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Pastry Tips

  • Cold ingredients produce the flakiest crust. Be sure to use very cold fat. In warm weather, it helps to chill the flour ahead.
  • Cut the fat in until your mixture resembles small peas or gravel. The more you incorporate the fat past that point, the less flaky your crust will be.
  • If you are making a double crust pie, it helps to have a little extra dough for the bottom crust. Divide the dough in two, making one part slightly larger than the other.
  • Pastry handles better when chilled than at room temperature -- 30 to 40 minutes in the refrigerator before rolling is usually sufficient.
  • You can chill pastry in the refrigerator for longer than 40 minutes -- up to 2 or 3 days if it is wrapped well. If you do store it this long, let it sit at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes before rolling to allow the dough to become more pliable.
  • Roll your pastry on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper. Invert the pastry right over the pan, or filling, and peel the paper off.
  • You can patch tears in pastry by pinching or pressing it back together. Large gaps can be patched with trimmings cut from the overhanging dough.
  • Don't stretch the pastry when you are lining a pie pan with the bottom crust. Rather, ease the pastry into the pan, gently tucking it into the bottom crease.
  • For added luster, sparingly brush your top crust with cream just before baking. In addition, you may sprinkle a large pinch or two of sugar over the top for an extra bit of sweetness.