Author Topic: What do I need?! Apple pie edition  (Read 5104 times)

mozar

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What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« on: September 18, 2015, 04:30:04 PM »
I made two apple pies last week. I made the dough/crust from scratch. I combined frozen butter with flour and it took forever! I don't mind adding the water and kneading by hand, but I could do without this butter step. I would probably make pie more often if I could electrify it. I have a Vitamix but no food processor.
Should I get a food processor for only this purpose? I don't think I would use a food processor for anything else. I'm just one person and I don't mind slicing vegetables or kneading dough.
Does anyone have experience with the dry container that you can get for Vitamix?

AllieVaulter

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 04:35:27 PM »
I have no vitamix experience, but I do have an alternative for you. 

You can use shortening in the crust instead of butter.  It gives crusts a good flakey texture.  And since shortening is stored at room temperature it's easier to mix in with the flour.  I understand if you're opposed to shortening for health reasons though. 

JJNL

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 04:38:42 PM »
Another alternative: use butter which is near room temperature. This makes it soft and very easy to process. So either defrost your butter (e.g. by letting it sit on the counter overnight) or buy non-frozen butter and get it out of the fridge an hour or so before you start baking.

Spork

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 04:40:47 PM »
Still another opinion:  Cold butter (not frozen) and cut it in with one of these:


teen persuasion

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2015, 05:57:32 PM »
Still another opinion:  Cold butter (not frozen) and cut it in with one of these:



+1

I use my pastry blender for biscuits, too.  Just make sure the butter is cold (not frozen), otherwise it gets too soft and makes things greasy rather than flaky.

mozar

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2015, 06:26:48 PM »
Well I did use a pastry blender. I should've said that. But isn't it  true that to make the flakiest crust you need cold butter? I'm not opposed to shortening but I think it would go bad by the time I got through it (like 3 years), and I already go through a lot of butter.

terran

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2015, 09:18:07 PM »
This is the best pie crust EVER and you can do it all with your hands. You do have to buy sour cream though. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sour_cream_pie_crust/

Spork

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2015, 07:03:04 AM »
Well I did use a pastry blender. I should've said that. But isn't it  true that to make the flakiest crust you need cold butter? I'm not opposed to shortening but I think it would go bad by the time I got through it (like 3 years), and I already go through a lot of butter.

You should be able to use the pastry blender to cut cold butter into the crust without a problem. I usually spice it up into pats first before putting it in the bowl to speed the process along. Is your pastry blender one of those cheap ones that just has wires, or does it have actual blades on the bottom?

My understanding wasn't that the butter was cold, but that it was frozen.  That could make a difference.

mozar

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2015, 09:05:12 AM »
I cut up the butter first, and my pastry blender has blades. I guess I'll just try cold rather than frozen butter.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2015, 06:50:03 PM »
My mom typically grated the butter on a box grater, then cut it into the dough with the pastry cutter.

The real trick with pie crusts (which I have yet to manage) is incorporating the liquid while handling the dough as little as possible (otherwise it toughens up and isn't flaky).

No one's mentioned lard. You can get rendered lard from most pastured pork farmers and it's cheaper per pound here than even conventional butter. The hydrogenated lard commonly available at stores is nutritionally nasty, but the real thing "as nature intended it" is a very useful ingredient.

mozar

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2015, 08:27:14 PM »
I like the box grater idea.

Quote
incorporating the liquid while handling the dough as little as possible

I've never heard that. Any tips?

grantmeaname

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2015, 05:46:03 AM »


No one's mentioned lard. You can get rendered lard from most pastured pork farmers and it's cheaper per pound here than even conventional butter. The hydrogenated lard commonly available at stores is nutritionally nasty, but the real thing "as nature intended it" is a very useful ingredient.
What do you mean by 'hydrogenated lard'? Are you talking about vegetable shortening? I thought the whole point of lard was that it was solid at room temperature without any processing or intervention, and we hydrogenated things like soybean oil to imitate it.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2015, 06:34:38 AM »
Mozar - no tips, sadly, from me. I admittedly suck at pie crusts. I only know what my Mom tells me when she gently critiques my crusts as crap. One of these days I'll take her up on offer of lessons.

I believe you want to fold in the liquid with a spatula, instead of brute-force mixing it like with a spoon, mixer, or blender. Using 1/2 vodka can also aid in the flakiness of the final product, as the alcohol evaporates faster than water while baking, thus drying the crust out.

grantmeaname - nope, if you buy lard in the supermarket I can almost guarantee it's been hydrogenated for longer shelf stability.

mozar

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2015, 07:45:23 AM »
Well, I had been using my fingers to incorporate the liquid.

Prairie Gal

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2015, 09:44:02 AM »
Google "Never fail pie crust" or "No Fail pie crust". That, plus a pastry cutter and cold (not frozen) shortening and you should be golden.

grantmeaname

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2015, 04:04:04 PM »
grantmeaname - nope, if you buy lard in the supermarket I can almost guarantee it's been hydrogenated for longer shelf stability.
Bizarre - I'll have to look out for that and see what I learn next time I'm making pies. (If ever - having a gluten-free family member kills your love of baking.)

kimmarg

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Re: What do I need?! Apple pie edition
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2015, 06:53:49 PM »
I believe you want to fold in the liquid with a spatula, instead of brute-force mixing it like with a spoon, mixer, or blender. Using 1/2 vodka can also aid in the flakiness of the final product, as the alcohol evaporates faster than water while baking, thus drying the crust out.

More than the drying effect due to evaporation vodka, unlike water, does not bond with flour to make gluten. Gluten makes tough pie crust (or chewy bread). Lower protien content flour will also be flakier.

No need to feezer the butter chilled is fine with a pastry cutter. Or if you do freeze, a box grater may be easier.