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The one request I get most from Nick of what he wants me to make is pie. It is always “where’s the pie, where’s the pie"? So for his birthday, which was a few weeks ago, I had to make him a pie. No, I wanted to make him a pie, because I love him.
I decided on peach for no particular reason other than peach pie is delicious. I had to use frozen peaches since I did not have time to get to Whole Foods and the Safeway by my office did not have any fresh peaches. So, the filling ended up being good, but nothing spectacular. I followed a recipe from our good friend Joe Pastry. (We mention Mr. Pastry quite often on this blog, and for good reason. If you have not read through his blog, you should do yourself a favor and do that soon.)
The crust of this pie, however, is another story entirely. It is the flakiest most delicious crust I have ever produced and probably ever eaten period. It is probably the closest you can get to making a laminated dough pastry without actually making a laminated dough. I read about and followed the instructions, here, from Joe Pastry. However, the technique originally belongs to Rose Levy Berenbaum, so you know it’s quality.
Really, look at those layers:
Besides this crust being super flaky, I also like that it does not contain any shortening. Though, this is not an all butter crust, it also contains cream cheese. It’s like a rugelach pie crust - who wouldn’t want that? The technique that results in such a flaky crust is that you roll the cold butter into the dry ingredients inside a ziploc bag. This creates layers of thin butter flakes. You can find the recipe and a detailed tutorial on this crust, here, at Joe Pastry.
Before I proclaim that this is the best crust ever, I would like to try the America’s Test Kitchen Fool Proof Pie Dough that uses vodka. (I did not provide a link because you have to be a registered user of ATK to view pretty much all of their content, but this is a free recipe if you register your email address). I have heard good things about that recipe, but I just can’t imagine topping this RLB technique.
I love pie.
I attempted to be fancy with my edges. (FYI - I am currently accepting any and all tips and advice on fancy pie edges.)
However, for some reason this crust ended up shrinking and I those fancy edges peaced out almost completely. (A side note - I have made this pie crust before with limited shrinkage, so I don’t know what happened this time. I even let the pie dough rest multiple times at various stages before baking it. )
Anyway, I forgot about the shrinkage as soon as I tasted it. While shrinkage does make my pie less pretty, it certainly does not make it less delicious.