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Pie Crust-- how do you really make it?

After spending hours making homemade mincemeat (which is great, if anyone happens to be interested I have the recipe), the most annoying thing is to end up with a pie crust that's brittle and just falls apart even before baking. I've tried recipes with the typical flour, butter, ice-water, Crisco in different proportions, and unless I'm doing something terribly wrong, the dough just never has a good consistency.

One thing that occurs to me is that maybe I should try something with lard, of course in the current animal fat-phobic environment that's hard to find. In any case, any ideas or links would be much appreciated.

Nov 24, 2011
albatrosspro in Home Cooking

Cast Iron Dutch Ovens - which brand best?

Lots of great ideas here, I wonder if someone can bear with me and give me their thoughts (yes, I realize this thread has been asleep for 9 months)...

I've been trying to decide on a Dutch oven for a while now. At first, I was thinking Le creuset/Staub, until someone recently suggested a corningware product-- you know, the glass/ceramic casserole type dishes that are super durable, etc. I realize that's not a Dutch oven per se, but it would probably do the trick for me. Now, reading this, I wonder if I should go non enameled cast iron.

One question that I have that doesn't seem to be addressed, though, is heat conductivity, and heat properties in general. What would be the advantages/disadvantages of enameled, non-enameled cast iron, or cornigware (if you're familiar with that)? Should I be looking for a good insulator in addition to just a good conductor? Generally speaking, what heat characteristics do you look for when you assess a Dutch oven as a cooking vessel?

Sep 29, 2011
albatrosspro in Cookware