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Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales from the American Gothic House Hardcover – April 16, 2014
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From the Publisher
Basic Pie Dough for Single-Crust Pie
'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!'
Before You Begin:
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.
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1¼ cups flour, plus at least ¼ extra for rolling
- Dash of salt
- Ice water (fill a ½ cup but use only enough to moisten dough)
"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
About the Author
Beth M. Howard baked pies for celebrities at California's Malibu Kitchen before moving back home to rural Iowa. She currently lives in the American Gothic House, the backdrop of Grant Wood's famous painting American Gothic, and she runs the hugely popular Pitchfork Pie Stand. She is the author of the highly-acclaimed memoir Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie. A veteran journalist, she has written for Real Simple, Natural Health, Shape, and Elle.ÿ
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I'm a better than average home baker so I would think any recipe should come out at least average.Read more
One minor tip/quibble - her recipes assume that you use HUGE deep pie dishes.Read more