Originally Posted by Antholagnia
When you're making a pastry dough do you cube and freeze the butter or just mix it in while it's cold from the refrigerator?
I follow Betty Crocker for all of my cooking desires.
Step 1: Easy mixing
Use a pastry blender to cut shortening into flour. If you don't have one, use two knives and this technique: holding a knife in each hand with blades almost touching, move knives back and forth in opposite directions in a parallel cutting motion. The side of a fork or a wire whisk works, too.
Mix only until all ingredients are worked in. If you overwork pastry dough, it’ll become tough.
For easier rolling, after you’ve made the pastry dough and shaped it to a flattened round, wrap it tightly and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or overnight.
Step 2: Nonstick rolling
Anchor a pastry cloth or kitchen towel (not terry cloth) around a large cutting board (at least 12 x 12 inches) with masking tape, and use a cloth cover (stockinet) for your rolling pin. Rub flour into both cloths (this will prevent sticking and won’t work flour into the pastry). If you don’t have a rolling pin cover or pastry cloth, rub flour on the rolling pin and your kitchen table, the countertop or a large cutting board.
Place pastry dough on a flat surface and start rolling from the center out, lifting and turning pastry occasionally to keep it from sticking. If the pastry begins to stick, rub more flour, a little at a time, on the flat surface and rolling pin.
Step 3: Placing the pastry
Fold pastry into fourths, and place it in the pie plate with the point in the center of the plate. Unfold and gently ease into plate, being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.
Instead of folding pastry, you can roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unroll pastry and ease into plate.
Fluting the pastry edge makes your pie crust picture perfect. Choose from these different crimping and fluting techniques:
Fork Edge: Flatten pastry evenly on rim of pie plate. Firmly press tines of fork around edge. To prevent sticking, occasionally dip fork into flour.
Pinch Edge: Place index finger on inside of pastry rim and thumb and index finger (or knuckles) on outside. Pinch pastry into V shape along edge. Pinch again to sharpen points.
Rope Edge: Place side of thumb on pastry rim at an angle. Pinch pastry by pressing the knuckle of your index finger down into pastry toward thumb.
Serving and Storing Your Pies
An easy way to cut a pie into an even number of pieces is to cut the pie in half, then into fourths, and then cut each fourth in half before removing a slice.
Store pies that contain eggs, such as pumpkin and cream pies, in the refrigerator.
You can freeze unbaked pie crusts. Unbaked crusts will keep for 2 months in the freezer. To prevent soggy bottoms, don’t thaw unbaked crusts; bake them right after taking them out of the freezer.