• LIVE VIDEO Sen. Schumer to discuss Democratic win & taxes

Tips, tricks to baking perfect holiday pies

EMBED </>More Videos

Making a pie from scratch can be daunting. Here are some key tips to make sure your pies turn out well. (KABC)

Making a pie from scratch can be daunting. Here are some key tips from Los Angeles-area cooking instructor Pamela Salzman to make sure your pies turn out well.

In her classes, Salzman shows her students how to make holiday dessert a culinary work of art. She makes it look easy, but there is science to perfecting pie.

"What I have here are some apples that have already been peeled and mixed with a little juice," Salzman said.

She uses soaked, dried cherries with apples, plus flour, sugar and spices and a bit of black cherry preserves for a tasty filling.

Then, it's on to the crust, where technique is crucial. No matter where you are in your crust-making process, the No. 1 tip according to Salzman is that the crust should always stay cold.

"This is really key when you're making pastry. You want everything to stay as cold as possible for as long as possible," reminded Salzman.

Keep bits of cut-up butter in the fridge until all of your ingredients are ready. Then, it's a series of quick pulses in a processor with butter, flour and a bit of ice water.

"Try low first, two tablespoons or three, but again it has to be ice water. Try not to over mix because that will make for a tough crust. Just pulse this don't blend it," Salzman cautioned.

If you can squeeze a handful into a ball, it's ready to be molded into a disc and put in the fridge.

"So gluten can relax, and you need it to get cold again," she said.

When it's time to roll it out, roll in one direction until crust is an inch larger than the pie pan. If it tears, you pinch and mend, no big deal.

And if it starts to get greasy, put it back in the fridge.

Salzman layers strips on top of the filling to make a lattice, weaving strips over and under, then layers leaf cut outs on the perimeter.

An egg wash of milk and cream provides a nice golden finish, plus a sprinkle of sugar for sweet taste and texture.

APPLE AND TART CHERRY PIE WITH WALNUT CRUMBLE (Makes one 9-inch pie) Recipe by Pamela Salzman
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

All-purpose flour for dusting counter top
1 recipe for single pie crust (See below)
1 pound tart apples, such as Granny Smith
1 pound sweet apples, such as Fuji
1 pound soft apples, such as Golden Delicious
3/4 cup unsulphured dried tart cherries (rehydrate for 15 minutes in warm water until plumped, drain)
1/4 cup cherry preserves (look for an all-fruit one without added sugar)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the crumble topping:
1/2 cup walnut (or pecan) pieces, chopped very fine
1 cup all-purpose flour or white spelt flour
6 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
1. Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured counter top, regularly checking to make sure disk is not sticking to counter. Roll into a 12-inch round. Fit pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp or flute the edges as desired. An easy thing to do is to press the crust with the tines of a fork. Refrigerate.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Peel, core and slice apples crosswise into 1-inch slices. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with soaked dried cherries, cherry preserves, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Combine well. Arrange apple mixture in pie shell and dot with butter.
4. Make the walnut crumble: stir together the walnuts, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter in a medium bowl. Top the pie with small handfuls of the crumble, covering everything evenly.
5. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until the crumble is golden and the juices are bubbling around the edges and have thickened, about 50 minutes more. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for an hour before serving. Pie can be kept at room temperature for up to two days.

Pate Brisée (Pie Crust)
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour or white spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2-4 tablespoons ice water

1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse a couple times until blended.
2. Add the butter to the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas.
3. Pour 2 Tablespoons of ice water on top of the flour mixture and pulse about 10 times. Avoiding the blade, carefully grab a small handful of dough and squeeze together. If the dough holds together without crumbling, it's ready to be formed into a disc. If it's too dry, pulse in another few teaspoons of ice water until dough holds together.
4. Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a disc. Wrap well and refrigerate at least 30 minutes at which point it will be ready to roll out. Or you can keep the dough refrigerated for 2-3 days, or in the freezer, well wrapped for 2-3 months.

JACK DANIEL'S PUMPKIN PIE (Makes two pies) Recipe by Lori Corbin
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
2 - 14 oz. cans condensed sweetened milk
2 - 12 oz. cans evaporated milk
4 eggs beaten
1 - 30 oz. canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 shot Jack Daniel's or other bourbon
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
1. Blend all ingredients and pour into prepared pie crust
2. Put pie on pre-heated cookie sheet
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Ovens will vary.
4. Put a knife in the center - if it comes out clean it's done.
5. Cool on rack.

Related Topics:
foodfood coachCircle of Healthholidayholiday recipesthanksgivingpiedessertsrecipe

Load Comments