Heat might be the enemy of pie dough, but that doesn't mean you should stop (or can resist) baking pie on the hottest days of the year, in your tiny kitchen, without A/C or even a fan, wearing only your bathing suit. (Come on, I know I'm not the only one.)
In her forthcoming book, Brave Tart: Iconic American Desserts (it's out August 15, so let the countdown begin!), Stella Parks shares advice for handling her all-butter pie dough (of which many of you are devotees) as temperatures rise:
- It's not only the air temperature that's disturbing your dough. When the temp in your kitchen rises above 73° F (for me, that's all summer long), Parks says "that everything from your countertop to your rolling pin and the flour itself will act as a heat source to the butter." To protect your butter, refrigerate pie plates, rolling pins, and dry ingredients until cool (but not cold or frozen).
- And, if it's really steamy, buy a few bags of ice from the convenience store: Wrap them in kitchen towels (to absorb moisture), then spread them over your counter. The ice water should chill down your surface, making it less likely that your dough will melt into a sticky, uncooperative glom.
So go forth and make pie: A little heat can't stop you!
How do you keep your cool when working with warming pie dough? Tell us in the comments below.