I've recovered from early pie-making traumas to make crusts that are both flaky and tender. For me, the key was in the technique—working quickly with cold ingredients, keeping some of the fat in little solid chunks, giving the dough a good rest in the fridge, and handling the dough gently. Maybe it sounds like a long list of things to keep in mind, but I promise it's not complicated. Check out the step-by-step slideshow so you can become a crust-making pro too.
'Technique of the Week' on Serious Eats
Is your ice cream turning out less than silky smooth? Your pudding looking curdled? And your spaghetti carbonara—is it a bit lumpy? Your problem might be in the tempering. Mine was.
This slideshow will take you through the process of achieving perfectly beaten egg whites, from the whole egg to stiff peaks.
I did my best with our family's old hand mixer but always wondered, do they really mean light and fluffy? How could a stick of butter and some sugar ever be anything but thick and heavy?