On this cold grey day before Thanksgiving D and I finally had the chance to sit down the long anticipated (by us) podcast about pie. Continuing on with my last post about learning to tell stories about food in their contexts and with their meanings we were excited to explore this iconic food from more than one angle.
No question about it for me, the most interesting part of pie for me is the social part of it. I like to eat pie. I like to make pie. But it doesn’t drive me crazy with inspiration like other ways of baking. I do however feel fascinated with who makes pie, why they make it, who they make it for, and who taught them to make it.
This I think is the main reason that I am such a fan of these people and their farm. They look at where pies come from, they know who makes them, and who they teach to make them, and really also they know that the space where you share food is important too. This model opens up some re-imagination of a foodscape as place where folks get to experience fluid roles in their food.
My mom taught me to make pie along with most of my other attempts of early baking. She was and is however more of a cheesecake expert. My sister passed either one of us up with her pie skills while she was in high school and became obsessed with banana creme pies. But the real ace pie-maker in my life is this guy who’s wide breadth of talents amaze me. Below I have included his favorite crust recipe from Tartine.
Once again I’d love to hear from you out there in internet land about your inspirations about pies!
One (10-inch) pie or tart shell
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup cold shortening, cut into pieces
1/3 cup water, very cold
Aluminum foil or parchment paper
Pastry weights or dried beans
1. To make dough by food processor: Put flour and salt in work bowl and process a few seconds. Add butter and shortening and pulse just until coarse crumbs form. Add water and pulse until the dough just begins to hold together.
2. To make dough by hand: Put flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Scatter butter and shortening over flour. Using a pastry blender or forks, cut fat into flour until the mixture forms large crumbs. Drizzle in water and stir and toss with a fork until the dough begins to come together in a shaggy mass.
3. Transfer dough to a sheet of wax paper and shape into a slightly flattened disk. Wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
4. To line a 10-inch pie pan, first spray very lightly with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness; begin rolling from center out toward the edge in all directions. Lift dough and dust surface with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll to a circle about 2 inches larger than pan. Carefully transfer dough to pan and ease into bottom and sides, pressing gently. Cut dough so there’s about a ½-inch overhang, fold under and crimp or flute, or simply leave plain for a more contemporary finish. The unbaked shell will keep, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
5. To fully bake pie shell: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line shell with foil or parchment paper and add pastry weights or dried beans to cover the bottom; don’t fill entire shell with weights. Make sure edge of dough is also covered with foil or parchment. Bake shell until the surface looks light brown, about 25 minutes; to check, lift a corner of the paper. Remove from oven and remove paper and weights. Return shell to oven and continue baking until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
6. To partially bake pie shell: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line shell with foil or parchment paper and add pastry weights or dried beans to cover the bottom; don’t fill entire shell with weights. Make sure edge of dough is also covered with foil or parchment. Bake on center oven rack 15 minutes. Carefully lift foil and weights out of pan and with a fork, lightly pierce dough that has puffed up. Continue baking 5 to 8 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack completely before filling. (A partially baked shell should be used right away.)
From “Tartine” by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson