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Homemade Pie Crusts - tricks and tips

Posts: 143
Location: Coastal temperate deciduous forest (Boston) - zone 6b - 44" rain/year
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I am guessing I will get an apple for this pie crust recipe once Paul and Jocelyn try it. This is Sara Jo's pie crust, which I've used since I first tried it when Sara Jo was making pies for a nice restaurant on Mackinaw Island in northern Michigan. It may have helped that we went to senior prom together... in 1973.

Remarkably, this includes a few of the tips already posted: vinegar, an egg, and lots of butter. The nice thing is that it mixes together and rolls out easily, and holds together well. That and it is tender and flaky!

This recipe makes two double crusts, or four single crusts, because one pie is never enough.

Stir together:
4 cups flour, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt (less sugar if it's a savory pie)

Cut in 2 cups butter (four sticks, a whole pound) quickly, keep everything cool.

Beat together one large egg and 1 Tablespoon vinegar (cold)

Stir the egg and vinegar into the flour mixture, just enough to form a ball, then divide and roll out.

That's it, no water apart from the liquid in the egg and vinegar. Enjoy!!
Posts: 484
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Emilie McVey wrote:Ok, a couple of questions I have that weren't address in the previous posts..
One, I rendered beef tallow and have used that with success, as far as the flakiness. However, I think  the crust would have been much better with a savory pie than it was with the sweet pie that I made. I cannot use butter, I cannot use soy, I cannot use coconut, and my experience with pork lard was about the same as with tallow: tasty but not for a sweet pie. Does anyone have any more suggestions as for the fat?

Another thing is, I have to use gluten free flour. Which of course involves adding xanthan gum and guar gum, but has anybody used gluten free flour and a fat that would be safe for me and had a tasty crust for a sweet pie result that's not like cardboard? Because I admit, generally my crusts are like cardboard. No flavor and it rips and is just a total disappointment. Again with the lard or tallow, it was a much better crust, but it did not taste good with a sweet pie.

I think the beef tallow/suet taste must be personal preference, because I now make all my pie crusts with it and I just love it.  It does have a little beefy flavor, but I think that's so tasty!  Apple pie with a hint of beef:  yum.  I don't buy commercially made suet any more because they bleach out all that lovely beefy flavor
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