Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #92--The Pie and Pastry Bible

My friend Louise hosted Cookbook Wednesday for years, but  she is not feeling so well, so it is suspended for now.
I am not taking up the weekly commitment, (with a Mr. Linky, etc)  I just have one of my cookbooks to 'count down' and I am going to do it on Wednesday and think of how great Louise's blog is and hope she is up to par soon!

This is cookbook number 92!
You can see them all so far if you click here.

From Goodreads:

The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.

-More than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of techniques and equipment, and 70 color pictures of finished pies, tarts, and pastries

-Easy-to-follow recipes for fruit pies, chiffon pies, custard pies, ice-cream pies, meringue pies, chocolate pies, tarts and tartlets, turnovers, dumplings, biscuits, scones, crostadas, galettes, strudel, fillo, puff pastry, croissants (chocolate, too), Danish, brioche, sticky buns, cream puffs, and profiteroles

-All kinds of fillings, glazes, toppings, and sauces, including pastry cream, frangipane, Chiboust, fruit curds, ice creams, fondant, fruit preserves, streusel, meringues, ganache, caramel, and hot fudge

-A separate chapter featuring foolproof flaky, tender, and original crusts of every kind imaginable. Here are a few: Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust, Flaky Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust, Miracle Flaky Lard Pie Crust, and Flaky Goose Fat Pie Crust; Bittersweet Chocolate, Coconut, Ginger, and Sweet Nut Cookie Crusts; and Vanilla, Gingersnap, Chocolate, and Graham Cracker Crumb Crusts

-Countless tips that solve any problem, including the secrets to making a juicy fruit pie with a crisp bottom crust and a lemon meringue pie that doesn't weep

-How to make a tender
and flaky pie crust in under three minutes

-How to make the best brownie ever into a crustless tart with puddles of ganache

-Exciting savory recipes, including meat loaf wrapped in a flaky Cheddar cheese crust and a roasted poblano quiche

-Extensive decorating techniques for the beginning baker and professional alike that show you how to make chocolate curls, pipe rosettes, crystallize flowers and leaves, and more

-Detailed information on ingredients and equipment, previously available only to professionals

-The wedding cake reconceived as a Seven-Tier Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

-Pointers for Success follow the recipes, guaranteeing perfect results every time

From Me:
Let me just say---I have a fear of pie crusts.  I can't do them no matter how hard I try.
I go by the recipe but when I roll them out and try to transfer to the pie plate, they rip and tear or they are too thin or too thick.
I know a lot of it is just practice, but I don't have the patience to do so. I will always give it a try tho so when I found this cream cheese crust in the Pie and Pastry Bible, I knew it might be easier to roll out (because really, that is my only problem with pies)
And yes, it really was easier for me to roll out--I even made a lattice crust -- I didn't like the taste as much as I do a regular shortening or butter pie crust. 
 I would make it again, I just prefer regular crust.

I made an apricot pie!!
My friend gave me some apricots off of her tree and I had enough to make  a pie and some jam too.

The crust got a little 'well done' around the edges.
Besides the 'rolling out of the dough' I have trouble with the crimping of the edge and the covering it with foil.
AND, if  you notice I used an aluminum pie pan.
My friend Care from Care's Books and Pie told me to always use a glass pie plate.  She said that the heat is distributed more evenly.  Since she is an expert pie maker, I believe her---I just love my little aluminum pie pans, OBVIOUSLY I'm a rebel and didn't follow directions....and I even asked for advice (sigh).
What I really need is for her to come show me how to do a perfect pie crust.

Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust

6 T unsalted cold butter
1 cup + 1 T pastry or All-purpose flour
1/8 t salt
1/8 t baking powder
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 T ice water
1 1/2 t  apple cider vinegar

Food processor method:
Cut the butter into small cubes. Wrap it in plastic and freeze it until frozen solid, at least 30 minutes.  Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine.  Set the bag aside.
Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea. Remove the cover and add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas.  The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together.  Spoon it into the plastic bag.
Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it from the outside of the gag, with the knuckles and the heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.
For a pie shell and lattice, divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.

Then---you just need to roll out and follow your pie instructions*

*this is where the cookbook confused me.  The instructions for fruit pies is vague, for me, that is.  They are written for people who know what they are doing.  Maybe I should restate that--the apricot pie recipe was vague for me.  She had some excellent recipes in there, but she also had a chart that just listed ratios of sugar, fruit, cornstarch and peak seasons to make them.  Then she expected ME to know how to put it all together.

This is what I did:
425 degrees F  for 45 minutes.

4 cups apricots in half inch slices
1 T lemon juice
2 T flour
6 T sugar
1/8 t salt

You could add a bit more sugar if you like, this was pretty tart. 

But look!
It was so pretty before it went into the oven.

And pretty when it came out!

And that is cookbook number 92!

I don't' know if I have ever said why I decided to cook from every one of my cookbooks....but years ago,  my friend Mitzi's husband, Larry told me I would never cook from every one.  He suggested that I was wasting my money purchasing them.  So I started to cook something from every one of them  -- this was back when Julie and Julia, first came out and I took on the challenge, thinking I'd do it in a year.
So I would invite them over  once a week (I think once I even did two cookbook recipes in one week and made them come over to taste blue cheese coleslaw!).
And then.... I slowed down and got slower and slower...and then I stopped for a while, years passed and Mitzi and Larry moved away.
I revived my efforts tho, and every time I use a new cookbook, I remember Larry saying how I was wasting my money.
I'll show him too!


Care said...

Pretty both before AND after! The only aluminum pie pans I have are about 3 inches in diameter. :)
I would suggest dropping the heat after the first 20 minutes to 375 maybe? But I actually take great comfort in knowing that pie isn't as finicky as a souffle or some of the crazy cakes. Actually I wouldn't know, I don't 'do' cake much.
I have that Pie and Pastry Bible and I haven't used it much. I attempted the meringue where she has a candy thermometer and all that jazz and I will NEVER. EVER. TRY. IT. EVER. AGAIN. too hard. But her prose style with her ego is fun to read. She must be the best, she tells ya so!
I would love to come roll out a pie with you sometime. You could also consider coming to whereever I am.

Katherine P said...

So pretty! I'm okay at pie crust but it's always a bit of a gamble. Last year I was making a pie for my older son's birthday cake (he doesn't like cake but he loves apple pie!) and I didn't have much time to spare so I bought just a regular Pillsbury pre-made piecrust. Everyone raved about it and my husband said he thought it was the best pie crust I've made yet. So I retired my pie crust making and just stick to the box now! But an apricot pie sounds divine and I'm intrigued by a meatloaf in a cheddar crust!

Karen said...

It came out of the oven beautiful! Do you use the trick of rolling out the dough, then folding it in quarters to transfer to the pan... then unfold. It helps to keep the dough from tearing. The peach pie I made the other day... didn't have it in me to make the dough, so went to the store and got Pillsbury. OMG,so easy and so flaky and good! I'm probably not ready to give up making my own pie dough, but Pillsbury sure offers a quick and easy alternative!

Stefanie Ng said...

*claps* I have a fear of made from scratch pie crust too. I will tackle that one day! I swear.

Friday Friend Recipe #202 -- Greek Pasta Salad

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #202 (#willreallyfinishthissomeday) ...