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So you’ve made a beautiful Pie Dough and now you need to get it into a pan of some kind.  Going forth, remember that pretty pie crust doesn’t necessarily equal perfect pie crust.  Just think of all those perfectly awful perfectly formed pies you’ve bought at your local supermarket.

There are two methods for rolling out.

  1. On a floured surface.
  2. Between two layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper.

I will show you both methods.

ROLLING IN FLOUR

The flour method requires a little more technique and speed, but it’s classic and, once you’ve mastered it, a little easier than the plastic method.

Lightly flour a cool solid surface.  Place the disk of dough on the surface and sprinkle the dough with flour.  Also, flour your rolling pin.

Press from the center out to one side.  Resist the urge to roll the pin back and forth.  Remember the 3rd Rule of Delicious Pie Crust:  Don’t overwork the dough.  Your first roll will look something like this.

Rotate the dough 45 degrees (1/4 turn) and then starting at the middle again, roll out to the edge.  Repeat, doing your best to keep it round.  When the dough starts to stick, add a little flour under and/or over.  Early on, you can also turn the dough over.  The important thing to remember is to keep the dough moving so that it never gets a chance to glue itself to the surface and so it rolls out evenly.  The second and somewhat contradictory thing to remember is not too add too much flour because that will make your dough stiff and dry.

Eventually, your dough will reach the appropriate size (about 14-15 inches for a standard 9 inch pie plate).

The best way to transfer the dough to the pan is to fold it over and over again so that it is a quarter of it’s original size.

and unfold it in the pan.

Looks a little rough now, but have no fear.  If you have any rips or other holes, just patch.  No one will be the wiser.  Just take care never to stretch the dough.  If you stretch it now, it will shrink later.  And check the crust out after we crimp the edge (see the bottom of the post for how to finish the edge aka crimp the edge).

It’s gone from rough to rustic and it will be delicious!

PLASTIC WRAP or PARCHMENT PAPER

Much like Dexter, I heart plastic wrap.  If done correctly, the plastic wrap method is clean and makes the dough very easy to move around.  It is an easier technique for the less experienced baker.

A roll of plastic wrap is generally about 12 inches wide, but you are going to roll your dough at least 14 inches wide.  To solve this contradiction, place two pieces of wrap overlapping on the counter (they stick together quite nicely) and sprinkle lightly with flour.  Put the dough on top of that, sprinkle with flour.

Cover with two more pieces of overlapping plastic wrap.  You are going to want to work quickly because you are racing against the warmth in your kitchen.  Starting at the middle of the dough, roll outward firmly.

Turn the whole thing, plastic wrap and all, 1/4 turn and roll from the middle again.  Repeat trying to keep the dough generally round.  I find that eventually the wrap sticks to the dough.  Simply peal back the wrap and reposition it on the dough when this happens.  You can also turn everything over and do the same on the other side.

Wondering if it fits in the pan, pick up the plastic wrapped disk and place it in the pan for size comparison.

How big?  It depends on how much surface area you’re trying to cover.  You need at least 1/2-1 inch overlap over the side of the pie pan.  That’s about 14-15 inches for a standard 9-inch pie pan.

If at any point your dough gets too soft and/or the whole thing is becoming unmanageable, pop your plastic wrapped crust back in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

When you are ready to fit in the pan, take off one side of the plastic wrap.  Lay the bare side down into the pan.  Position it as you like taking care not to “stretch” the dough to fit.  If you stretch the dough now, it will shrink later.  Remove the top layer of plastic wrap.

See the bits of butter and Crisco still visible.  That’s good, that equals flaky.

THE EDGE

My edges come out differently each time.  Rustic looks homemade and we’re all here for the taste anyway.  The important thing is to not work the dough too much because overworked dough equals dry and tough.

This is my “go to” edge.  First cut off any excess dough, that’s dough that falls more than 1 inch past the edge of the pan.

Fold the overhanging edge under the edge of the pan so that it doesn’t overhang anymore.

Using fingers and knuckles, fold the crust back and forth into a zig zag.

And you’re done!

I know that’s a lot of instructions, but once you get the hang of it, your fingers will know what to do.

PIE COOKIE BONUS:  Take your scraps and put them on a piece of parchment.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake in a 350-400 degree oven for 8-12 minutes or until just starting to turn light brown on the very edge.  I call these pie cookies.  They make a great snack for a hungry family while you are waiting for the main event to arrive.  Again, not so pretty, but oh soooo yummy.


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