DECORATING A DOUBLE-CRUST PIE
By The Culinary Institute of America
The leaves are changing here at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and few things say “fall” like the scent of a freshly baked pie. Whether it’s apple, pumpkin, or your own seasonal favorite, pie is one of the simplest ways to welcome the cool autumn weather. This year, give your best recipes a makeover with decorating tips from CIA Chef Kristina Migoya.
An excellent pie can be broken down into two important elements: a flaky pie crust and a flavorful filling. Both can be achieved easily through the use of quality ingredients and practiced technique. Experiment with different flours, fats, and fruits to find the results that best suit you—after all, the best pie is the one you want to eat!
Take advantage of the season’s bounty and fill your pies with local fruits and vegetables. Try variations on the classics, like caramel apple, pumpkin streusel, and cranberry pecan. And remember, chocolate is always in season.
Most bakers (at home and professional) have a tried-and-true pie pan, often one that’s been passed down from generation to generation.Made from a wide variety of materials, each one will affect the outcome of a pie differently. Metal pans slow the bake time of a crust, which may result in a soggy, underbaked crust. Glass pans, which are very popular, transfer heat to the crust and cause it to bake quickly.
Some pies exude beauty through simplicity, but even a basic apple pie can be glamorous. Decorated edges, layered cutouts, and beautiful lattices are all easier to do than you might think, and yield showstopping results. With some easy-to-find tools, you can create a pie that is worthy of a bakery display case.
In this video, Chef Kristina Migoya shows us an easy way to spice up your pies using pie dough cutouts. Fun and kid-friendly, this technique will make your pie the star at your holiday table for years to come.
The following recipes are from the upcoming CIA cookbook Pies and Tarts (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, January 2014).
All Butter Pie Crust
An all-purpose buttery and flaky pie pastry made with all butter. The key to the flakiness is threefold—the size of the butter pieces; the proper mixing of the dough, which prevents the fat from completely blending into the flour; and keeping the butter cold throughout mixing.
Makes: two 11-inch rounds
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¾-inch cubes
1/2 cupwater, ice cold, more as needed
To make by hand:
1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients.
2. Using a pastry blender, or, rubbing the mixture between your fingers, work quickly to cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it is in pieces the size of small hazelnuts.
3. Sprinkle half the ice-cold water over the butter mixture. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, lightly toss the dry mixture until the dough just begins to hold together. Continue to add water in small amounts until it becomes a rough but pliable dough. The dough should just hold together when pressed to the side of the bowl.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into two portions. Shape the dough into 5- to 6-inch diameter flat, round disks and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes to two hours or preferably overnight.
To make using a food processor:
1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the steel cutting blade and process for a few seconds to combine.
2. Place the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the ingredients and the bowl are well chilled. With the food processor off, add half of the cold butter and pulse 3–5 seconds, or until rough and pebbly. Add the remaining cold butter and pulse 4–5 seconds, or until the mixture appears rough, with irregular pieces of butter approximately the size of small walnuts.
3. Sprinkle approximately half of the ice-cold water over the dry mixture with the food processor off. Pulse the processor for 3–5 seconds, or until just combined. Check the dough by pressing it to the side of the bowl; if it does not hold together, add a small amount of the water and check again. When the mixture is pressed to the side of the bowl and it presses together and stays together, remove it from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Do not allow the mixture to form a ball or mass of dough in the bowl; if you allow this to occur, you have overmixed the dough and it will be tough.
4. Divide the dough into two portions and shape it into 5- to 6-inch diameter flat, round disks. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes to two hours or preferably overnight, or until firm.
To make using a stand mixer:
1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of the mixer and place in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the bowl and ingredients are well chilled. Remove the bowl from the freezer and place on the mixer. Using the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients on low speed for 15 seconds, or until combined. With the mixer off, add the butter pieces to the mixing bowl and then combine on medium speed for 1–2 minutes, or until the butter is in pieces no larger than small walnuts, but no smaller than peas.
2. Sprinkle approximately half of the ice-cold water over the dry mixture and blend on low speed for 30–60 seconds, or until just combined. Continue to add the liquid in small amounts until the mixture transitions from a slightly powdery appearance with chunks of butter, to a gravelly rough dough. When the dough just holds together when pressed to the side of the bowl, remove from the bowl and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. At this stage, do not add too much liquid or overwork the dough, as it will cause your crust to become tough.
3. Divide the dough into two portions and shape it into 5- to 6-inch diameter flat, round disks. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes to two hours or preferably overnight, or until firm.
Nutrition analysis per 2-ounce serving: 200 calories, 6g protein, 43g carbohydrate, 0.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 340mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 1g fiber
Makes: one 9-inch pie
Crust: All-Butter Double Crust, bottom crust fitted in pie pan and chilled, top crust rolled out into a 11-inch round
6 to 8 apples, peeled and cutinto 1/4-inch slices
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Egg wash (1 egg to 1 tablespoon milk, beaten)
Coarse sugar, as needed
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and set the rack in the lowest position.
2. Using a pastry wheel, cut twelve 1-inch-wide strips of dough from the top crust. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Toss to combine. Immediately layer the apples in the prepared bottom crust, arranging and pressing them to eliminate gaps and air pockets.
4. Brush the edge of the bottom crust with water and gently weave and arrange the dough strips on top of the filling to create a lattice top. Trim the edges flush with the edge of the bottom crust and press them to seal. Turn the edge under and decoratively crimp the edges as desired.
5. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the lattice top with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking until bubbly, 60 to 70 minutes more. Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Let cool for 2 to 3 hours. The filling will continue to thicken and set as the pie cools.
Nutrition analysis for filling only per 6-ounce serving: 100 calories, 1g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 40mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 5g fiber