BPA 100: Pies

BPA 100
Day 4, Tuesday

Pate Brisee: Mealy and Flaky Dough; Caramel Apple and Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Pies

Today we followed a 3:2:1 ratio for the Pate Brisee mealy and flaky dough. 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat/butter and 1 part water. We need 18 oz of flaky dough for the crust of our Caramel Apple pie, and 24 oz of the mealy dough for the shells of that and the Pumpkin pie. To calculate how much of each part we need for each recipe, just add up all the parts: 3+2+1= 6 parts. And divide the amount of dough by the parts: 18 oz/ 6 parts = 3 oz/part.

Pate Brisee- Flaky dough
So for the flaky dough I need 3 oz of water, 6 oz of butter, and 9 oz of flour. We decided to add 2% salt and 5% sugar to the recipes. Since flour is 100% (9 oz), I multiply the 2% by 9 to find the oz of salt. 9 X .02= .18 oz salt. I do the same for the 5% sugar. 9 X .05= .45 oz sugar. To measure more accurately I converted the oz to grams. .45oz X 28.35g/ 1 oz= 12.75g sugar. .18oz X 28.35g/ 1 oz= 5.1g salt.

I prepared the doughs using the cutting method learned earlier in class

Pate Brisee- Mealy dough

We need more mealy dough for the two pie bases; 24 oz. Divide the 24 oz by the 6 parts and each part is then 4 oz. So I will need 12 oz pastry flour, 8 oz butter, and 4 oz water. 2% salt X 12= .24 oz salt. 5% sugar X 12= .6 oz sugar. .24 oz X 28.35g/ 1 oz = 6.8g salt. .6 oz X 28.35g/ 1 oz= 17g sugar.

Caramel Apple pie filling

2.5 lbs apples- Gala and Granny Smith
8 oz brown sugar
-Macerate to draw out moisture

Juices +
5 oz butter
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cp heavy cream
1 oz melted butter to brush mealy dough

Peel, core, and slice apples and toss with the brown sugar.

Let them rest at least 30 minutes until the juices are drawn out.

Drain the juices into a pan with the melted butter on the stove.
Cook until the juices are thick and like caramel candy. It takes a while to cook down; all of the water from the apple juices has to evaporate. A wide pan with the burner on high will help it cook faster. When it begins to caramelize, add the cinnamon and the cream. Cook it another minute or two until it thickens back up again and is a nice creamy caramel color.
Add the apples and cook them until they soften a little and release some more moisture.

Thickeners that are used in pies are starches: such as cornstarch, which unfortunately can’t be frozen, modified maize which freezes and holds up well, and flour that needs to be boiled for a couple minutes to render it useful and tasteless in the filling. In a custard pie, such as the Sweet Potato, eggs are used. They can’t be boiled; if they are an ugly and uneven consistency will appear.

Pumpkin/ Sweet Potato pie filling

2.5 eggs
360 ml Pumpkin or Sweet Potato puree
6 oz sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
420 ml half and half
½ tsp salt

Custard is essentially eggs, sugar, and liquid. The liquid in our pie is the puree and half and half. It is very easy to make.

Whisk the eggs and puree, add then add the spices and salt.

Whisk in the sugar. Don’t add all of the half and half just yet, it has a lot of fat and if it is over mixed it might split. Add it in halves, stirring between. It becomes a nice thin liquid. When it bakes the protein expands and contracts and sets into a nice custard pie.

Par-baked mealy dough pie shell for Pumpkin pie.

Dust the surface to roll the mealy dough, the base of the pie. Be sure to use bread flour when rolling it out, there is less starch to be absorbed by the dough. Transfer it to the pie tin. Lift and let it fall into the sides of the mold and gently press from the center out to release air bubbles. Don’t cut the edges off just yet; leave it as a place to connect the lattice top. Do the same for the mealy dough for the pumpkin pie except crimp the edges. Cut a parchment square larger than the tin to line the inside and fill the space with beans or pie weights. Press the weights into the sides; if there isn’t pressure on the sides they will collapse. Chill the dough and par bake them 9-10 minutes with the weights, and another 3-4 with out to finish cooking the bottom of the shell. The par baking should be done at 425 degrees F.

For the lattice top, roll out the flaky dough. You can see the layers of butter when it is rolled, this is a good thing. Work fast because the kitchen is warm and you do not want your butter to start melting. Roll it to 1/8” thick. Cut strips, you can use a ruler if you want, about 1/2”. The finer they are the nicer the finished product looks. Lay down one strip vertically and 5 across it horizontally on a sheet of parchment. Going every other, gently flip the strips over and lay another in between. This process will lead to the desired basket weave effect. Do the assembly away from the pie; if done directly on top it becomes messy with the filling. You want it at least as wide as the pie tin. Put the parchment sheet with the lattice on top of a sheet rack and chill the dough as soon as you are done.

With the chilled pie shell for the apple pie we brush melted butter to serve as a barrier to protect the dough from absorbing too much liquid. Fill the shell with the filling. Brush the sides and top of dough with an egg wash, in this case egg and water.

Using a cake board slide the lattice onto the top of the pie. Cut the edges with a paring knife and roll the edge inwards to seal the edges. This will keep the liquids inside and create a dam. Then crimp the edges, finish with an egg wash, and chill the pie once more.

Bake it in the convection oven at 425 degrees F for around 30-35 minutes.
There are a few ways you can avoid a soggy bottom to your baked pie:
-Use a mealy dough as the base; the smaller pieces of butter bake and absorb less liquid than a flaky crust would
-Have a cold filling; if the filling is warm it will melt the butter in the dough causing uneven baking and potential loss of structure to the shell
-No excess moisture; try to avoid lots of extra juices and liquids in fruit fillings for example, they have no where else to go and moisture will be absorbed by the crust
-Par baking the shell, this is the case for custard pies where the baked shell will not absorb as much liquid and be able to cook fully than if it was not pre-baked
-Use lining when appropriate, for the pumpkin pie we use an egg wash on the base and for the apple we use melted butter.

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