Help! Need CRISP pie crust recipe for one crust cream pie!!

dancinglemonsFebruary 11, 2013

Hello all,

I've been absent from GW for some months but now am in a pickle. I have searched the web high and low and can not find a recipe for an "earth shatteringly crisp/crunchy" pie crust. Let me explain.

In my part of Central Virginia there was a BBQ restaurant that was famous for their cream pies. The place has gone out of business after 50+ years (or more). Their cream pies (chocolate, coconut) had bottom crust that was REALLY delicious. This crust was earth shatteringly crisp when your fork cut through the pie. There was always some crust left on your plate when you finished the slice of pie. The crust was relatively thin and flaky and it was ""brown"". Not golden brown but brown. The best way I can describe the color is "ginger snap cookie" brown. Not as dark as a brownie.

Can anyone tell me how to get my pie crust recipe to come out crispy/crunchy like this. This crust is made with flour - not cookie crumbs or other crispy ingredients.

Any and all help is appreciated.

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Was it flaky like a regular crust? Or more like a Shortbread cookie crust?


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:06AM
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I was thinking shortbread crust, too, until the flakey part. Now I'm not sure. I make the one in the link and it's very crisp and crunchy. Maybe you could use brown sugar for a darker crust and a caramel flavor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shortbread crust.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:31AM
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It sounds like shortbread (pate sucree) crust to me. I posted a recipe for this in my tart thread. The recipe that I use calls for one egg yolk and one tablespoon of water, which can give it a bit of flake while also being crisp and crunchy.

Was the crust sweet? Was the top of the crust fluted or was it flat and flush? I would try some shortbread crust recipes to see if you can get what you like. However, if the crust was fluted at the top, it was probably a regular crust that may have had sugar added to it to make it crisp, and it may have contained egg. You can get a somewhat crisper crust by substituting two tablespoons of whole wheat flour in the recipe - I almost always do that.


Here is a link that might be useful: Thread with tart recipe with pate sucree crust

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:10PM
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What ever it was, it was probably baked before the filling went in, to keep it from getting soggy and stay crispy and flaky, and to give it a nice color.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:56PM
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I would brush the crust bottom with an egg white wash before baking which might help keep it crispy. I also recommend baking in a Pyrex dish on a pizza stone. I've found since doing that the bottom crust is crisper.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Letting the crust cool thoroughly before filling will keep it from getting soggy. Also, Crisco instead of butter produces a crisper crust and using ice cold water. Some people believe that using vodka instead of water produces a crisper crust but I have never tried that.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Here's an interesting link, from the Pie Maven, using egg wash to get the finished look of the pie crust.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:44PM
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Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks and THANKS one and all !!!!!!! I will try the suggestions here and report back - with photos if I succeed. BTW - the crust was not shortbread type and was probably baked, cooled and filled with already cooked and cooled custard/filling. I am almost sure these pies were not baked after they were filled. They were topped with fresh whipped cream.

Thanks again one and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:42AM
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My hunch, if it was central VA and a BBQ place, was that it wasn't a pate sucree or something similar. It was probably an "American" pie crust.

You can make a great flaky crust in about four minutes with butter, flour, and a little ice cold water. Can add a pinch of salt if you want. Leave some pretty large chunks of butter and make sure you do the fraisage. Like always, let it sit for an hour or so or even a day before rolling it out.

Most likely based on cost and region, they probably used shortening, but don't. It tastes bad and makes your crust have a bad mouthfeel. Just use butter. Bake it well, maybe weighing it down, and make sure you bake it very close to the time you are going to use it.

In other words, don't bake it today for use tomorrow or the next day. It's never as crisp as it is the first day. Let it cool, fill and serve immediately. The water from the filling will start to soften it right away, so you don't want to let that sit if you want to maintain the crispiness.

This post was edited by rosesinny on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 17:57

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:01PM
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Might it be something like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: biscuit base

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:17AM
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