Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More about pastry tools

I've made more pies this year than at any time before in my life. Maybe more than the previous lifetime total. It's the crust. I have a new favorite tool:

it's a really fancy pastry cutter. It's made out of a solid piece of really heavy stainless steel, and the handle is stuck onto the blade with these big screws and rubber gaskets. It cost me a whole $1.99 at Goodwill.

I have another one, the usual sort. Wooden handle, a bunch of curvey wire loops. Also $1.99 at Goodwill. It's perfectly adequate, I recommend one for occasional or desultory pastry-makers, because it beats the heck out of a fork. I almost passed up my fancy one, because I had one of the regular kind already, but I picked it up and went oooOOo...

The handle doesn't swivel, for one thing, so when you're bashing away at a pile of hard butter and flour, the blades never flip out sideways. And the blades are rigid. They don't spread apart, leaving unevenly large chunks of fat. And the solid parts of the blade above the cutters make a nice ergonomic grippy place for your thumb to go.

Since I got this thing last month or so, it has chewed through 2 big batches of chocolate shortbread cookies, and 2 pie crusts with incredible ease. I love it. Now all I need is a french rolling pin. My current one got called out yesterday morning.

"Was your rolling pin part of a broom handle?"  uh, mm-hm. I think Dad made it...

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