Because of the large amount of fat used in its preparation, pastry rightly deserves the reputation it has gained of being a rich and of ttimes indigestible dessert.
The heavy under-done lower crust is also an objectionable feature, but these faults may be obviated by the proper selection and manipulation of materials.
When practical, the under crust should be baked before filling. This applies to pies with a single crust and with a cooked filling such as lemon, cocoanut cream, etc.
Pies with an under crust only and an uncooked filling may usually be partially cooked before filling.
Pies made with two crusts may have the lower crust protected by glazing it with slight^ beaten egg white diluted with a tablespoon of water. It should then be placed in the oven for two or three minutes to harden the egg. This prevents soaking of the crust.
Granola, a thoroughly cooked cereal, may be moistened with cream and pressed into shape for an under crust, where only a single crust is desired and a thickened filling is used. All materials should be as cold as possible. Pastry or winter wheat flour is preferable. Butter and cream are undoubtedly the most wholesome fats. Nut meal, finely divided nuts, is also an excellent fat.
The fat may be mixed with the flour by one of three methods, viz., by chopping the fat into the flour with a knife, by working it in with a spoon, pressing the materials against the sides of the bowl; or by working it in with the finger tips. The first and second methods are preferable, as the heat from the hands warms the materials.
Mix the materials by pouring the cold water or cream slowly into the flour and butter, mixing a small amount at a time. Then press these soft masses together, turn out upon a slightly floured board and roll lightly in one direction only, if possible. Do not roll back and forth or turn the dough over. Roll on one surface only. Manipulate the dough as little as possible, as this makes it tough.
Fit dough closely to the pie tin and prick the bottom with a fork to prevent puffing. A perforated pie tin insures a more thoroughly baked crust.
3/4 cup granola.
1/3 cup cream.
Have ready all of the materials and the utensils before beginning to make this crust. Stir the cream into the Granola and turn immediately into the pie tin. With a spoon push the materials into place, shaping them to the pan. Do not wait for the Granola to take up the cream before beginning to shape it, otherwise it will be too dry to manipulate before it is finished. The Granola is a thoroughly cooked preparation, hence needs no further cooking. The filling may be placed into the shaped crust and baked 10 to 15 minutes in order to thoroughly heat all the materials.
1 1/2 cups white flour 1 cup nut meal.
3/4 cup cream 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Mix the flour, salt and nut meal together. Add the cream, gradually forming the ingredients into small masses. Press these together. Roll out and bake the same as for plain pastry.