Category: Pies

How To Blind Bake a Pie Crust

Blind baking

Not all pie fillings require baking, but the pie crust certainly does. Use this simple technique to blind bake a pie crust before adding the filling.

To blind bake a pie crust, place the dough in a pie dish, crimp and then use a fork to gently poke holes around the sides and bottom of the dough. This allows steam to escape and prevents the bottom of the pie dough rising into a small hill.

Blind bakingPlace a piece of plastic wrap, no worries, it doesn’t melt, parchment paper or foil in the bottom of the unbaked shell and fill with pie weights. Pie weights are sold in stores in small quantities and tend to be expensive. An excellent and inexpensive alternative is a one-pound package of dried beans. Cool the beans after removing and store in a covered container for reuse.
The cooking takes place in two stages:

  1. Baking with the beans in the shell and removing about 20 minutes in.
  2. Return the pie shell, without the beans or liner, and continue baking until golden brown.

Cool the shell before adding filling.

On occasion, it pays to blind bake a pie crust with a filling that needs to be cooked, such as quiche, which makes the bottom crust soggy. See our recipe for Bacon Spinach Quiche.

Blind baking

See the How To Blind Bake a Pastry Crust Here.

How to Freeze Pie Crust

Can I freeze pastry dough

How to freeze pie crust is a simple task. Making the pie crust from scratch is a little time consuming, there is a waiting period for the dough to hydrate. I make several batches at one time and freeze as individual pie crusts, which freeze well and defrost quickly.

The benefit of making pie crusts in advance is having it on hand to make any kind of pie quickly. Don’t forget that pie crusts are for both sweet and savory preparations.

See our post on basic pie crust.

Can I freeze pastry dough

There are two methods I use to freeze a pie crust. Wrap the unrolled pie disc wrapped in plastic tightly with foil and freeze.

Can I freeze pastry dough

The second method is to roll out the dough to a 14-inch circle, place this on wax-paper lined heavy-duty aluminum foil, cover with another piece of wax paper and roll. Seal tightly and freeze.

Can I freeze pastry dough

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Thawing on the kitchen counter is risky – the dough gets very soft and is difficult to roll out and handle. It can stay in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for several days.

You can also pre-bake a crust and freeze it, but it takes up more room in the freezer and it’s awkward to wrap.

Be sure to stock up and enjoy the luxury of having pie more often!

Watch the How To Freeze Pastry Dough Video Here.

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Apple Pie

 

Apple pie is a family favorite. Apple orchards are plentiful in Rochester, NY, my hometown and we always have a nice assortment of varieties on hand and drink lots of fresh-pressed apple cider. Deep Dish Apple Pie is just an excuse to use more apples!

I think most people are familiar with apple pie ala mode, but in our family, the pie was always served with sliced extra-sharp Cheddar cheese on the side. The cider mills we bought our apples and cider at also sold cheese. After all, cheese and apples are a natural pairing!

Apple Pie

For a more interesting and complex pie, use at least three types of apples, such as Granny Smith, McIntosh and Rome. The sweet, tart and soft, firm textures blend nicely. Nuts, raisins and/or dried cranberries are a nice way to mix it up a little, the nuts provide texture and the dried fruit soaks up the apple juices.

Don’t forget to pierce the top of the pie dough several times. This allows the steam to escape and keeps your crust intact. The egg wash creates a shiny, golden brown crust – don’t skip it.

Apple Pie

I’ve never seen a pie recipe butters the pie pan. I think the high fat content of the pie dough makes everyone think it won’t stick, but it does, and the bottom crust doesn’t easily release. So save those butter wrappers from the pastry dough and use them to butter the pie pan. You can thank me later!

Apple Pie

This recipe calls for a double crust, add 2 tablespoons sugar to the recipe for a sweet crust.

The pie can be frozen uncooked and baked from the frozen state. Wrap tightly and store for only a month. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake another hour or until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife.

Apple Pie

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Deep Dish Apple Pie

Apple Pie

For a more interesting and complex pie, use at least three types of apples, such as Granny Smith, McIntosh and Rome. The sweet, tart and soft, firm textures blend nicely. Nuts, raisins and/or dried cranberries are a nice way to mix it up a little, the nuts provide texture and the dried fruit soaks up the apple juices. Serve with extra-sharp Cheddar cheese on the side.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

  • One double-crust pie recipe with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar added
  • 9 apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths (~ 2.5 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup raisins, optional
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Roll out the two pie crusts and line the bottom of a dish dish pie dish with one. See post on how to roll out a pie crust.
  2. Combine the apple slices, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped walnuts, raisins, sugar, all-purpose flour, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour mixture into a prepared bottom crust in a 10-inch deep dish pie pan and tuck in the fruit to fit tightly.
  4. Cover with the top crust, crimp, and cut steam wholes.
  5. Brush crust with the egg wash.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until apples are soft when pierced with a knife.
  7. Remove to a baker’s rack and cool.

Notes

The pie can be frozen uncooked and baked from the frozen state. Wrap tightly and store for only a month. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake another hour or until the apples tender when pierced with a knife.

How to Roll Out a Pie Crust

pastry dough/pie crust

The technique to roll out a pie crust is relatively simple. Follow these simple rules and the pie crust is tender and flaky.

Here’s our post on basic pie crust. Here you are instructed to gently handle the dough. The more moisture and agitation (mixing and kneading), the more the gluten develops. This makes the pie crust difficult to roll out, it stretches out and shrinks back. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before rolling out to allow the starch to properly hydrate.

Also see our post on how to freeze a pie crust.

How to Roll Out a Pie Crust

Lightly flour a flat surface to prevent sticking, place the dough in middle and lightly flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin.

The dough is cold and stiff, so start by tapping on the dough with the rolling pin in different directions, flip, flour and tap again.

pastry dough/pie crust

The dough has flattened a bit and warmed up, now place the rolling pin in the center of the dough and push out away from you. Place the dough in the center and pull towards you. Turn the dough, add a sprinkle of flour, and turn the 90 degrees and repeat. Keep rolling and turning until the dough is a 14-inch round and about ¼-inch thick.

pastry dough/pie crust

Fold the dough in half and in half again. Place the center point in the middle of the pan and reopen. Tuck the pie dough into the pan making sure to leave no gaps at the edges. Trim to 1-inch from the rim of the pan.

pastry dough/pie crust

Don’t discard those scraps – make these delicious pastry treats.

For a single pie crust, tuck edges of the dough under and then crimp with your fingers or with a fork to make a decorative edge.

For a double pie crust, add filling, trim dough and tuck both top and bottom crusts under and crimp.

 

Basic Pie Crust

How to make pie dough

Whenever I make a pie crust, I think of Grandma Mary, my mother’s mother. Pies have always been a big thing in our family and I remember when Grandma taught me how to make my first one. I was 16 and my parents had gone on vacation, a very rare occurrence, I can assure you, and she was staying with me and my brother.

I asked her to teach me and we set up on the table in the breakfast nook, put all the ingredients together, gently brought the pie dough together and rolled it out. This is the only cooking experience I ever had with her, which is a real shame considering the repertoire of recipes she had in her head! I didn’t realize until it was too late the importance of learning about food and recipes from family members, including my Mother-in-Law Ruth who passed away very early on in our marriage. Her sisters and daughter didn’t know her secrets either.

Cherish your memories of cooking with family and remember to write down traditional recipes and family favorites, even if you need to measure ingredients as you go along because they don’t!

Ratios

For a basic, savory pie dough use a 3:2:1 ratio of flour to butter to water, plus a little salt (1/2 teaspoon per 1 ½ cups flour). For a sweet pie dough add 1 tablespoon sugar per 1 ½ cups flour.

Flavored Crusts

Add more sugar for a sweeter crust, add herbs or shredded cheese for a savory crust.

Smear the Butter

You don’t need special equipment to make the dough. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, add the butter, which has been cut into small pieces and work the four and butter together by smearing together with your thumb and index finger until the butter is the size of peas. Alternatively, use a pastry blender, electric mixer or food processor, but be very cautious of over developing the dough when you add water with these appliances.

Smearing the butter coats the flour with fat and is one step in preventing an over-developed gluten. The most important factor is to use as little agitation as possible: minimal mixing, no kneading.How to make pie dough

Want a flakier crust? Leave the butter pieces in slightly larger pieces.

Flaky Crust

Butter contains about 15-20% water and milk solids, the rest is fat. Because of the water content, a butter crust is crispier than a crust made with lard or shortening, both of which are 100% fat.

The water in the butter turns to steam, puffs up the layers and creates that much desired flaky, crispy crust.

Add the Water

Water is always given in an approximation; it depends on how much moisture is in the flour. Use only cold water to keep the butter from getting too soft. Add about half the water at first and gently toss the flour and water together.

Pick up a small handful of the dough and press together. If it falls apart, add more water, toss and check. Keep this up until the dough holds together with no crumbling.

How to make pie dough

For a single-crust recipe, scoop the loose mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap, large enough to contain the disc.

For a double-crust recipe, divide the loose mixture in dough in half and place each portion onto a piece of plastic wrap large enough to contain the disc.

Gently form a mound and wrap the dough. Push the mound down with the palm of your hand and form a disc. Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight to hydrate the flour.

 

How to make pie dough

Watch the video here.

 

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Basic Pie Dough

How to make pie dough

This recipe gives the ingredients for a double-crust pie. Divide the recipe in half for a single, or make the whole recipe and freeze the second disc.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 9- or 10-inch crusts
  • Category: Baking

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and kept cold
  • 3/4 cup cold water, approximate

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, add the butter, which has been cut into small pieces and work the flour and butter together by smearing together with your thumb and index finger until the butter is the size of peas.
  2. Alternatively, use a pastry blender, electric mixer or food processor, but be very cautious of over developing the dough when you add water with the appliances.
  3. Water is always given as an approximation; it depends on how much moisture is in the flour. Use only cold water to keep the butter from getting too soft. Add about half the water at first and just toss the flour and water together. Pick up a small handful of the dough and press together. If it falls apart, add more water, toss and check. Keep this up until the dough holds together with no crumbling.
  4. Divide the dough in half, it’s loose and crumbly because you haven’t forced it together yet, and scoop each half onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Gently form a mound and wrap the dough.
  5. Push the mound down with the palm of your hand and form a disc. Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight to hydrate the flour.

Notes

Freezes well. Freeze as a disc or roll out and freeze as a rolled up sheet. See video here.

 

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Honeypie’s Recipes thanks all the brave men and women and their families who serve or have served our country by offering a Veteran’s Day Apple Pie with Crumb Topping recipe.

We decided to pay tribute to our troops with an apple pie recipe. When journalists’ asked WWII soldiers why they were fighting, the frequent response was:  “For Mom and apple pie.”

Interestingly, apples are not native to the Americas; they were brought here from Europe. Apple pie became a symbol of prosperity and national pride in the 19th and 20th centuries. Hence the expression “As American as apple pie.” We took the liberty of making a version from the Dutch, which uses a crumb topping instead of a double crust.

Traditional accompaniments for apple pie are whipped cream, ice cream, or thin slices of sharp Cheddar cheese.

Single Pie Crust

Dump the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter in half lengthwise and then into 8 slices. Toss these into the flour and coat the individual pieces well. Cut the butter with a pastry blender until the butter is in tiny pieces about the size of a pea.

Use the butter wrapper to grease the inside of the pie dish.

Measure 1/4 cup water, add vanilla extract, and drizzle over the flour. Toss gently with your fingers to incorporate the moisture. Form a small clump of dough. If it crumbles easily, add another tablespoon of water and toss. Repeat the crumble test. Add another teaspoon or two of cold water if it’s still dry and repeat the crumble test.

Once the dough holds together, push it all together into a mound and place on a piece of plastic wrap.

Wrap securely and push down to form a round disc. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to hydrate the flour.

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Crumb Top

Place the sugar and walnuts in the base of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are mealy. Add the flour, oat, cinnamon and salt and pulse five-six times.

Dump the crumble mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter onto the crumble mixture and stir until combined.

IMG_0887

Apple Filling

*Note: I used two each Granny Smith, Macoun, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious; each has a different sweetness or tartness and soft or firm texture, which makes a complex pie.

Peel and core the apples and cut into 1/2-inch slices lengthwise. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt; toss to combine.

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Assembly

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly flour a rolling surface, the rolling pin and both sides of the pastry dough. Roll the dough out from the middle; turn, roll from the middle. If the dough begins to stick, lift and lightly sprinkle more flour on the rolling surface, rolling pin and pastry dough. Continue rolling, turning and dusting as needed until the dough is roughly 14-inches round.

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Roll out the pie crust (see our post/video) around the rolling pin and drape evenly across the pie dish. Lift each side and tuck the pastry down the sides of the pie dish. Cut the edge of the dough around the pie dish leaving a one-inch overlap.

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Fold the overlap under and then crimp. Sprinkle the bottom of the pie dish with one tablespoon all-purpose flour.

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Slide the apple mixture into the dough-lined pie dish. Strew the crumble over the top.

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Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and continue cooking until the apples are fork tender and juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes; the pie is done when the apples are easily pierced with a knife.

IMG_0920

 

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Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

apple pie

Make this delicious apple pie with crumb topping with a variety of apples, such as McIntosh, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or McCoun. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or slices of Cheddar cheese.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Pastry Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
6-8 tablespoons cold water, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Filling
8 medium apples (use a variety for complex flavor)*
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Pastry Dough
Dump the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

Cut the butter in half lengthwise and then into 8 slices. Toss these into the flour and coat the individual pieces well.

Cut the butter with a pastry blender until the butter is in tiny pieces about the size of a pea.

Use the butter wrapper to grease the inside of the pie dish.

Pour the vanilla into a measuring cup and add four ounces of cold water. Drizzle over the flour. Toss gently with your fingers to incorporate the moisture.

Form a small clump of dough. If it crumbles easily, add another tablespoon of cold water and toss.

Form another small clump and repeat the crumble test. Add another teaspoon or two of cold water and repeat the crumble test.

Once the dough holds together, it should not be wet, push it all together into a mound and place on a piece of plastic wrap.

Wrap securely and push down to form a round disc.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to hydrate the flour.

Apple Filling
Peel and core the apples and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices lengthwise.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt; toss to combine.

Crumb Topping
Put the sugar and walnuts in the base of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are mealy.

Add the flour, oat, cinnamon and salt and pulse five-six times.

Dump the crumble mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Pour the melted butter onto the crumble mixture and stir until combined.

Assemble

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly flour a rolling surface, the rolling pin and both sides of the pastry dough.

Roll the dough out from the middle; turn, roll from the middle. If the dough begins to stick, lift and lightly sprinkle more flour on the rolling surface, rolling pin and pastry dough.

Continue rolling, turning and dusting as needed until the dough is roughly 14-inches round.

Roll the dough around the rolling pin and drape evenly across the pie dish. Lift each side and tuck the pastry down the sides of the pie dish. Cut the edge of the dough around the pie dish leaving a one-inch overlap.

Slide the apple mixture into the dough-lined pie dish. Strew the crumble over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and continue cooking until the apples are fork tender and juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes; the pie is done when the apples are easily pierced with a knife.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 51581

Keywords: apple pie, apple crumb pie, dessert, pie, crumble, apple dessert