Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Maybe you’re reading this a few days in advance, the night before, or gulp the morning of. You followed all the proper avenues to get ready for the Thanksgiving feast—you defrosted and brined the turkey; you cut a loaf of sourdough or cornbread into cubes for stuffing and left them out to dry; you even ironed the linens and bought flowers for a centerpiece. But the one thing you forgot? Chilling the pie dough for your pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie. For the best pie, it’s always best to work with very cold dough.
And now it’s the morning of Thanksgiving and you want to bake pies, but the dough is still too warm to roll out. Did you forget to put the pie or cookie dough in the fridge overnight? Did you pull out any hairs yet? Don't fret, don't pull your hair! Our beautiful community of smart, savvy home cooks has faced this very conundrum time and time again. And that’s where our hotline comes in. Food52 user and pie prowess CV posted a very simple, very cool (pun intended) trick over on the hotline to help us out:
...stick the dough in a Ziplock bag, removing all of the air, then place in an ice water bath and stick the whole thing in the fridge.
You won't risk ice crystals, like you would in the freezer, and you're still allowing time for the flavors to meld together—which is one of the reasons why you want dough to sit overnight, in addition to getting the dough firm. (Kristen went food nerd and tested this out for us.)
This trick for quickly chilling pie dough quickly works because you won't risk ice crystals, like you would in the freezer, and you're still allowing time for the flavors to meld together—which is one of the reasons why you want dough to sit overnight, in addition to getting the dough firm. (founding editor and creative director of Genius Kristen Miglore went food nerd and tested this out for us.) It’s the same way you would quickly chill a bottle of wine or beer, so you know it works. Other loyal users emphasize the importance of keeping your pie dough cold, no matter how quickly you want to defrost it. Doing so ensures that the butter stays cold, which will help create flaky, flavorful layers of pie crust.
And while Thanksgiving can be quite cold in many parts of the country, and you may be tempted to just leave it out on your front porch, don’t. The last thing you want is pie dough studded with fallen leaves and acorns...or worse, you forget about it altogether.
What is your go-to way to quickly chill pie dough? Tell us in the comments!
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