Pie Social

9 Tips for Making the Best Pie Ever

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See Also: A Pastry Chef's Wedding Cake

Chill Out -- All your ingredients need to be cold. I put my butter, dry ingredients, and tools in the freezer before use. You don't want your butter to melt while you are making your dough.

Take A Break -- Pie dough can be a temperamental bitch. With our temps this week reaching back into the high '80s and possibly the '90s, if you are working with your pie dough and it starts to get soft, pop it back into the freezer for a bit. Don't let your pie dough become too soft. Your beautiful butter bits are what make that pie dough flaky, don't let them melt out.

My Grandma's Cure All, Vinegar -- A splash of vinegar in the water addition to your pie helps prevent the development of gluten in your pie dough. Though you do want some gluten (unless you are making a gluten-free pie) to give structure, you don't want to overwork the dough and have a tough crust. That little bit of vinegar helps keep that gluten development at bay.

Relax -- After making your dough, allow it to chill and rest. I make my pie dough the day before, to give it a day of relaxation before I start to work it. That pesky gluten needs to relax after getting all worked up during the mixing process. Told you that pie dough is a temperamental bitch.

Roll with Rice Flour -- There is a fine line between too much flour and too little flour. Too much can make for a tough crust and too little means your dough is stuck to the table. First, if your dough starts to get too soft, pop it back in the freezer. Second, you can always use rice flour! Rice flour has no gluten, keeps your dough from sticking, and it brushes off quite easily, so it won't be absorbed into your dough.

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Rachel Miller
Contact: Rachel Miller