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Kitchen & Food Talk

Pie crust with a Kitchenaid Mixer?

Started 1290382944.107 in Kitchen & Food Talk | Last reply 1299922298.093 by Lilysmom

I am considering a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and since I bake a lot of pies I was wondering how you cut the shortening into the flour....I assume the dough hook is used to add the water once the shortening is cut into the flour but not sure which attachment or beater to use to cut the cold shortening into the butter. Thanks for the help...these old shoulders need a little help and I am hoping that this mixer is what I need.

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Jolexi1290383956.317920 PostsRegistered 9/22/2006NYC

Hi Pattylee -

While I'm a huge fan of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer (it is the one item in my kitchen I love especially during the holidays), I personally would not use it to make a pie crust dough. Only because pie dough needs to be cut in, or rubbed in, so that the butter/shortening (or whatever 'fat' you are using) can create those pockets of fat that when they melt, allow their water content to evaporate and make a flaky crust.

That process is not easy to do with the dough hook of the KA Mixer because all it will do is move the butter or shortening around in the flour and not really incorporate it to form those desired 'crumbs'. The only doughs I would make with the mixer would be cookie dough or bread doughs. (Although I personally use the mixer for lots of other things to, but those are just examples of the doughs..). For pie dough, I'd recommend the KA food processor. The blades in the processor do a much better job at cutting the fat into the flour than the mixer would. Hope this helps!

Regards, and happy holidays!

Jolexi

nascar fan1290385239.2731029 PostsRegistered 1/25/2005

i own both the BIg red bowl lift ka mixer & the red k a lg food processor. i am on the decripit side too!lol i have arthritis in my hands and shoulders. the f.p. makes awesome pie crust. short bursts of power to mix the dry stuff, then short bursts of power to mix in ice cold butter or shortening, then ice water till it
clumps, dumb it out and sorta mash it togeather. flatten it into discs, fridge for a bit, then roll it out. does great. never used the mixer for it. hth edited cause of fumble fingers!!lol nascar fan

Last edited on 11/21/2010

Last edited on 11/21/2010

Last edited on 11/21/2010

salty011299717970.9567 PostsRegistered 1/16/2011

Patti; The little book that came with my mixer says to use the flat beater. I tried this for the first time yesterday and was not too successful. I think I overworked the dough. The book says to mix it only about 15 seconds (the flour & fat) I did it much longer thinking I needed to get it to the pea stage before adding the ice water.I quess not. This time I will only do the 15 seconds and this time I will chill the bowl with the flour and fat before I mix it and see how that comes out. Good luck with yours!

10sluvr1299718471.22013 PostsRegistered 12/17/2006

i use my KA food processor and it works great. i never considered my KA stand mixer.

Chicagoan1299724434.6732663 PostsRegistered 6/11/2008CHICAGOLAND

I also noticed that on all the cooking shows, they also use a food processor to make pie crust.

Robin ....

Midlife is the time we begin “to listen with our ♥ heart.”

LindaCinKY1299726814.711106 PostsRegistered 11/25/2009

I have an artisan stand mixer and have used the flat beater to mix oil into my homemade baking mix with great results, but haven't used it with cold butter. It mixes the baking mix faster than I can with a pastry blender. I too have arthritis, so I need that help. :)

gardenman1299760264.40316469 PostsRegistered 6/30/2005Southern New Jersey

Mixers are great for a lot of things, but pie crusts aren't one of the things they're good at. You're better off using a food processor or doing it by hand. If I was going to use a mixer I might try the wire whip as that's the closest attachment to a pastry blender and it might (emphasis on the word might) cut the butter into the flour like a pastry blender would, but I'm not wildly optimistic about how it would work.

When I make a pie crust, I use a food processor fitted with a coarse grating blade and I use frozen butter. I'll put some of the flour/salt into the bottom of the bowl and then grate the frozen butter into the flour then add the remaining flour/salt and shake everything up to coat the butter with the flour before switching to the knife/mixing blade and adding the liquids. That gives me a nice flaky pie crust without a lot of work. (In a perfect world someone would make a grating blade that also had a wire/blade that ran down into the bowl to stir the grated butter and flour together as it was being grated.) You want to be very, very careful not to overprocess the dough. Short pulses are the best. What you're trying to do is coat each piece of butter with flour and then stick those flour-coated pieces of butter together with the liquid. That way when the liquid is baked off you end up with a nice flaky piecrust. If you cut the butter into too small of pieces you lose the flakiness.

Fly! Eagles! Fly!

sfnative1299786116.235265 PostsRegistered 4/23/2007Portland, OR

I would never make a pie crust using a stand mixer. Must be made by hand. A stand mixer will get the glutin going, overmix and heat up the shortening. Rule of thumb is always to make and handle the dough as little as possible.

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Shopper1299787062.597687 PostsRegistered 2/22/2006

Hi Sfnative, me too! Born at the old Mary's Help on Stanyan.

Anyways, food processor for pie crust dough! if you can't make it by hand anymore. After a few go-rounds you'll get used to the quick pulse action. when I make this dough, I pulse in the flour & salt, then drop in chunks of butter and pulse a few times. Then I put everything in a regular bowl and make a well in the center & gently stir in the liquid.

Stand mixer just doesn't work for pie crust no matter what the salespeople say.

Yorkieowner1299787245.04305 PostsRegistered 8/29/2010

I make pizza dough all the time with my KA stand mixer.

Tayler

Shopper1299787391.163687 PostsRegistered 2/22/2006

Yup, I make all other doughs including pasta, cookie, bread, and pizza dough in my KA stand mixer, but not pie dough.

Lilysmom1299922298.072992 PostsRegistered 11/24/2007

Pattylee, I'm with gardenman on this one. I use my food processor also and it makes a beautiful crust, the secret being not to overwork the dough. HTH LM

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