Why I want to be mentor in this category: Because I love pie making ,and you can too!
What inspires me in this category: Because nothing says "I love you" like a pie. No other dessert conjures up feelings of home and comfort in the American Spirit better than pie.
Experience: I am a freelance pastry chef and fulltime restaurant manager. I bake in my free time, and my favored dessert, wheither it be summer or winter, for the house of to take to a dinner party, is pie. Mastering the skill of piemaking requires a solid foundation built on proper crust making. Luckily, I have plenty of experiance and would love to share it with you.
Biggest Lesson Learned: My most important lesson I learned was not to be swayed by "pie snobs" who say a pie crust "should be made this way" or sneer at your addition of shortening to the mix. Find what works best for you and for the filling at hand. Every pie filling does not go with just one pie crust recipe. There are flavor and texture profiles to consider
Books, classes, teachers that have helped me: Proficency Certification in Baking and Pastry from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago.
Education, Awards, Pro Experience: Freelance pastry chef, and I am the creator of The Facebook Pie Social, a group of pie enthusiasts who share their love of pie on Facebook.
1. Don't be afraid of shortening. It holds up better during pie dough blending and can produce wonderfully flaky crusts.
2. Vinegar's acidity helps to shorten gluten strands in your dough, making for a tender crust. Try adding a tablespoon to your liquid ingredient.
3. Treat your dough with care and respect. If it doesn't roll out easy because it's been in the refridgerator too long, let it sit (respect the dough) ; don't force your malice and frustration via the rolling pin.
4. Butter is wonderful, but there is such a thing as too much. High butter content in the filling? Consider a shortening crust so that the filling stands out on your tastebuds.
5. Have fun! There are no set rules on how to "properly make a pie crust dough". Ok, there are some out there, but toss them out the window. Experiment and have fun finding crust and filling combinations that work for you.