Some detailed notes on a North American staple.
The Dough. I take for granted that you already know how to make a superlative, flaky pie dough. If you don’t, this pie dough is a good start, but you should probably add a handful of sugar to the mix.
The Filling. The first important consideration for the filling is the variety of apple to be used. High acidity and firm, crisp texture are key. Of the common commercial varieties, Granny Smith is probably the best, but there are lots of varieties growing within the Edmonton city limits that make good pie. Sweetness, of course, is also desirable, but we can balance the tartness of the apples with sugar. Look … Continue reading.
Some quick notes on a springtime specialty.
The most difficult part about using rhubarb as a pastry filling is that once it’s cooked it has almost no structure. Actually it’s entirely liquid. For this reason rhubarb is often mixed with other fruit like strawberries or apples. Right now I have lots of rhubarb, hardly any fruit in the freezer, and berries and apples are still months off. In other words I have to set my rhubarb filling with gelatin or cornstarch.
We like rhubarb because it is tart, but oftentimes it is too tart. To make sure the acidity isn’t overpowering, I make rhubarb pie in a shallow, French tart pan instead of a classic North American pie pan; this … Continue reading.
On the North American frontier, it was not uncommon for the pioneer housewife to bake 21 pies a week – one for every meal.
-from Professional Cooking for Canadian Chefs, Sixth Edition
I’ve posted several recipes in which I make a hand-waving reference to, “your favourite pie dough” or “standard pie dough” without giving any idea of what exactly I mean by that. (Examples: Rabbit pie, pumpkin pie, sour cherry pie, pheasant pot pie.) For the sake of completeness and concision I thought I’d tell you my preferred recipe and method for making North American pie dough.
I think we’ve all had both very good and very bad pies in our time. Good pie … Continue reading.