Sweet Kitchen Tips 11

And since I got myself on the road to pie making here is a couple of tricks that I found make things much easier.  Trial and error folks, the best teacher.

The first thing I learn was that sometimes even the most planned mixing can leave your dough too dry and crumbly (refer to the empanada post and you know will know what I’m talking about) when you start to roll it out.  But, the cardinal rule to pie making - DON’T OVERWORK THE DOUGH, meaning, the less you mix the better it will be.  So what to do? 

Get yourself a spray bottle full of ice water, and use it to sprint the dough when you need a bit more to make it soft.  This method distributes just the right amount making it unlikely you will add to much.

and if you are rolling along …

and your dough often sticks to the counter, adding more flour is not the best solution, since it can actually make the dough tough.  Instead, slide a pastry scraper under the dough every 30 seconds or so.  This way the dough never has a chance to stick, and it won’t tear when you need to move it.  If you don’t have a pastry scraper, you can use a metal ruler, which works just as well.

or you can go the route sandwich route…

Roll out the dough between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap paper.  And if your sandwiched package starts to roll away from you in the counter, place a nonstick silicone mat underneath to hold it in place and give you an additional smooth, stable rolling surface.

Sweet Kitchen Tips 1

Like any good cook, we have our successes and our unsuccessful cooking experiences.

And like any REALLY, SMART cook, we hide those failures pretty fast.  How many of you out there have scratched a lopsided cake by throwing it in the trash, as you are pulling out the ingredients for a second time around? Because, you know, “the kitchen is not the boss of me and you are going to get it right!”

Show of hands? Anyone? *Cough, cough* - yeah, I thought so.

So, while we do not like to speak of our failures, we do like to learn not to repeat them.  Us, home cooks (and I’m going to take a guest that even the most famous chefs too) learn pretty fast from our mistakes. And if anyone out there is like me, we make lots and lots of notes in order for that fiasco not to happen again.

So this is where this post comes in.  Throughout the years, I have kept the back of my cookbook blank of recipes and instead use it to write tips, and clever solutions for common kitchen problems.

Read More