Another bit of advice is to use only enough flour when rolling out the dough to keep it from sticking.

My favorite tip — after the dough is mixed, let it sit for a while in the refrigerator. That makes it easier to roll. Trust me on this, or ask a longtime pie baker.

If you’re worried about how to make the edges look pretty and don’t want to spend all day doing that, try a fluted crust. Just make sure the edges of the dough are about 1/4-inch thick by folding the excess underneath the edges of the crust but on top of the rim of the pie tin. With thumb and index finger of one hand, press dough around the index finger of the other hand to form a flute. My grandmother taught me how to do that, and it’s a method I still use to this day.

And on the heels of a request for the sandwich spread sold at the former Latsko’s Market comes another request — this one is for the frozen pizza burgers that were available at the former Waldman’s Meats on Sampson Street. My brother said he always loved getting those pizza burgers and wonders if there is anywhere else that has something very similar.

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