Anyway, I wanted to try my new tilt-head stand mixer for pie crust, hoping to save shoulders and arms from elbow-grease effort of a manual pastry blender. I pored over numerous sites for guidance for pie making, particularly crust ingredients and processes. For the cherry filling, I decided I'd use frozen cherries rather than fresh that would need pitting, or canned, whether they were pre-sauced or required fluid thickening.
The big-picture pie-making process is as follows:
- Acquire two pie crusts or make your own. Ingredients are flour, fat, salt, sugar (optional), and water. The amounts vary from recipe to recipe. The sequence of additions and process are similar among recipes.
- Acquire filling or make from ingredients you buy. For fruit pies, ingredients are mainly fruit, sugar, cornstarch or other thickening agents, and fluid. The sequence of additions and process are similar among recipes, but can vary widely.
- Assemble (crust in pan, then filling, then "vented" top crust), and bake. Single-crust pies can require pre-baking. Lattice-top pies provide venting as well as decoration. Temperatures and durations vary widely among recipes. Some recipes include extra efforts and more items than others. A pie crust shield or foil at the rim is helpful for avoiding edge overbaking.
During my research of pie making, I thought of implements that I had that might help in my pie making.
Using a Vintage French Fry Cutter for Cutting Butter
I saw various approaches to butter use—tablespoon slices, pat-size slices, 1 cm (.39”) cubes, and whole-stick. I myself used a hand-held French fry cutter and butter knife to easily cut butter into cubes as follows:
- Halved one stick so three sections are small enough to fit the cutter sideways.
- Pushed the cutter halfway down.
- Used the butter knife to cut at the grid wires.
- Pushed the cutter farther down.
- Used the knife to finish pushing the rest of the butter from the opposite side.
I used a cutting board (12” x 13”) that had alternating dark and light wood sections. The size was helpful for easily rotating the dough 90° at a time during rolling out time. The stripes, although not consistent widths, were helpful guidelines for cutting the lattice strips.
Post-Pie Implementation Thoughts
The thawed cherries were fragile and required tender treatment when stirring in 1 C sugar. Next time, will stir sugar with the frozen cherries, then refrigerate so the cherries juice up and thaw overnight. Stirring will be minimal the next day.
The baked pie crust seemed normal the first day, but seemed tougher in the three subsequent days. I might not have handled the dough as well as I could have. Next time, I will try improving methodology and equipment.
- Fold and flatten dough as shown in "Pie Crust Recipe Tutorial Demonstration: How to Make Tender, Flaky Pie Crust".
- Use my newly acquired Joseph adjustable rolling pin. This roller has measurements for dough width and circular end gauges for dough thickness.
- "How To Bake Fruit Pies"
- “How to Weave a Lattice Top for Pies”
- “How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust”
- "Pie Crust Recipe Tutorial Demonstration: How to Make Tender, Flaky Pie Crust"
Additional helpful links—admittedly mostly crust-centric:
- "How to Make a Perfect Pie Crust with Jill"
- "Tender Flaky Pie Crust in mixer"(Eh, could ignore call for different flours and milk powder.)
- "Best Ever Pie Crust"
- "How To Make A Pie Crust, Step-By-Step"
- "10 More Things You Should Know About Pie"
- "All About Pie Dough"
- "Cherry Pastry Filling Recipe ~ Noreen's Kitchen"
Visit blog articles of my other two cherry pie learning processes.