Monday, October 12, 2009
Ending the Debate: Oil Pastry vs. Cold Butter Pastry
Oil in your pastry? Are you kidding me?! No thanks...
That was my first response when I read a very old recipe for pie crust using Wesson oil.
But, after exhaustive research and my forever questings for sublime noshings...I figured I owed it to myself and my readers to at least give it a try.
I made a batch of butter/shortening pie crust in the traditional way.
Cutting the fats into the flour, sugar and salt with a pastry blender and lightly mixing in ice cold water and lemon juice until the dough was just wet enough to hold together when I pinched it, but not too wet...too wet and you'll get rubber.
The dough was then gently pressed together and wrapped up in plastic wrap and chilled.
This is the chilled dough. See the blessed little bits of butter?
Here is the recipe I used, and have used for quite a while, its very good.
~11 1/4 ounces flour
~1 T. sugar
~1 t. salt
~1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
~1/4 c. vegetable shortening
~2 t. lemon juice
~3 oz. cold water, approx. add 1 T. at a time
We had some apples from the local orchard, so apple pie it is!
...the oil pastry.
excuse me, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Mix this up right before you use it, no chilling necessary.
This isn't that old recipe I mentioned before...this is my rendition.
I just couldn't make pastry without butter, so I improvised.
~2 c. flour
~1 t. salt
~1 t. sugar
mix these dry ingredients up and add:
~4 T. butter, melted
~1/4 c. oil, use a light one like canola
~1 t. vinegar
~5 T. cold water or low-fat milk (you may or may not need all of this, I think I had a tablespoon left over. The dough came together just fine and I felt it didn't need it.)
Yep, its that easy. Like a cookie dough.
I did roll it out a titch thinner than normal pie crust.
If you find it a pain to roll out, spray some non-stick spray on two sheets of wax paper and roll it between those. Then, all you have to do is peel off the top piece of paper, invert the crust, center it and place it while attached to the other piece of wax paper then peel it off. voila!
Another apple pie...made fork marks so I could remember which one is which.
I kinda suck at making pie crust pretty.
Both pies where baked at 400* for approx. 40 minutes.
These were mini pies, since I REALLY don't need two full sized pies in my kitchen.
So, for the good of mankind, I bought two pot pies so I'd have tiny pie tins.
Each held 2 apples, cut, chopped, sugared and spiced.
Here is the cold butter/shortening pie baked:
...and the melted butter/oil pastry pie baked:
Now, the final test.
The cold butter/shortening pastry pie sliced:
and the melted butter/oil pastry pie sliced:
As for the taste test, you ask?
Um...I honestly liked the oil pastry better.
It was crisp, tender and flaky.
The cold butter pastry was good, don't get me wrong. It was perfect as far as cold butter pastry goes.
But, it was not as tender, nor did it have a flake as crispy as the oil pastry.
So, after eating two pies (geez...the things I do for you people) ...my final conclusion is that oil pastry is good, great actually, especially with the melted butter substitution. So great, in fact, that I will probably never go back to the muss and fuss of cold butter pastry.
Against all odds, physics and good sense, it was excellent.
So, throw all caution to the wind, don't mind your grammy and make up a pie with my melted butter/oil pastry recipe.
I'd love to know what you all think!