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When a recipe calls for cutting butter into a flour mixture, make sure the butter is cold. Slice the butter into tablespoon-size portions, then add to the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the cold butter pieces into the dry ingredients. When the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are pea-sized, it has reached the proper consistency.
When pie recipes call for dotting the filling with butter, rub the cold butter over the coarse side of a cheese grater and sprinkle the grated butter over the top. This allows the butter to be more evenly distributed over the pie.
Flute: To flute the edge of your pie, make the pastry a little larger than needed to fit the pie plate and pinch the bottom and top crusts together between your thumb and fingers.
Scoring: Scoring pastry is an easy way of allowing steam to escape during baking. Simply cut slits or a design in the centre of the crust before placing your pie in the oven.
Lattice Top: Cut second pie crust into 10 (1/2-inch) strips with pastry wheel or knife. Place 5 of the strips over filling. Weave lattice crust with remaining strips by folding back alternate strips as each cross strip is added. Fold trimmed edge of lower crust over ends of strips. Seal and flute edge. Bake as directed.
No matter what technique you use to decorate your pie top, to get it golden brown, just before baking, brush with a lightly beaten egg to give it a beautiful golden glow.