I'm still working on mastering pie crust.
About a year ago there was an LA Times article that said that Thomas Keller's pate brisee recipe from Bouchon changed the author's life, by making reliably flaky pie a consistent reality.
I tried this for the first time for 4th of July Strawberry/Rhubarb pie. The interesting part of the all-butter crust recipe is that you first amalgamate half the flour and all the butter in the blender, then slowly blend in the second half of the flour until just incorporated. Raw, the dough looked great, filled with little pods of butter.
I rolled the dough and assembled the pie, put the pie in the oven at 450, which I immediately reduced to about 400. After only about 30 minutes the edges were getting dark, so I covered them with foil and lowered the temp. to about 350. After another 10-15 minutes I took the pie out because the top was golden-brown, although the inside wasn't quite bubbling.
Several hours later, all my guests ate and raved about the pie, but as the chef I am always more exacting, and I will say that truthfully the bottom layer of crust seemed undercooked and was not flaky. The top was wonderful; not as flaky as some pies I've had, but quite good. The interior was fine.
My question is: how to get both top and bottom crisp and flaky? Should I have baked the whole thing at a lower temperature? Should I have covered the entire top with foil once it was getting brown after only 30 minutes? Should I somehow have blind-baked the bottom, then filled it and baked the whole thing? How would I know if the bottom were cooked anyway? Although I can guess that the answer to that question is to look through the bottom, since I baked it in a pyrex plate.
Thank you all so much to those who respond!!!!
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