Just wanted to celebrate the fact that I got home tonight only to turn on the TV and see Alton Brown discussing how to make a good pie crust. Just what I need! Hooray. I’ll edit if I learn anything new that would have saved my melktert crusts.
…AH-HA! He says pie doughs shrink due to gluten formation. The elastic gluten pulls it all together, or something. Therefore, go easy on the water, and I assume also on any unnecessary agitation. Lesson learned. He adds water with a squirt bottle (you know the one); I should get one of those. I also really want one of those bench scraper type things. They probably cost a lot more than they should. Alas.
He also says that having big chunks of butter is good, so that’s nice, because I had big chunks of butter in mine and – although they did their job, making my crust really flaky – it looked so different from how I thought pie dough should look that I was afraid it was a bad thing.
Ok, one more thing. Can I tell you how proud I am that I actually have the exact “tailor’s ruler” that he whipped out to measure a quarter of an inch for rolling the dough? (I sew…that is, I try to sew. I’m pretty domestic for a raging feminist.)