As I mentioned in my report on Thanksgiving dinner, I have never had any success with making my own pie crusts. The main problem that I've run into is sticky dough. I've ended up having to add so much flour in order to prevent the dough from sticking to my hands and to the rolling pin, that the dough became tough and not at all a desirable texture.
A year or two ago I read a review of the Harold Pie Crust Maker in Cook's Illustrated magazine. The author praised the pie crust tool, telling of much easier it was to roll out crust using it. The story sounded too good to be true, but the gadget was pretty inexpensive so I decided to order one for myself. It sat in my cupboard until a month or two ago when I made an apple pie for my Cooking Club.
The gadget essentially looks like a flat zippered sweater bag. You toss a tablespoon or so of flour inside, seal the bag and shake so that the flour dusts interior of the plastic disk. You then insert your refrigerated pie dough into the bag and seal it again. Taking your rolling pin, you now roll out the dough while it is inside the plastic. When you've reached your desired diameter, you unzip the bag and peel back one side. Then you invert the crust into your pie plate and peel off the second side. Voila! Perfect pie crust that requires very little handling.
The second gadget that came in handy at Thanksgiving was the Kuhn Rikon Swiss peeler. I recently took a cooking class at Sur la Table, and our instructor recommended these inexpensive little vegetable peelers. I bought one and can't believe how much easier it is to use than my old peeler. The Kuhn Rikon also removes a much thinner depth of peel, leaving more of the inside fruit or vegetable intact. At Thanksgiving I used the peeler for my apple pie, but I've also used it with potatoes and been equally pleased.
Married for 27 years to Robert, three kids: Will (23), Vivian (20) and Dots (17) ~~~~
Majored in mathematics at SMU, taught elementary school for six years before Will was born, currently tutoring math ~~~~
Things I enjoy: playing duplicate bridge, working NY Times crossword puzzles, reading good books, entertaining, visiting with friends, planning trips, traveling, playing board games, spending time with family, cooking, keeping up with old friends ~~~ happy to correspond with other parents about raising a child with special needs
I unintentionally contaminated all of the pictures on my blog when I changed my privacy settings on Flickr. I am working backwards to correct them all, but it is quite a tedious procedure! If you encounter a post with error messages from Flickr where the pictures should be, then I haven't gotten to that post yet. Please let me know and I will update it immediately. Thanks for your patience!