Sunday, July 3, 2011

As American as Apple Pie...

Disclaimer: this post is not about America (unless you consider the fact that I am in America, then it is).  Or apples.  Or apple pie.  It is, however, about making pie.

I am no expert in the pie field.  I can count on one hand how many pies I've made on my own, and probably two hands (and maybe a foot) how many pies I've participated in making over the years.  I do not claim to have experience and extensive knowledge (or even adequate knowledge) in the field.  The pie baking in the oven is the collaboration of my determined wild black raspberry picking, my boyfriend's mother's knowledge in baking black raspberry pies, and my mom's assistance in mixing the crust (after two failed attempts on my part).

Needless to say, with my limited experience I'm willing to take anyone's advice and seek assistance when making a pie (especially with such precious black raspberries!).  So when my mom raved about this pie crust maker she got a while back, I decided I'd give it a shot.

Harold 11" Pie Crust Maker
A simple enough "invention"- just roll the dough between the plastic.

The concept was simple enough- roll the dough out between the plastic, unzip the case and flip the crust into the pie pan (awesome! I wouldn't have to roll the pie crust over the rolling pin to transfer it, something that for some reason always makes me nervous).

The first attempt proved that I did not put enough flour in the pie crust maker, and the crust stuck to the plastic and tore as I tried to peel it out.

Even with more flour (lots more flour) on the second attempt, you cannot get enough flour on top of the dough.  The crust does peel away from the top layer of plastic if you are patient and pull the plastic away from your rolled crust slowly.  (To avoid this you could open it up and put more flour on as you roll, which makes it more time consuming with constant opening and closing.)  But there was enough flour to make the crust come off the bottom of the plastic easily.  Taking a deep breath, I flipped the crust into the pan, the crust landing in a messy pile in the dish, folding into itself and sticking together.

Needless to say, I became more nervous about the various aspects of using the pie crust maker than in the task of rolling it out without any snazzy tools.  Would it stick in some random place and put a big tear in the crust?  Would it fold into itself as I flipped it into the pan?  I feel much more in control of the crust when I roll it out on the counter, shifting the dough to make sure it's loose on the bottom and adding flour as I need it on top.  I'd rather roll the crust over my rolling pin and drape it over the pie dish from there.  And the extra items to wash were also a downside.  All in all, I felt that the pie crust maker was more trouble than it helped.

Has anyone else tried the pie crust maker?  What is your preference?

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