Wow, did our classroom smell amazing this week! It was pie week in Bakeshop Production!
We started out by learning how to make pie crust. Most of my classmates (myself included) had made pies before, but some had not.
I pretty much always make my crust in the food processor--in fact I got the food processor as a gift specifically so I could make pie and tart crust! But Chef Fritz showed us how to use our bench scrapers and make the entire crust on our bench.
Sprinkling in the small amount of salt
We were suppose to use vegetable shortening in the crust, but somehow the shortening was gone. So we found a carton of lard (GROSS) and we were suppose to use equal portions lard and butter. I have SERIOUS issues with lard (mostly due to my partial vegetarianism I've been following since I was in middle school). So, I got special permission from Chef to use all butter instead. As it turned out, though, we ran out of lard too and lots of my classmates had to use all butter too.....
It was really cool to see the whole dough come together on the bench. We just had to be really careful not to overwork the dough, because then it becomes too tough and the risk of shrinkage when baking is higher.
We let the dough rest in the cooler for awhile to 1) keep the dough cold (and thus the fat cold) and 2) to relax the gluten.
One trick I was reminded of was that it is important not to stretch the dough because that will also add to the risk of shrinkage.
Adding the crimped edge.Here's my ready-to-bake pie! Instead of doing the normal crimped edge, like Chef demonstrated, I did the Pithivier edging I've learned in Laminated Doughs & Pastries. I also added some dimension by putting pastry leaves on top.