You Gotta Make a Pretzel Pie Crust
As I mentioned earlier , I am a product baker, not a baker. Folding, rolling, chilling and beating rarely offer any kind of catharsis, and making dough is stressful for me. Because of this, I am always looking for light but tasty pie crusts, and the pretzel crust is my new favorite.
As you know, pie season is fast approaching. Getting ready to go to the freezer is definitely a winning strategy, but having a crust recipe that can be cooked and filled in less than an hour is the backup plan we need and deserve the more sluggish of us.
A pretzel is a quick blush, but it’s also a delicious crust perfect for the sweetest, richest toppings. The pretzels are obviously salty, but they are also slightly bitter due to the lye treatment, which gives them a dark, polished crust. These two flavors counterbalance caramel, custard, and molasses cakes, which means your taste doesn’t get oversaturated and you can eat more of the pie .
When it comes to gluten-free foods, I’ve found that pre-packaged gluten-free pretzels are, if anything, even crunchier than their gluten-free counterparts, which is a bonus when you soak the crumbs with butter. You can also swap out the butter for margarine ( it’s my favorite ), making it the perfect crust for gatherings of people with a variety of dietary restrictions (hello holiday parties).
There are many recipes for a crusty pretzel, but I base my pretzel: fat: sugar ratio on David Lebowitz’s recipe because Mr. Lebowitz knows what he’s doing and that ratio has never let me down. If I know I’m going to make a very sweet cake, I use salted butter, and if I want a sweeter crust, I use fried sugar, or even more with dark brown sugar. … For a crust with just three ingredients, this is surprisingly varied. To make it you will need:
- 140 g hard pretzels, preferably the same sticks
- 3 tablespoons white, fried, or brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons ghee or margarine
Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Add pretzel sticks and sugar to a food processor and grind into crumbs. The pretzels should be pretty clipped, and only tiny pieces should be scattered all over the place to remind you that they were once whole pretzels.
Add melted butter and beat until butter is soaked. (If you don’t have a food processor, crush the pretzels in a plastic bag, then pour the butter into the bag and stir, okay who you know.)
Pour the butter crumbs into the center of a lightly buttered 9-inch baking dish, then pat the bunch of crumbs with the palm and heel of your hand until you have an even layer covering the base and sides of the plate. Hold the skillet over your head near a light source to see if there are any gaps. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cake is slightly golden brown. Let cool completely before filling. It can be stored in the fridge five days ahead of time or in the freezer a couple of months, but given how quickly it collects, there is no real reason to do this ahead of time.