A Solution for the Crust-Fearing

Bittman's lattice bake

I love baking pies, but I can’t tell you the amount of times that a pie crust has torn, fallen apart, or landed awkwardly into my pie plate, and I know it’s one of those uncomfortable predicaments for most home bakers. Am I right or what?

Fortunately, one of my favorite food writers, Mark Bittman, recently posted a recipe in the New York Times for his “Stone Fruit Patchwork Bake,” his cobbler-like solution to the finicky crust of many pies, and the difficulty of moving  crust from the counter surface to the pie plate. Usually wrapping it in the rolling pin and transferring it that way works for me, but for those of us who are so crust-averse that they won’t even make a crust at all, Bittman suggests cutting the crust into small squares or rectangles and just overlapping them, instead of worrying about the whole transfer-in-one-piece process. And, by calling it a cobbler instead of a pie, you avoid the whole bottom crust altogether, increasing the fruity-goodness of each spoonful. Genius! Ahhh, Mark Bittman just makes it sound so easy. Check out Bittman’s inexplicably gangsta-tinged video instructions here.

So, what do you piemakers think? A brilliant solution to an age-old dilemma, or just semi-cheating? And to the crust-averse, will Bittman’s suggestion get those of you who don’t like handling pie crusts to give it another go?

(Photo: NYT)

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2 comments

  • Alex August 3, 2009  

    I love this idea!! I experimented with fruit pies a little bit last summer, and got decent at crust-making, but I have to say, sometimes the crust is just too much work for the part of the pie that is invariably the least exciting. I love the idea of half the crust, and no edge left over that you either have to eat without pie or leave on the plate. It does take some of the artistry out of it though…

  • LC August 3, 2009  

    I’m all for this idea and will be posting a crust free crumble soon. Another easy crust solution is a graham cracker crust. You basically just crush up the graham crackers with butter and sugar and press the crust into the pie pan. It’s easy as, well, you know.

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