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Jeff B

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Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jeff B » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:16 pm

My sweetheart and I love to make pies (she's much better at it than I am, by the way).

We have yet to make our pie crusts from scratch and, the truth be told, don't really feel guilty about it. After all, the pies always turn out fine and we tend to feel, especially when making something like a chocolate pie, that the "art" is in the filling and in the baking.

And while we're making pie confessions...

I like a more substantial bottom crust and have been known to "double layer" the bottom of the pan. It has since come to my attention that Pillsbury makes a "deep dish" pie crust for such occasions but I was not aware of it until recently.

So, go ahead, feel free to scorn us for relying on the good ole Pillsbury Dough Boy and convince us that our pies are not "real" until we make our own crust... :)

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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Karen/NoCA » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:22 pm

I don't make my pie crusts either. First, I dislike working with dough, it is messy. Second, I find the store bought roll-out pie crust to be just fine. I do make chocolate wafer, or gingersnap pie crusts from scratch.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Redwinger » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:25 pm

Here at casa Redwinger we don't make pie crust either. We make Pâte Brisée. :roll:
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jeff B » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:26 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:I don't make my pie crusts either. First, I dislike working with dough, it is messy. Second, I find the store bought roll-out pie crust to be just fine. I do make chocolate wafer, or gingersnap pie crusts from scratch.


Cool! Glad to see we're not alone then. I'm making an old-fashioned blueberry pie this weekend (with the help of the dough boy) :)

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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by John Treder » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:53 am

I'm a piecrustean. Or maybe a piecrustacean. I like to make pie crust, and I find that store-bought pie crusts aren't flaky the way I like them, they're crumbly.
And how can you add lemon zest and juice, or an egg, to a store-bought pie crust?
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jeff B » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:09 am

John Treder wrote:I'm a piecrustean. Or maybe a piecrustacean. I like to make pie crust, and I find that store-bought pie crusts aren't flaky the way I like them, they're crumbly.
And how can you add lemon zest and juice, or an egg, to a store-bought pie crust?

I think that, for us, it's a case of not knowing what we are missing. The Pillsbury crusts have always tasted "well enough" that I'm not convinced I could do any better.

Having said that, I might just try and make a homemade crust one of these days.

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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Rahsaan » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:09 am

Jeff B wrote:I think that, for us, it's a case of not knowing what we are missing. The Pillsbury crusts have always tasted "well enough" that I'm not convinced I could do any better.

Having said that, I might just try and make a homemade crust one of these days.

Jeff


As with so many things, while it can be tricky to become an excellent baker/pie crust maker, it is pretty easy to surpass the store-bought level just by putting all the ingredients together. It's not hard, and there aren't that many ingredients!
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jon Peterson » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:00 am

My daughter loves to make pie crusts but then she's a pastry chef when not in college. But she also acknowledges that store bought aren't bad, especially, when at 9:30 PM, she decides she'd like to make a pie.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Carl Eppig » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:11 pm

We made our own until recently (getting older); now Pillsbury works fine for us.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jenise » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:00 pm

I don't know if you're using store-bought dough or using the frozen read-to-fill pie shells. I've never used store-bought pie dough so have no opinion about it, but I recall when I was a kid, the year my grandmother switched from making her own crusts to buying frozen pie shells for the Thanksgiving pumpkin pies which she traditionally provided to our dinner. I didn't even know frozen existed, but I could tell that the crust was thinner and harder and like the frozen whole pies mom sometimes bought, and questioned it. The following year, she made her own again.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:51 pm

Our next door neighbor is Italian, and a very good cook. Every year when his pear tree is ready for harvest, he makes pear pies that are totally scrumptious. I asked him how he made his pie crusts, and he said, "Karen, I use the roll out kind from the grocery store. They are almost as good as home made and no one knows the difference. The pears are what matters!" I was so shocked because he is a "from scratch" cook in every way. He is in his 90's now but is still cooking.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Tom NJ » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:30 am

Let's see ya make a pie that looks like this from store bought:

Image

There's not much in the food world that I dismiss out of hand, but store bought pie crusts are an exception. I'm really not a food snob at all, and I certainly don't scorn anyone else's taste in anything. But for me, life's too short to suffer crumbly, flavorless all-shortening crusts :mrgreen:
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Christina Georgina » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:04 am

I'll try one if the ingredient lists nothing more than the 5 or 6 ingredients I use in my own crust. Not that I've actually looked at the ingredient list on a packaged crust but such things invariably have a list that is far too long to be wise.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by John Treder » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:11 am

That's patee brisee, isn't it, Tom? (Sorry about the lack of accents.) And it has bits and pieces of tasty stuff mixed in, too.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Tom NJ » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:25 am

John Treder wrote:That's patee brisee, isn't it, Tom?


Yeah, it is. I've been incorporating the trick of substituting some of the ice water with alcohol, also (I think I used Seagram's-7 on this on, lol). It does make for a more tender texture (less gluten development).

There are no extra bits in the paste. What I think you're refering to is the bottom layer of the filling. I cooked down a thick mixed fruit and raisin compote til it was gluey, then painted that on the bottom crust. It acted as a barrier to keep extruded apple juices from making the bottom crust soggy. Plus it gave an extra layer of flavor to the pie overall.

:D
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Redwinger » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:52 am

Tom-
Sh!T, that is a GREAT looking pie. I bet it tasted great as well. Good job.
I particularly like the fact it doesn't appear to be "apple sauce pie".
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by John Treder » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:09 pm

I see. Good idea!
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:12 pm

Cooking Light Magazine did a test to determine which commercial pie crusts were the best. In the refrigerated test they had this to say:

REFRIGERATED CRUSTS WINNER: Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts, $2.46 (2 [9-inch] crusts per box)
By far the flakiest of all the crusts we tested. Pillsbury’s toasted, buttery flavor and golden color were on par with homemade.

Marie Callenders came out best in the frozen category, but they did say the frozen ones are best when blind baked first. I do not like their pies at all. horrible is what they are.

I checked the ingredients list and there are certainly a lot of unhealthy sounding ingredients. Good thing I am not a pie maker cause If I were I would have to do it from scratch. :wink:
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Tom NJ » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:18 pm

Redwinger wrote:Tom-
Sh!T, that is a GREAT looking pie. I bet it tasted great as well. Good job.
I particularly like the fact it doesn't appear to be "apple sauce pie".


Hey thanks very much, Winger!
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jenise » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:16 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote: Pillsbury’s toasted, buttery flavor and golden color were on par with homemade...I checked the ingredients list and there are certainly a lot of unhealthy sounding ingredients


"Toasted buttery flavor and golden color". I read that description, and am compelled to think that's artificial butter flavoring (to enhance vegetable shortening) and some food coloring, too. Possibly the same stuff that made the last tube of Pillsbury croissants I bought so objectionable to me, or that poisons the dough or dough mix a lot of in-store bakeries buy ready made for their Danish pastries. In Jeff's defense, if your tastes aren't tuned to detect artificial flavoring or if that's essentially all you've ever known, those things would taste just fine. But they're a big step back from the real deal as even my child's palate could once tell, even though Grammy's pies only showed up on T-Day and Xmas.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:46 pm

Jenise wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote: Pillsbury’s toasted, buttery flavor and golden color were on par with homemade...I checked the ingredients list and there are certainly a lot of unhealthy sounding ingredients


"Toasted buttery flavor and golden color". I read that description, and am compelled to think that's artificial butter flavoring (to enhance vegetable shortening) and some food coloring, too. Possibly the same stuff that made the last tube of Pillsbury croissants I bought so objectionable to me, or that poisons the dough or dough mix a lot of in-store bakeries buy ready made for their Danish pastries. In Jeff's defense, if your tastes aren't tuned to detect artificial flavoring or if that's essentially all you've ever known, those things would taste just fine. But they're a big step back from the real deal as even my child's palate could once tell, even though Grammy's pies only showed up on T-Day and Xmas.


It is not all I have ever known Jenise, there is a long list of "from scratch" cooks in my family, everyone had gardens, chickens for eggs and so on. I'm not that fussy about pie crusts. I hate working with dough (just as you hate white, creamy stuff, like Mayo) My pie eating is just not a concern to me....it is very rare that I eat a slice of pie, and I do mean "very rare". You mentioned in "Jeff's defense" I was not challenging anyone here. I simply find that P. crust to be acceptable, for me. :) In retrospect here, I do not recall my family being big dessert eaters, any of them. Grandparents, parents, we never were into desserts or appetizers. Just great food for the main meal is what I recall.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jenise » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:22 pm

Karen, I understand. Though if you know me from my posts, you know I'm not a dessert eater either, nor was dessert anything more than a holiday peculiarity. In fact, most of the pies of my childhood other than Grammy's were the occasional frozen bake-at-home type or Hostess. I just happen to love fruit, so a good unspoofulated home-made fruit pie is one of the few sweets I really do enjoy. And whatever reason, the taste and texture of the crust makes or breaks it for me.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by wnissen » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:07 pm

I didn't realize there was roll-out crust, that's good to know about. I've tried the pre-made crusts that come in a pan and don't care for them, too crunchy.

I am not the baker in the family, but when I have need of a pie or tart crust, I really like the flavor that comes from using lots of butter. The recipe I use is from Je sais cuisiner, which is more or less the French Joy of Cooking.

The paté brisée recipe is obviously in French, but I've translated it here:

Paté Brisée

For a 28cm / 12 in. tart crust (double for a double-crust pie)

200g / 7 oz. flour
100g / 3.5 oz. butter, at cool room temperature
pinch of salt
50g / 1.75 oz. / 3.5 tablespoons water

Place the flour on your clean work surface. Dice the butter in 1cm / 3/8th" cubes and add it to the flour. Using the tips of your fingers, work the flour and butter together until most of the butter is in flakes and the mixture is relatively uniform. It's better to have irregular texture than to overwork it. Alternately, dice the butter straight out of the fridge and use a food processor. Add the water bit by bit just until the mixture starts to stick together and form a ball. Press firmly into a puck shape, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 30 minutes in the fridge.

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is that it's very easy to scale down or up. Just keep the 4:2:1 ratio between flour, butter, and water and you can make any size crust you like.
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Re: Should we be scorned because we use store bought pie crusts?

by Jon Peterson » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:35 pm

Misc from phone 12-10-13 001.jpg
(32.94 KiB) Downloaded 1714 times
My daughter's pie from Thanksgiving Caramel Apple I believe it was. Homemade crust, but she'd have done the same with store bought if she'd had to.
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