Archive for the ‘Food Preparation’ Category

Are You Confused About Cooking Terms?

March 9th, 2015

Have you ever been confused about terms that are used in a recipe?  What is the difference between creaming and beating?  How can you tell when egg whites are soft peaks or when they are hard peaks?  Here are some common cooking terms and what they mean:

  • Al dente – this is a term for pasta that is cooked tender but slightly firm.
  • Beat – mixing foods thoroughly to a smooth consistency.
  • Braise – to cook gently in a small amount of liquid in a covered pan.
  • Cream – to incorporate air into the butter, margarine or vegetable shortening and sugar. When creaming have the fat at room temperature and beat at medium speed until light and airy.  The result will be a light fine grained texture.
  • Deglazing – adding a liquid (wine, broth etc.) to remove the bits of caramelized pieces left in a pan after cooking meat. This is the start of a great sauce or gravy.
  • Emulsify – this means to mix two ingredients together that don’t normally combine well like vinegar and oil. Whisk one ingredient very slowly into the other to emulsify.
  • Firm or stiff peaks – continue beating until the volume increases and becomes thick. When the beaters are raised the peaks should stay straight up even if you tilt the bowl.
  • Fold – using a rubber spatula and an over and under motion to combine ingredients without knocking out the air. Add the light ingredient like egg whites to the heavier ingredients and gently fold the mixture over top of itself to combine.  Rotating the pan as you fold helps to mix the ingredients without over mixing.
  • Julienne – to cut food into long thin strips similar to matchsticks. Carrots are quite often julienned.
  • Parboil – to cook a vegetable until it is partially cooked.
  • Pare – to remove the peeling or skin on a fruit or vegetable
  • Pulse – this means to turn a food processor on and off in very short bursts
  • Scald – this is to heat a liquid only until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the mixture. Not to boiling.
  • Sear – browning the meat in a hot pan quickly to seal in the meat juices.
  • Soft peaks – beating on medium speed until the meringue or cream peaks fold over when the beater is lifted out.

If you have a term that you are not sure what it means let us know and we will be glad to explain it to you.  We are only a phone call or email away!

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Food Preparation, Household Equipment, recipes

Ways to Add More Fiber to your Diet

February 26th, 2015

Last time we talked about what fiber is and the health benefits of boosting fiber intake.  Now let’s see how you can increase it in your daily diet.

Here are some great tips for boosting your dietary fiber intake if you aren’t getting enough:

Include more:

  • Whole grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Breakfast of champions: For breakfast choose a high-fiber breakfast cereal – 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.  Read the label or opt for cereals with “whole grain,” “bran” or “fiber” in the name.  Or add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal.  Choose 100% whole grain breads for toast or bagels.

Granola as a gift resized

Switch to whole grains: Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains.  Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label.  Look for a brand with at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.  Try including brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur.

Bulk up your baked goods.  Substitute whole grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking.  Whole-grain flour is heavier than white flour.  In yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer.  When using  When using baking powder, increase it by 1 teapoon for every 3 cups of whole-grain flour.  Try adding crushed bran cereal, unprocessed wheat bran or uncooked oatmeal to muffins, cakes and cookies.

Fiber Additions:  Add pre-cut fresh or frozen vegetables to soups and sauces.  For example, mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce or toss fresh baby carrots into stews.


Raw Kidney Beans final

Include Legumes:  Beans, peas, and lentils are excellent sources of fiber.  Add black beans to canned soup or a green salad.  Or make nachos with refried beans.

Eat fruit at every meal:  Apples, berries, oranges, pears, bananas are good sources of fiber.

Make snacks count:  Fresh fruits, raw vegetables, low-fat popcorn and whole-grain crackers are all good choices.  An occasional handful of nuts or dried fruits also is a healthy, high-fiber snack.

High fiber foods are good for your health.  But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks.  This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change.

Here are the USDA dietary guidelines on daily fiber intake for adults:

  Age 50 or younger Age 51 or older
Men 38 grams 30 grams
Women 25 grams 21 grams

Here is a list of the fiber content of specific foods from Mount Sinai Health System’s nutrition department.

Remember to drink plenty of water.  Fiber works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky.

Low fiber foods include refined or processed foods – such as canned fruits and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white breads, pastas, and rice, and non-whole grain cereals.  The grain refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content.  Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content.

Whole foods rather than fiber supplements are generally better.  Fiber supplements – such as Metamucil, Citrucel and FiberCon –don’t provide the variety of fibers, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that foods do.

However, some people may still need a fiber supplement if dietary changes aren’t sufficient or if they have certain medical conditions, such as constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome.  Always check with your doctor if you feel you need to take fiber supplements.

Fiber is also added to some foods.  However, it’s not yet clear if added fiber provides the same health benefits as naturally occurring sources.

It’s easy to include more fiber in your daily diet and reap the health benefits with great tasting meals and snacks.

jill sig

Food Preparation, Nutrition, Uncategorized

Fiber in the Healthy Diet

February 23rd, 2015

Fiber and Health Benefits

You may have heard that you should eat more fiber or “roughage”.  But why is fiber so good for your health?

Dietary fiber – found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other important health benefits as well.

Choosing tasty foods that provide fiber isn’t difficult.  Find out how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it, and how to add them to meals and snacks.

imageDietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb.  Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates – which your body breaks down and absorbs – fiber isn’t digested by your body.  Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of your body.

Fiber is typically classified as soluble (it dissolves in water) or insoluble (it doesn’t dissolve):

Soluble fiber: This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material.  It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.  Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.

Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber.

Most plant-based foods, such as oatmeal and beans, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.  However, the amount of each type varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.


  • Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad”, cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that fiber may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
  • Helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber – particularly soluble fiber- can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing diseases of the colon.
  • Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
  • Aids in achieving healthy weight. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
  • Possible prevention of colorectal cancer. More research needs to be done on this, but preliminary results are promising.

How much fiber do you need each day?  The Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily recommendations for adults:

  Age 50 or younger Age 51 or older
Men 38 grams 30 grams
Women 25 grams 21 grams

Stay tuned next time we’ll discuss ways to boost your daily fiber intake!

Until then, healthy eating!

jill sig

Food Preparation, Nutrition, Uncategorized

Cutting Your Sodium Intake

February 19th, 2015

photoAccording to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 sodium is an essential nutrient and is needed by the body in relatively small quantities (provided that substantial sweating does not occur) for regulation of fluids and blood pressure.  For many people higher sodium intakes can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems like cardiovascular disease, heart failure and kidney disease so watching the amount of sodium that you consume is important.

The recommendation is to reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams or about 1 teaspoon per day.  The amount is less for older people that have problems with hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.  The estimated average consumption of sodium listed in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines is approximately 3,400 milligrams per day.   Much of the sodium that we consume comes from salt (sodium chloride) that has been added during processing or food preparation.  Salting foods at the table contributes only a small part of the sodium that Americans consume.

Here are some suggestions on ways to reduce sodium consumptions:

  • Consume fresh foods rather than processed foods that are higher in sodium.
  • Prepare foods at home and control the amount of additional salt you add.
  • Cook with seasonings to flavor foods rather than adding salt.
  • Always taste the food before adding additional salt.
  • When eating out at restaurants ask for lower sodium options or ask if the salt can be left off of your food.
  • Reduce your calorie intake since the more food you consume the more sodium you consume.
  • Read the nutrition labels on food to see what their sodium content is. Purchase foods that are low in sodium.

If you are trying to reduce your salt intake spice combinations will add flavor to your foods without adding sodium.  Here are some that you might want to try:


1/2 tsp. sweet leaf basil

1 Tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. ground marjoram

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

In bowl, crush basil until fine.  Stir in rest of ingredients.  Spoon into shaker.  Use to season meat, chicken, fish, casseroles, vegetables and salads.


2 Tablespoons leaf oregano

2 Tablespoons parley flakes

4 teaspoons sweet leaf basil

4 teaspoons leaf tarragon

1 teaspoon leaf sage

4 Tablespoons onion powder

4 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground marjoram

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

In bowl, combine oregano, parsley flakes, basil, tarragon and sage. Crush with fingers until fine. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, marjoram, pepper and thyme until blended. Spoon into shaker. Use to  season meat, chicken, fish, casseroles, vegetables and salads.

REF: Tone’s Spices 1986

SPICY BLEND     Sodium: 0.59 mg. per teaspoon

2 Tbsp. dried savory, crushed

1 Tbsp. dry mustard

2 1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 3/4 tsp. curry powder

1 1/4 tsp. fresh ground white pepper

1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

12 tsp. garlic powder

Mix thoroughly and place in shaker.  Store in cool, dry place. Use in main dishes.

HERB ‘N’ LEMON SEASONING      Sodium: 1 mg per teaspoon

Grated peel of 1/2 lemon

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or basil leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate in covered container. Sprinkles desired over meat, poultry or fish before broiling or baking.

REF: Altering Recipes Pm 1064 Jan. 1993

By eating healthy and cutting down on your sodium, it will help with many potential health problems.  Clemson University has a publication called Halt! Salt that gives additional suggestions.

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Food Preparation, Nutrition, recipes

Reducing Food Waste

February 9th, 2015

photo (2)With our last child leaving to attend college we have become empty nesters.  This has brought about a huge change in my grocery shopping and meal plans!  It has caused me to reevaluate how much I purchase and how many leftovers we are able to consume.

According to the National Resources Defense Council 40 percent of food in the US goes to waste.  A lot of the household waste is due to over purchasing, food spoilage, and plate waste.   About 2/3 of household waste is due to food spoilage from not being used in time, whereas the other 1/3 is caused by people cooking or serving too much.    With this in mind here are some suggestions to reduce your food waste and save money.

  • Be careful of buying in bulk.  Foods have limited shelf life and even thought the price may be much cheaper in a larger quantity, if you end up throwing the excess away the overall cost will be higher.
  • Plan your meals before you go to the grocery store using the grocery ad.  Then you will know what is on sale and not end up with impulse purchases and you will have the foods you need for the meals you have planned.
  • Store foods properly.  If your produce was purchased in the refrigerator section of the grocery store it should be refrigerated when you bring it home.
  • In the refrigerator store fruits that emit ethylene gas (apples, apricots, cantaloupe, figs, kiwis, melons and plums) away from other fruit and vegetables in a refrigerator drawer. Ethylene gas can contribute to overly quick ripening of other produce when stored together.
  • Remember to freeze foods that will not be consumed within a few days. Freeze leftovers in single serving sizes in freezer containers.  Then you will have small meals or lunches available to reheat when you want them and you don’t have to eat the same meal for days at a time.
  • Use fruits and vegetables in various ways. Besides eating them as side dishes or snacks put extra fruits in smoothies or mash for ice cream syrups or pancake toppings and cut fruit up to make fruit salsa. Roast extra vegetable and add them to stir fry dishes, put in a tortilla or use as pizza toppings.  Remember fruits and vegetables can also be frozen.  Be sure to blanch vegetables for best quality freezing.

Help reduce your food waste and decrease what you are spending on foods by being a smart consumer.

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Consumer Management, Food Preparation, Food Preservation, Food Safety

Menu ideas for the big game

January 29th, 2015

slow cooker chiliAs the “big game” approaches, it is time to start planning a party menu for game watching. It is tempting to indulge in all sorts of treats that we don’t normally eat; however you can still enjoy the game and snacks and still eat healthy. Our friends at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. have a number of delicious recipes that you can enjoy and not feel disappointed later that you overindulged. They have five different dip recipes, two different salsa recipes, cowboy caviar, sweet potato fries, and tortilla wrap ups. Enough recipes for a varied menu to last throughout the game.Combine these with their slow cooker chili and you can have a great party without much work. Adding a fruit pizza will top off the celebration. Enjoy!

If you enjoy these treats, check out the rest of the recipes they have on the website. You can improve both your budget and your health with these easy recipes.


Food Preparation, Holiday ideas, recipes

Keep It or Toss It?

January 26th, 2015

usebydatenewHere at AnswerLine, we get a lot of calls regarding food dates on labels and how long different foods can be safely stored. This can be very confusing to most people!

There are several different kinds of dates that are used by food processing companies such as:

Use-By, Best if Used By, Best Before, Sell-By, Expires On, and more!can date

What do these all mean? Most of these are quality-based dates from the manufacturers.

  • Use-By, Best if Used By, Best By, Best Before: These “use-by” and “best” dates are generally found on shelf-stable products such as ketchup, salad dressings, and peanut butter. After the “use by” or “best” date has passed, you may start to notice changes in the unopened product’s texture, color, or flavor. But as long as you’ve stored the unopened item properly, you can generally safely consume it after the date has passed.You should always examine the product to gauge the quality after the date. Discard foods that have developed an off odor, flavor or appearance. You can also call us here at AnswerLine if you have questions on what to keep or toss. The date, which is voluntarily provided by the manufacturer, tells you how long the product is likely to remain at its absolute best quality when unopened. But according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, it is not a safety date.


  • Sell-By: Most sell-by dates are found on perishables like meat, seafood, poultry and milk. The date is for stores to know how long they can display a particular product. You should buy a product before the sell-by date expires.  But you can still store it at home for some time beyond that date, as long as you follow safe storage procedures.For example, milk that has been continuously refrigerated can be consumed for about a week after the “sell-by” date on the carton.  Likewise, you can store ground beef in your refrigerator for one to two days after you bring it home, even if the sell-by date expires during that time.


  • Expires On: The only place you’re likely to see this type of date is on baby formula and some baby foods, which are the only food products the federal government regulates with regard to dating. Always use the product before this expiration date has passed.


  • Packing Codes: These codes, which appear as a series of letters and/or numbers on the package, sometimes indicate the date or time of manufacture. Often though they appear as meaningless jumble. Either way, packing codes help manufacturers and grocers rotate their stock and quickly locate products in the event of a recall. But they are not meant to be interpreted as an indicator of either food quality or safety.


  • Open Dates: Open dating (use of a calendar date as opposed to a code) on a food product is a date stamped on a product’s package to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale. It can also help the purchaser know the time limit to purchase or use the product at it’s best quality.  It is not a safety date.

To summarize, most dates on foods are a manufacturer’s estimation of peak quality and the product can be safely eaten past that date.  For more specific information about a specific food storage time or for food safety information, call us here at AnswerLine or visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service web site.



jill sig



Food Preparation, Food Safety, Nutrition


January 1st, 2015

KEEN ON QUINOA                                              


While training for races in the last couple of years, I started incorporating quinoa into my diet for its nutritional value and ease of preparation and absolutely love it. If you’re like most people, you have no idea what quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is, let alone how to pronounce it. Quinoa is a nutritious seed that serves as a whole grain. It can be used as a hot cereal or side dish, as a cold salad similar to pasta salad, or it can be used in recipes in place of rice or other grains.

Quinoa facts:

  • Quinoa is native to the Andean region of South America.
  • The quinoa plant produces seeds that come in different colors, including black, red, and ivory (sometimes called white or yellow).
  • Quinoa naturally produces a bitter pest resistance substance, so it can be grown without the use of pesticides. The quinoa seeds are soaked and rinsed several times before being packaged for sale to eliminate the bitter, soapy flavor.
  • Quinoa is naturally gluten-free so can be used as a substitute for whole grains that contain gluten and can be a great way for people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy to add variety to their diet.
  • Compared with other common grains, quinoa provides higher amounts of many nutrients as shown in Table 1 below. (United States Department of Agriculture, Release 26)
  • Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids.

Table 1.     Nutrient comparison for common grains (1 cup cooked)

Quinoa Couscous Long-grain white rice Barley
Protein (g) 8.1 3.3 4.3 3.6
Dietary Fiber (g) 5.2 1.2 0.6 6
Calcium (mg) 31 7 16 17
Magnesium (mg) 118 7 19 35
Zinc (mg) 2.0 0.2 0.8 1.3
Thiamin (mg) 0.2 0.05 0.26 0.1
Folate (mg) 78 13 153 25
Riboflavin (mg) 0.2 0.05 0.02 0.1
Vitamin E (mg) 1.2 0.1 0.06 0.02


Storing and Preparing Quinoa:

Quinoa can be store at room temperature in its original packaging, but it should be used before its “best by” date. The seed form of quinoa can be used as a replacement for rice, couscous, or pasta in a one-to-one ratio. Quinoa is prepared much like rice with one part dry seed to two parts liquid. Water or broth can be used to cook quinoa; simply add seeds and liquid to a pot and heat on high.  Once a rolling boil is reached, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

Here are some delicious recipe ideas for quinoa from Tufts University:

Quinoa Salad With Mediterranean Flavors


Combine quinoa, water and 1/8 tsp salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to large bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water.

Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, pepper, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.

Add cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley, chives, and green beans to quinoa. Add lemon dressing; toss to coat. Salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. If you would like to make it the day before, store the blanched green beans separately and toss them into salad shortly before serving (the acid in the dressing causes green beans to discolor).

Yield: 6 (generous 3/4-cup) servings

Per serving: Calories: 209. Total fat: 13 grams. Saturated fat: 2 grams. Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 261 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 21 grams: Fiber: 3 grams. Protein: 4 grams.

  • 3/4 cup Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups green beans, stem ends trimmed, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup Kalmata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives

 In summary, quinoa is a delicious food that counts as a whole grain and can add variety and essential nutrients to your diet; especially protein, fiber, calcium, and magnesium. It’s simple to prepare and can be enjoyed at breakfast as a hot cereal or with other meals as a hot or cold side dish.

jill sig



Food Preparation, Nutrition, recipes

New Year and Resolutions

December 29th, 2014


As the New Year approaches, many of us think of things we would like to change in our lives. There are many different approaches to making New Year’s resolutions.

It is tempting to consider making drastic lifestyle changes to accomplish a major goal as quickly as possible. This may not be the most effective strategy; instead, consider making small, manageable steps. If you are not already a subscriber, consider looking at some of the other Iowa State University Extension and Outreach blogs for ways to improve your life.  Spend Smart. Eat Smart can help you with healthy eating while getting the most for your food dollar. The Science of Parenting blog can help if you have resolved to be the best parent you can be.  If budgeting or overspending are on your mind, look at Money Tip$.  The Eco Family  blog will help you lead a “greener” lifestyle.  Of course, the SafeFood blog is a special favorite of AnswerLine as this blog has information about keeping the food in your home safe to eat.

Resolve to check out all of these blogs for tips on leading a smarter, healthier life in 2015

Happy New Year from the AnswerLine staff.


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jill sig

Child Development, Food Preparation, Food Safety, Nutrition, recipes

Potential Pastry Problems

December 22nd, 2014




We talked about the function of ingredients in pie crusts.  Now let’s look at common problems you might have and how to fix them!

  • Soggy bottom crust: A soggy crust could be caused by many things. First look at your pie pan. Using a glass, dark metal or dull metal pan will absorb the heat better than a shiny aluminum pan and will give you a browner and crispier crust. Sogginess can also be caused when the filling leaks. Make sure are any cracks in the crust are fixed so the filling doesn’t have the opportunity to leak through. Be sure that your oven temperature is set correctly. If the temperature is too low the crust won’t brown properly. After baking the pie set it on a cooling rack. Allowing air circulation around the pie will help keep the crust from getting soggy.
  • Tough texture: Make sure that you are using a pastry blender to cut in the shortening until it looks like small peas. Try and use the least amount of ice water to make your crust. Add more only if needed to form into a ball. Also try and use as little flour as possible when rolling it out and don’t overwork it.
  • Crust shrinks: If you have not chilled the shortening or if there is too much water added it can cause the crust to shrink. Make sure that when you are transferring the rolled dough to the pie pan that the dough is not stretched.   Also prick the dough with a fork before baking.
  • Edge of crust burns: When the crust starts to brown cover the edges with pieces of foil. Using pieces that are big enough to cover the edge but not the rest of the pie.
  • Crumbly pastry that won’t hold together: Make sure that you measure all of your ingredients carefully. If you have used too much shortening it could make the pastry crumbly. If needed, add more ice water 1 teaspoon at a time.

Hopefully with these suggestions you will make a wonderful pie.  Be careful though when you turn into an expert baker, you may become the designated holiday pie maker!

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Food Preparation, Holiday ideas, recipes