The third annual 'Pie Lover's Unite' event was this past Saturday- it was a success, the pies were beautiful and plentiful- and I keep coming across articles about pies in magazines and other blogs. Sheryl Julian, writing for boston.com, wrote a great introduction about crusts, and there are links abound. I decided to tackle the oil based crust first, since it's new to me and reported to be so deliciously, deceptively easy.
I'm directly quoting here:
The crust is as follows-
|1/2||cup vegetable oil|
2. In a 1-cup measure, pour the oil just over the 1/2 cup line. Add the milk to make a good 3/4 cup of liquid.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the oil mixture (do not stir while pouring). When it is all added, use a rubber spatula to stir the oil in gently. The mixture looks very wet; it’s OK.
4. With a wet paper towel, wet the counter. Spread waxed paper on it. Add 2/3 of the dough. Set another piece of waxed paper on top.
5. Roll the dough into a round about 1/8-inch thick. Gently remove the top waxed paper, working from the edges to the center. Set the pie pan near you. In one steady motion, pick up the paper under the dough and quickly flip it over into the pie pan. Gently remove the remaining waxed paper sheet, working from the edges to the center.
The recipe for blueberry filling associated with this crust was good, and I made it as stated, but I think I'd play around with Alice Water's recipe a bit. She uses a little more sugar (1/4 cup), a dash of salt, lemon zest, and substitutes the flour with 4 T quick-cooking tapioca, pulverized in a mortar. I am encouraged by the tapioca because of it's slight sweetness, and despite the smaller quantity than flour, it would thicken it up just the same without the flour taste.
My pie looks very similar to the one in the link, which makes me wonder if either they were making it look really homey or there is little room for personal flourishes with this type of crust. I'll play around with it some more. The texture was nice and flaky, and (thanks to baking it with a collar around the edges for the first 25 minutes) it browned evenly on top and underneath.