Do not glaze the top of a pie. Although it will make the pie look shiny and very appealing, it seals in moisture and keeps the dough from breathing. It makes a tough crust. A light dusting of sugar is the one exception.
Seal the bottom crust of the pie. Rose obliterates "soggy bottom" by brushing the bottom crust with egg white, sieved preserves for extra flavor, or melted chocolate for the most effective moisture-proofing of all.
For certain juicy pies (peach, nectarine-raspberry), bake the pie directly on the floor of the oven for a truly crispy bottom crust.
The food processor method for making pie crusts is the easiest. It is faster than mixing by hand, and because the dough is handled less, it keeps the ingredients more chilled.
In fruit pies, berries become bitter when cooked. The solution is to bind uncooked berries with a glaze or cook only 1/4 of the berries and the remainder uncooked.
Slice apples thinly for apple pie. Thick slices promote air space and create a gap between the fruit and the crust.
For the purest flavor in fruit pies, macerate the fruit, capture the juices, and boil and reduce the liquid. The will decrease the amount of thickener and create more intense, focused flavor and a juicy filling.
If your house is for sale, have an apple pie baking when prospective buyers tour. This will speed the sale.
One tablespoon of cider vinegar relaxes pie dough and makes it easier to roll. It will not diminish the crust's flakiness but will diminish shrinkage as it bakes.
Butter dulls the flavor of fruit (with the exception of apples). Leave all the butter in the crust when baking fruit pies.
The Pie and Pastry Bible
By Rose Levy Beranbaum
Scribner/Simon & Schuster
Hardback,315 recipes, $ 35.00
Reprinted by permission.
This page created March 1999
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