Tips for Making the Perfect Pie Crust: Background information when reading Dinner with Edward

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Dinner with Edward

A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

by Isabel Vincent

Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent X
Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2016, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2017, 224 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
Buy This Book

About this Book

Tips for Making the Perfect Pie Crust

This article relates to Dinner with Edward

Print Review

In Dinner with Edward, Isabel Vincent's memoir, Edward's two tricks for making a perfect pastry crust are crushed ice and a mixture of grated butter and fresh lard (from his Queens butcher), all kept as cold as possible. What are other chefs' top tips? The choice of fat(s) and their proportions are the main differences.

Perfect flaky pie crust Julia Child's shortcrust pastry recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking suggests butter to (vegetable) lard in a ratio of 3:1. One should use chilled butter and cold water and work as quickly as possible. "The mixing of pastry should be accomplished rapidly, particularly if your kitchen is warm, so that the butter will soften as little as possible."

The Betty Crocker cookbook (2000 edition) calls for shortening and cold water. Its advice includes using a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the fat; choosing unbleached flour to create a pleasing golden color; and baking a pie in a glass or dull-finish aluminum pan so as not to reflect heat.

Delia Smith, one of Britain's top food writers, suggests using room-temperature fat and cold water. She offers many options for the proportion of fats, varying from all butter (good if the filling is less rich) to half margarine and half lard, her preferred method.

Paula Deen's perfect pie crust recipe involves vegetable shortening and butter, combined quickly with other ingredients including ice water. Ina Garten's recipe uses almost the same ratio of shortening to butter, but differs in the amount of added sugar.

Fine Cooking calls for pure, high-quality butter and recommends mixing it in by hand rather than using a food processor, to create a flaky texture. Likewise, Martha Stewart and J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, recommend all-butter crusts. However, The Pioneer Woman insists on all Crisco, a type of vegetable shortening. Pampered Chef also advises all shortening.

Real Simple magazine recommends 1) replacing a bit of the water with an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to keep the crust tender and 2) brushing the pie crust with a mixture of beaten egg and cream to make a shiny golden top. Other sources, from Cook's Illustrated onwards, substitute several tablespoons of vodka for some of the water, again to maintain a tender, flaky texture.

Note: Gluten-free pie crust recipes tend to simply replace the flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Dairy-free pie crust is generally achieved by using either margarine or coconut oil as the fat.

Picture of pie crust from Veganbaking.net

Filed under Cultural Curiosities

Article by Rebecca Foster

This "beyond the book article" relates to Dinner with Edward. It originally ran in July 2016 and has been updated for the June 2017 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Sea Gate
    The Sea Gate
    by Jane Johnson
    In Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, set in England, readers are introduced to Becky, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from Suffragette City
    Stories from Suffragette City
    by M.J. Rose, Fiona Davis
    Our First Impressions readers were fascinated by the historical fiction from a range of authors ...
  • Book Jacket: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
    by Marie Benedict
    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict, notable author of previous historical fiction such ...
  • Book Jacket: To Be a Man
    To Be a Man
    by Nicole Krauss
    While, as its title hints, To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss is concerned with masculinity, it renders a ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Fortunate Ones
    by Ed Tarkington

    An engrossing story of class, love, and loyalty for fans of Kevin Wilson's Nothing to See Here.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    At the Edge of the Haight
    by Katherine Seligman

    Winner of the 2019 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates
How can we summon a moment of lift for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
Who Said...

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T M T C, T M T Stay T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.