Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Good Pie Dough and a Run in with a Pie Judge

Dishboy Scott and I worked for days on our ridiculously challenged pie dough skills to be able to enter a real pie in the fair. Friendly competition and a bit of jealousy ensued on both our parts as one would get a bit better as the other struggled to catch up.

You see, although I make a lot of pies, I am a miserable failure at pie crust. My mom, now she makes it look easy. I just usually make it look messy and strange. This time though, I powered through recipe after recipe until I finally put together something that worked.

Yes, I am that "challenged". That being said, this must be a hard one to fail, because I’ve made it several times since and have yet to screw up. I finally have a good recipe.

Sadly, after all our hard work our pies almost were not entered at all. Dishboy Scott and I showed up to drop them off this evening and were quickly rejected. “NO GLASS!” barked a cranky looking judge. I raised my eyebrows and stated we had no idea, as the rules just came out today. I kept thinking, “Who the heck doesn’t bake with Pyrex?”

Anyway, I decided I could knock the old bat out cold and leave my pie behind with its wonderful crust as a memento. She complained of a bad back and I’m combat trained. So, this is the part where I tell you I kicked her teeth in right?

Well, no such thing happened. Instead we just stood at her table refusing to move until she accepted our pies. We might get last place, but at least we’re entered.

I guess I’ll have to learn to use a metal pie pan next year.

Good Pie Dough
Printer Version
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cubed
10 ounces (by weight) unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cold full fat cream cheese, diced
2 tablespoons cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Place butter in a sandwich bag. Freeze until solid; about 30 minutes. Place flour, baking powder and salt in a gallon size bag and freeze as well.

Pulse together flour mixture in a food processor. Add the cream cheese and pulse to combine, about 15 seconds. Add the frozen butter and pulse until very small crumbles form. Pulse in the heavy whipping cream and vinegar.

Divide dough crumbs in half adding a little more to one batch for bottom dough. Place into gallon size plastic bags. Label bags “bottom” and “top” if needed. Refrigerate crumbs 6 to 12 hours.

Remove the dough to the counter for 20 to 30 minutes or until the dough warms up enough to roll but is still cool. Open bags and press dough together through the outside of the plastic. Shape dough into a flat disc using the bag to help form the shape kneading a couple times as you form.

Place the dough between a lightly floured pie size piece of wax paper, lightly sprinkle dough with flour and top with another piece of wax paper. Roll 1/8” thick and 12” in diameter. *Roll dough forward only, rotating the dough an eighth a turn per couple of rolls* Near the end of rolling, gently peel off wax paper and lightly sprinkle dough with flour. Place wax paper back over the dough, flip dough over, peel off wax paper and lightly flour the bottom side to prevent sticking.

Note: If pie dough is too soft after rolling, slide a cookie sheet under the wax paper and freeze for 10 minutes.

Yield: 1 double crust for 9” pie.

Recipe & photographs by Laura Flowers


The Southern Cookbook said...

"NO GLASS"!! Well!! She must of awoke on the wrong side of the bed! Gee, sometimes these contests don't have all their t's crossed and all their I's dotted. I have heard of this so many times. A friend of mine just went through a crock of mess during her entry. She missed the whole judging because they failed to tell her when they were beginning. Just awful. Especially when you have your heart in making your recipes. Glad it worked out for you. I have an upcoming contest, I am wondering what is gonna happen to me...Lol. I know I will not use glass ;) I probably need to go back and read the rules a bit closer....What kind of pie did you submit?

The Cooking Photographer said...

A blueberry plum one. It needed a bit more sugar, not sure how well it will do. But at least I'm in lol!


Monet said...

How incredibly lame of that contest? No glass? I've never heard of baking a pie in anything but! Oh well, at least you made some an amazing pie crust and gave us the recipe. You'll be more prepared next time. Thanks for sharing love!

Sue said...

I wonder why it matters what kind of pie pan you use...they're judging the pie! Glad you held your ground:) Good luck, Laura!

notyet100 said...

thnks for the recipe

love lives in the kitchen said...

looks delicious!
have a good weekend,

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

Well, I guess I would have been rejected as well since I only bake my pies in glass pans LOL That is funny as heck though and made me laugh! Hope you don't end up with last place because of your dish, the crust sounds great :o)

Jess @ Sugar High said...

The 'no glass' thing is weird, but at least you get to enter a pie! A pie was the only thing I was looking forward to entering in my state fair, but they don't even accept them! A fair that doesn't judge pies??? This has to be illegal haha :)

Unknown said...

Oh i know your pain. I sometimes resort to store bought pie dough b/c mine keeps failing. I can't wait to try yours.

Pink Little Cake said...

Laura, I love the fact that you are posting pics of the steps of the pie making dough.
regarding the judge...who doesn't bake using pirex?

The Cooking Photographer said...

Only when it needs it Kathia. I don't like to do step by step for little things. It feels redundant somehow.

Joanne said...

ugh those sound like some ridiculous rules! Pyrex is a necessary baking tool!

At least you found the pie crust of your dreams. I tend to have serious issues with it as well...need to look into this one.

Good luck!

JodieMo said...

Hilarious! I also have problems with pie dough. I don't know why. It's just not in my set of life talents, no matter how hard I try. I will certainly give this one a try, hopefully I will have good luck...and I'll be a rebel and use Pyrex too.

Dianna said...

That's pretty crazy! Our fair recommends that you use glass.

Good luck!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Oh man. Even highly reliable sources I've read have said that Pyrex are some of the best pie pans (including Fine Cooking magazine). Wonder what prompted that rule. I've heard great things about cream cheese in crust. Must try soon.

Veronica said...

Loved this! It's so funny, though, because we aren't allowed to use anything BUT glass pie dishes in our competitions b/c the judges want to be able to visually check that the crust has been cooked. They won't even take a piece of the dough doesn't look cooked. This dough recipe sounds SO FREAKIN good. I used to think I had the best recipe but I haven't tried them all!

dana2288 said...

When I first found your site I was hopeful you would be enlightened and worldly. Instead I find within your first paragraph that you seem to be uneducated or completely insensitive to your readers. I was deeply offended by the way you use the word "retarded". That word is incredibly offensive to People with mental and physical disablities and to the people who love them.

Cristie said...

Judging pie is some kind of art form? My son is judging a pie contest tomorrow, I'll be sure he knows of this VERY important information. Your crust looks beautiful. I use sour cream in my dough- much like cream cheese I would think.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Sorry Dana,

I mean no offense to people with mental disabilities. This word in our society has changed to mean something else. Much like idiot, moron and the like which were once used to classify degrees of mental handicap. Now we use IQ testing instead.

If it helps you I'll go change this word. I'll consider it a lesson learned. Of course, I'm not entirely PC myself, as I believe not all political correctness is good for us.

I am highly educated, but I also do not wish to perpetuate a society that chooses to be offended by all things, words especially. I want to live in one with strength and flexibility; one that realizes words used enough become meaningless.


Scott aka "Dishboy" said...

Just to add my two cents to the response to Dana: I feel like I'm qualified to weigh in on your comments because I have a child that has a VERY severe mental "disability", but I can't say that I was offended in the least by the post, let alone "deeply offended". I am wondering if you'd feel the same way if one said something such as "Wow, that was one *crazy* experience making that pie crust"?

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