Two steps to make pie as easy as it´s supposed to be
I´ve learnt a two valuable lessons in pastry making this weekend. I´m now going to share them, because I think this is in the nature of public service, and will help all of the teeming dozens who read this blog.
I took these tips from the column of Xanthe Clay . Anyone with an X as their initial has my instant sympathy, but I also love her columns.
The article I´ve linked to has all the information, and recipes. What follows assumes that you have made short crust pastry many times before, and had occasion to gnash your teeth. I highlight here the valuable lessons I put to good use on Saturday.
1- Blind baking. You know, all that thing about the pie weights, and the beans, or the chain, or the marbles? The lining the shell with paper, putting the beans in , waiting for then minutes, then burning yourself when all those lovely now very hot beans spill all over the place? Forget it. The thing to do here is to take some loosely scrunched tin foil, and lay it inside, making sure it presses against the sides. It´s more than enough to keep the pie walls from caving.
2- Soggy crust. No more. As soon as you have done the step two, taking the foil out, letting the shell become golden, you inmediately give it a quick brush with egg white. The heat from the pastry will insure that the thing cooks inmediately, sealing it and effectively making it waterproof.
The pie I made was a pecan pie, and very delicious it was. A cup of pecans, 3 eggs, a 1/4 of cream, 1/2 of maple syrup and a dash of salt turned into a lovely filling for a shortbready sweet short crust shell. Wonderful.