Would you thaw and reshape Whole Foods' frozen pie crust?
September 21, 2019 1:11 PM   Subscribe

I am in a pinch and am considering thawing two Whole Foods pie crusts, smushing them into a ball, then rolling the dough into a circle big enough to fit my tart tin (which has a removable bottom.) The diameter of the tart tin is larger than that of the original pie shell. Experienced culinary kludgers: what would you do? I don't have a food processor and don't have time and space to make a tart shell from scratch.
posted by Morpeth to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have done this with Trader Joe’s frozen pre-rolled pie crusts, then baked in a glass pie plate, and the results were acceptable. The pastry probably wasn’t as flaky and a bit tougher but it’s the bottom of a delicious pie so nobody seemed to care much.
posted by holyrood at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I've had a similar experience- seemed slightly tougher than I would have preferred but not unpleasantly so. I think you should go for it- unless the focus of the tart is 100% the crust, most people won't even think about the crust aside from the substance that supports the good filling!
posted by Secretariat at 1:20 PM on September 21, 2019

And I honestly have no idea if it was tougher because it was a store bought crust that had been in the freezer forever rather than one I'd just made, or because of the extra handling required to combine it.
posted by Secretariat at 1:21 PM on September 21, 2019

I think you’ll be fine but if you’re concerned that the crust will get tough from the extra handling, just thaw the crusts and cut them into pieces that you can patchwork in. If the focus is the crust it might look kind of ridiculous. But if the crust doesn’t really show it shouldn’t matter.
posted by corey flood at 1:25 PM on September 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I would not do that if there were any other option, personally. I know you said that you don’t have time to make your own tart crust, but this technique takes hardly any time and has never failed for me. Forgive me; I’m on my phone and can’t insert a proper link: here
posted by la glaneuse at 1:27 PM on September 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I have used thawed frozen pie crust in similar tart tins. I typically use one crust thawed use as is, gently molding into the tin. Cut strips from the second crust, attach using beaten eggs or water to form the sides of the tart shell.
Reworking to a ball reduces the flaky texture considerably.
posted by jennstra at 1:27 PM on September 21, 2019 [9 favorites]

I would never do this because a tart crust is distinct from a pie crust, and you're just going to make the crust chewy and tough by re-rolling them. I'd suggest making this tart dough, which takes 15 minutes and requires just an oven and a spoon, and is my go-to simple tart dough recipe.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 1:38 PM on September 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Preheating oven now and following jennstra's lead into the unknown world of pie shell hacking!
posted by Morpeth at 1:44 PM on September 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

For posterity:

I haven't tried it with pre-frozen crusts, but in similar siutations I've layered two too-small crusts on top of each other and rolled them into a single, larger crust. Laminating the dough in this way seems to have less of a negative impact on their texture than balling up and re-rolling, especially if there's a layered structure in there already. Brush off as much flour as possible from the surfaces that will make contact.
posted by pullayup at 2:23 PM on September 21, 2019 [10 favorites]

Make this super easy no-roll French Tart Dough from David Leibovitz. Seriously, all you need is an ovenproof bowl, and then you pat the resulting dough straight into the tart pan with fingers.
Edit: Fidel Cashflow beat me to it. GMTA!
posted by Champagne Supernova at 2:36 PM on September 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

Thanks for all the links to the easy homegrown versions--I will explore them when time and focus allow. In the meantime, I'm happy to report that jennstra's method works very well. The second shell provided great reinforcement, and I was able to line the (generously buttered) tart tin without having to work the dough at all. When cooked, the apple tart's crust was slightly tough, but no one seemed to mind, especially as we ate it with lashings of fiore di latti gelato. Here's a picture.
posted by Morpeth at 1:50 PM on September 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

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