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Lard instead of shortening??
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: piecrusts or pastries and lard Reply with quote

Nik wrote:
always start baking @ 425 F
regardless of the sort of pie, to set the flakiness. otherwise the fats will simply melt and make another sort of cardboard.


This makes an interesting point and one I've struggled with during the course of learning to make pies over the last year.

The problem still seems to be a bottom crust which lacks flakiness or even crustiness. I've tried:

1. starting at 375 for 15 minutes
2. using lowest rack in oven regardless of starting temp.

Tops usually come out perfect in either case and I'm certain that's because
Quote:
cut the butter in first with a small amt of shortening for a fine crumb appearance. finish with the remainder of the shortening cutting it in coarsely to get the much desired flakey effect....and DO NOT OVERWORK the dough


Could this be because I'm using a Pryex dish and not metal? Or should I increase the intitial temperature as Nik suggests?

(on a side note, is there an easy way to to wrap foil around the hot edge during the last 15 minutes of cooking so it doesn't brown too much? I've tried those ring things, but they don't fit my bigger pie pan)
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1023
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>soggy bottoms

I've taken the easy way of of the soggy bottom issue - I blind bake the shell before filling.

that creates a problem if the pie has a top crust....

the best altho not "perfect" results I've obtained for a bottom+filling+top crust at one go into the oven is:

pre-heat the oven to max (500'F on mine) with a baking stone
-allow more than adequate time for the stone to reach max temp; I use one hr
heat the filling to bubbling
make the pie
pop in oven on hot stone, turn down heat to 425'F until top crust has set, bubbled up and crisped
reduce heat again to 325-350'F to finish 'cooking through' the filling.

I've ceased with the glass pie pans. my experience indicates the thinnest metal - including actually at the best of the options - the disposable / one use alum 'foil' types - work better at transferring heat from the stone to the crust.

I've tried blind baking the bottom crust then adding filling & top crust.
from a crust standpoint this works well - but I get minimal to no cohesion between the bottom & top crust. okay if the pie is served completely cooled / chilled - if it is still warm, the top and side crust separate & generally fall apart.

some of the 'nice crisp bottom' is also relates to the filling.
fruit pies - cherry, blueberry, apple, etc. - when using a prepared canned filling, are very difficult to get a crisp bottom. preheating the fillings helps quite a lot, but it's not a perfect solution.

otoh, starting with fresh apples, the filling is not so wet and dense as the canned stuff. the short time on the baking stone before the apple chunks start giving up moisture seems to be enough to allow a bottom crust to crisp up.

some experimenting required - your mileage may vary . . . .
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips. I actually bought a metal pan at Sur le Table a couple weeks ago, but haven't tried it yet. (Managed to walk out with only that and a spatula, too!)

I may try Nik and your really high initial temps, and if that fails a stone is the next logical step.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One year later and my blackberry pie still has a soggy bottom.

The metal pie pan wins hands down.

I'm thinking a preheated HOT stone is the way to go.

Might also try preheating the filling.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1023
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we have a raft of wild blackberry growing just outside the fence line. pie from those are a seasonal treat - altho fending off the deer who luv' to munch off the berries a day or two before I 'go for harvest' is an issue. I've 'caught' deer with their heads/necks outstretched over the fence to munch on the berries.....

it does tend to be a 'wet' filling - the preheated filling and a baking stone is definitely and a thin metal pan is my recommended approach.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even refrigerated lard goes off after a while. Last time I rendered some I portioned it into 4 oz cubes and threw it in the back of the crisper.

Made a shepherd's pie couple days ago, and could tell the lard was stale. Well, after about a year, I suppose that's normal; just didn't expect it.

Rendered more last night -- don't know what it was because I just asked the butcher for suet, so we'll see. I filtered it a bit better this time and will again portion into 4 oz squares, but keep in freezer.
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