Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pastry Dough Tips for Pies, Tarts, Turnovers, & Pinwheels

Basic two crust pie instructions:

1. Mix dough according to directions -- roll out half of your pastry dough using short, gentle strokes with a rolling pin and stopping often to re-flour the pin and the board. Your dough should be moving all the time. If it’s not moving, it’s probably stuck to the board. Lift gently and add more flour. Dough should be thin and extend about one inch over the sides of your pie plate.

2. Place bottom crust loosely into ungreased pie plate and pat into place. Leave your excess inch of crust in place for now and brush lightly with milk or water. Place your prepared filling into your bottom crust. Dot with butter and set aside.

3. Roll out top crust the same way you rolled out your bottom crust. Place gently over filling leaving another one inch of excess in the diameter. Tuck your one-inch of excess top crust UNDER your one inch of excess bottom crust – all the way around and flute all edges with fingers or a fork.

4. Cut about 4-5 one-inch slits [steam vents] in the top of the pie. Brush with egg-wash [beaten egg thinned with an equal amount of water or milk] or milk before baking for nice golden crust.

5. Bake pie at 450º for 10 minutes, then lower oven temp to 350º and cook for 45-50 minutes longer. Crust should be a golden brown and filling should be bubbling up through the stem vents when done.

 Basic single crust pie shell instructions:

1. Follow #1 directions above.

2. Place bottom crust loosely into ungreased pie plate and pat into place. Fold your excess inch of crust over on itself and flute edges. This gives you an UNBAKED single piecrust usually used for pumpkin and pecan pies. For a BAKED single crust, go to step #3.

3. After fluting the edges on your raw crust, poke tiny holes throughout the entire crust, bottom and sides, with a dinner fork. Brush the entire crust with milk or egg-wash and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. The BAKED single crust is usually used for cream pies, like chocolate cream or lemon meringue. Tip: bake and freeze a few and when you need a dessert in a hurry, thaw a crust, fill with instant or prepared pudding (chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, etc), top with cool whip and you have a very delicious pie that looks like you slaved over it.

Tart Shells:

1. Follow instructions for the single crust BAKED shell except you will be making smaller rounds and portioning them into muffin cups. Bake according to directions, fill with Steve’s Microwave Fruit Filling, top with Cool Whip and you have a really nifty dessert. Make the above in TINY muffin cups for a great crowd pleaser. Note: if using the tiny tins, I don’t even roll out the dough . . . just portion into tins and mold into place with your fingers before pricking and baking – super simple!


1. Cut out a cardboard template – 5” X 5” for regulation size turnovers or 3” X 3” for small turnovers. Mix and roll out dough following my basic two crust pie instructions. Use your template to cut squares of pastry, place a dollop of Steve’s Microwave Fruit Filling on each square, moisten the edges of the pastry with water or milk, fold into a triangle, seal edges with a fork pressed in intervals on the two open sides of your triangle. Poke in a stem vent on the top of your turnover, brush the tops with milk or egg wash, place [leaving an inch of space around each pastry] on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pastry Pinwheels:
 I learned how to make these from my grandmother [Memere Lively]. They are a really great way to use up leftover ends and pieces of pastry dough after you finish a day of baking pies, tarts, or turnovers:

1. Gather all pastry dough scraps and press into a ball. Roll out thinly, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, roll up the dough like a jellyroll, starting at one end and continuing until you have formed a log. Slice the log into ½” cookies, place flat side down [like cookies] close together on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pastry: Savory and Sweet

Pastry: Savory and Sweet

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