New Castle News

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November 16, 2013

Culinary Conversation: My, oh my, it’s pie!

NEW CASTLE — Making a pie crust can result in one of two things.

You’ll either be remembered as the king or queen every time the word pastry is mentioned. Or you won’t.

For some, that age-old cliché “easy as pie” is not that simple.

Pies are one of my favorite things to make. But there are still always new things to learn and I recently picked up some tips from various magazines.

A great quote that will stick in my mind from Lesley Porcelli, author of the blog, “Ugly But Good,” is — “Pie teaches you a new lesson every time.”

A new bit of advice I picked up is to sprinkle about one tablespoon each of flour and sugar over the crust before adding the pie filling to avoid a soggy crust bottom.

Another is to beat the dough after it rests with a rolling pin to relax the gluten and soften the dough, making it easier to roll out.

One tip I will use this year is to butter the pan for a golden bottom crust and to prevent the pie from sticking.

Fully pack fruit pies such as apple and pear. Layer the slices closely together so there won’t be any air pockets, and mound the fruit slightly higher than the edge of the crust. Fruit shrinks as it cooks, so tight, full packing leads to a pie that is still piled with fruit.

I am a fan of the fluted method to form the dough’s border. That’s done simply by pinching the dough between your index finger and thumb to create a point. At the same time, you use your other index finger to make an indentation or dimple. It’s the way my grandmother, aunts and mother all did their pies and I followed in their footsteps. But I also think crimping with a fork looks pretty, too.

As for my favorite types of pie, I love them all.

And speaking of all things sweet, it’s time for you to send your recipes for your favorite Christmas cookies. Share with your neighbors and friends through Culinary Conversation — your place for Christmas and every time of year.


Butterscotch Cashew

Cream Pie

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