Perfect Pie Dough 101 — Lattice Pie Crust

Pie dough laying in a pie plate

With very few ingredients you can make one of America’s most beloved desserts, the pie. We start with the crust, the frame which holds the filling, in this case, white peach and raspberry. It should be tender and flaky, buttery and a lovely compliment to whatever you have put inside. I am forever hunting for what I consider the perfect pie crust. There are as many recipes as there are households. Every family seems to have their own prized recipe. If you are having a tough time recreating your grandmother’s crust, it may not be the fault of the recipe, but the technique you are using. Try following my instructions on how to make this dough, with a lattice pie crust. I got the recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s latest tome Baking: From My Home to Yours.

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How To Make Fondant Flowers

Fondant Decor | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Thank you all for the lovely comments on Claudia’s cake. It was so much fun to make. Now I will show you how to make the flowers. I used rolled fondant, but you can also use pastillage/gum paste, which will dry faster and harder. They are used in exactly the same way, but the pastillage/gum paste can be rolled much thinner and will hold up better.

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How To Make Rolled Fondant

Cake Decorated With Fondant | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

My neighbors Cynthia and Trent asked me to make a cake for their mom’s birthday party. Of course I wanted to do it, but as they described the style of cake she wanted I got downright giddy about it. “Something bright, colorful and wildly whimsical” were the words they used to describe her taste. Immediately I thought fondant! It isn’t my favorite thing in the world to eat, but it allows so much creativity with color, shapes and dimensions that you can’t always get with buttercream or other icings. Not to mention they were driving this cake about an hour away and in the heat of summer fondant is a great traveler.

There are a few things to know about fondant, but it really isn’t difficult to work with. I’m going to show you step by step how I put this cake together. You may want to start with something slightly less over-the-top, but maybe not!

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Come Get Your Hands in a Bucket of Dough!

bret’s table

(Bret, Suvir Saran, Me and some of the wonderful students at the last class we taught at Bret’s Table)

Come to Bret’s Table on June 11th and roll your sleeves up. We’ll be making dough and baking bread. It is a wonderfully intimate kitchen, decked out with great equipment and a glass of wine. Bring your ideas and questions and we’ll tailor the night to what you want to learn. This is the beauty of a class with only 10 students. If you bring your own 6 quart bucket you can fill it with dough to bring home and continue baking. Read More

Baking Bread in Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco in June.

choc bread

(photo of chocolate ganache bread (page 195) by Mark Luinenburg for Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

Jeff and I are heading out on the road in June. We’ll be in Chicago, Seattle and San Fransisco doing demos, teaching classes and baking bread, what we love most. Below is the the itinerary as of now. Our publisher seems to be adding new events all the time so please check back in the next week to see what else they have in store for us. Hope to see you!

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Springtime Crêpes

Springtime Crepes | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

My friend Michelle, pastry chef extraordinaire (more on that later!), and I went to Porter & Frye for a little late night bite to eat. This was a spontaneous get together, a stolen moment between work and mothering. I’ve been wanting to try Porter & Frye because the executive chef, Steven Brown, is my ex-boss and one of the most talented men I have ever had the good fortune to meet. He, unfortunately had already put in his 12 hour day and wasn’t there when we arrived at nearly 10:00pm. But, his sous chef and pastry chef were still working and willing to whip something together for us. Read More