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"Fear of making pie dough is the number one reason people run to the store for pre-packaged pie dough and frozen pie. I feel it’s my personal mission to help these would-be bakers by sharing some of my confidence-building guidelines. It’s just pie. You don’t need a culinary school degree or any kind of degree at all to make it. All you need is desire, a few pointers, and some encouragement to break the rules!"
Contrary to what other cookbooks will tell you, extra flour will not make your dough tough; adding flour to your rolling surface will keep your dough from sticking—and will keep you from running to the store in frustration to buy pre-made pie crust. Always start from the center and roll out to the edges, rolling in one direction. Keep your workspace clean and take the time to scrape the gunk off your rolling surface as well as your rolling pin. When rolling dough, use your pie dish to calculate how big you’ll need it, allowing for enough extra width to account for the depth of the dish and make sure the extra inch or two of overhang from the dish has enough bulk for crimping the edge. Size isn’t the only goal when rolling dough—you want to aim for a certain “thinness. ”
1. In a deep, large bowl, work the butter and shortening into the flour and salt with your hands until you have almond- and pea-sized lumps of butter. 2. Then, drizzling in ice water a little at a time, “toss” the water around with your fingers spread, as if the flour were a salad and your hands were the salad tongs. Don’t spend a lot of time mixing the dough, just focus on getting it moistened. Translation: With each addition of water, toss about four times and then STOP, add more water, and repeat. 3. When the dough holds together on its own (and with enough water, it will), do a “squeeze test. ” If it falls apart, you need to add more water. If it is soggy and sticky, you might need to sprinkle flour onto it until the wetness is balanced out. The key is to not overwork the dough! It takes very little time and you’ll be tempted to keep touching it, but don’t! 4. Now divide the dough in two balls (or three, if your pie dishes are smaller) and form each into a disk shape. 5. Sprinkle flour under and on top of your dough to keep it from sticking to your rolling surface. Roll to a thinness where the dough almost seems transparent.
"Howard's new cookbook, Ms. American Pie, offers an old-fashioned view of pie-baking: It is much easier than non-bakers think." - Courier-Post, Camden, NJ
I have been following Beth's blog and FB posts for several years -- about the loss of her husband, about pie-making, about healing thru pie-making, about her Pitchfork Pie stand --... Read morePublished 23 days ago by M. C. Hardie
I loved this book from start to finish - which is how I read it - like a novel. Beth is a beautifully talented writer (I highly recommend reading her memoir "Love, Loss and... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Blaise Doubman
Nice job and enjoyed her recipes but haven't had any luck with the crust yet, will keep tryingPublished 1 month ago by shirley iribarne
I really enjoyed this author's first book and this also is a good read for recipes and making pie crust!Published 2 months ago by Karen L. Graham
We were fortunate enough to visit Beth Howard's Pitchfork Pie Stand twice before she moved on from the American Gothic House, and this book is a wonderful reminder of our visits... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Education enthusiast
One of the better pie books I have been reading. Straight forward and good recipes IMHO.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
As a pie novice, this book is perfect. I have yet to bake a recipe that did not produce a moment of silence once everyone took a bite. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andy