Cafe: Rock Springs Cafe and Rolling Out the Perfect Pie Crust

Over the weekend, ABC's Nightline ran a segment on pie, which if you haven't been paying attention is the hyped "next cupcake." The usual suspects were included; Martha, pop ups, and pretty, young pastry chefs. Following the segment, we received a request to roll out 150 mini pies to sub for a groom's cake at an up coming wedding. We'll think about that one.

Not inclined to bake your own pie? There are a handful of places to grab a slice around town. Just be cautious of pie places that over-promise and under-deliver. Take this week's piece about Rock Springs Cafe's pie for instance:

"The crusts are markedly dark brown, an indication of over-baking. The edges are uniformly stamped; only the caramelized spikes of the lemon meringue and thumb indentations on the double-crusted apple have any hint of a home-baked look"...full story

Of course, if you are having your own pie moment, we can't leave you to run off and bake without a few words of advice. 

Learn how to roll out the perfect pie crust after the jump.

Making the Perfect Pie Crust from Spring Eselgroth on Vimeo.

Pie Crust-yield 2 single pies, or 1 double crust

4.5 cups AP Flour, sifted
2 teaspoons pure cane sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt, fine grain
8 oz unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
4 oz shortening, cut into pieces and chilled
1/2 cup ice cold water + 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

*For all butter crust leave out shortening and use:
12 oz unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled

1.Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt for 1 minute.
2.Add the cold butter and cold shortening (if using) and mix on low speed until you have a crumbly looking mixture with visible pieces of butter the size of peas.
3.Add the vinegar to the water and stir.
4.With the mixer on low speed, gradually begin to add the water mixture. Do not add all the water at once! Add just enough water for the dough to pull together. (You might have water left over).
5. Test the dough by gripping a bit in your hand, it should just hold together without crumbling. Small pieces of butter will be visible in the dough.
6.Remove dough from bowl onto work surface and divide into two mounds.
Knead lightly, just enough to bring dough together.
7.Shape dough into discs, flatten with your hands, and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes before rolling.

Store dough for up to 2 days in refrigerator or up to 3 months in freezer.

Roll dough:
1.Allow the dough to sit at room temperature until pliable-but still cold.
2.Lightly dust work surface and top of dough with flour.
3. Roll dough from the center to the outer edges to form a circle. Rotate the dough and the pin, always working from the center to the edge. Do not roll over the edge, and do not be concerned if edges crack.
4. If the dough becomes sticky or the butter begins to melt, place the dough back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before continuing
5. Roll the dough until it is at least 2-3 inches larger than the diameter of the pie pan and 1/8 inch thick.
6. Beginning with the edge of the dough, begin to roll the dough over the rolling pin. Lift pin and place the dough in the pie pan. Slowly unroll the dough and position in pan.
7.Gently lift the edges of the crust and use your other hand to lightly pat the dough into the edges of the pie pan.

8.Place crust in the refrigerator to chill before filling and baking.

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Carol Blonder