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Facing the Pie Crust

Pastry makes me anxious. Well, not eating pastry; I have no problems with that part. My pastry-related fear revolves around making the dough. Baking, with its precise measurements and exhortations about correct temperatures, intimidates me. Which is why I took a class on breakfast baking – to face my fear and because things like waffles and quick bread seem less intimidating.

The biggest source of anxiety in the pastry/baking realm for me has been the pie crust. I’d love to toss off a nice pastry shell for quiche, or make a pot pie from scratch, including crust, but the instructions are scary, what with all the warnings about keeping the fats cold, not kneading the dough too much, etc.

Last Sunday, the first one in May, I finally just went for it. I browsed Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio in the bookstore, and tried to remember the 3-2-1 pie crust ratio he writes about. Since his recipe yields enough dough for a 9″ pie with cover, I halved his amounts because 1) I wasn’t shooting for a covered pie, and 2) 8 oz of flour looked like plenty of material to start with once it was in the bowl.

In all other respects I followed Ruhlman’s lead, trying to remember his description based only on what I gleaned from a quick browse in the store. I have to say, this pie crust turned out very well. Even after two days it is still delicious, it’s tender but has a nice crumble, and it is just sweet enough but not too sweet. I could eat this crust without any accompanying pie and be quite happy. This is,  for me, a real achievement, and had I created my mighty life list, then this would now be something I could cross off. Make pie crust – check.

The filling? Oh right, the filling. I went with rhubarb because it’s the season for it and I love rhubarb. No strawberries, just rhubarb, some sugar and a bit of vanilla. Yum.

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One Response

  1. […] Posted on May 19, 2010 by cavioidea For a last-minute potluck, I decided to see if my pie crust three weeks ago was beginner’s luck. Arriving home after work, I chopped a scant pound of […]

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