Pastry Forks

Are Pastry Forks Worth the Money?

Pastry fork (left) has much wider tines than regular dinner fork (right).

Pastry fork (left) has much wider tines than regular dinner fork (right).

Several weeks ago at Pie Camp, the question came up about pastry forks. Yes? No? Worth the money? A camper had seen them on a website and wondered. Truthfully I never had used one so I couldn’t help out and, out of the 16 campers, no one had used one either. But, I know my curiosity was peaked and I really wanted to know.

I decided to ask my friend and “brother” pie maker, Ken Haedrich, if he had any experience with them, so I shot him off an email right away.

Hi Ken, Does a regular old fork work just as well as a pastry fork?  Or, is it really worth the money? 

Ken was quick to reply:

Actually, I’m quite fond of this pastry fork. 

  • First, I have big hands, so it fits nicely.
  • Second, there is enough space between the tines that your mixture actually travels through them, resulting – I think – in more even mixing. 
  • Third, it just feels right, like you’re more in control of the process.”
Sounded good. I figured that sooner or later, I would order one up.

Bought One to Try

A few days later, my dear friend Kelly came out for an afternoon visit. She had heard about Swain’s, our general store, and really wanted to pay a visit. Port Angeles is small enough and far enough away from major shopping centers with big box stores—knock on wood—that we still have a general store very well supported by the grateful community that frequents it. The word around town is that Swain’s has everything and if they don’t have it, you probably don’t need it!
We got to the kitchen aisle where there are pots and pans, cast iron cook wear, enameled speckle wear, dishes, glass wear, Polish pottery, and gadgets galor that you might need in a kitchen to outfit a kitchen. Low and behold, I saw a pastry fork. If Swain’s had it, I guess I needed it.  So, I took it off the shelf, carried it to the front of the store, and put it on the counter at check out along with the shoes and socks Kelly had picked up for her husband.

The Verdict

A few days later I tried it and since then I’ve made a few pastry doughs with it. The verdict?  I like it especially when mixing water into the dough. Of course in truth, for pastry making, just about any fork will do, and clean and cool hands are still my preferred tools, but for the sake of continuing to learn about pie, I think picking up the pastry fork to try was a good thing to do and I will probably use it some. Do you use one?
Oh, one more thing….for those who love Fiestaware, Swain’s has the biggest offering of it I’ve seen!

 

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Comments

  1. Gary Bates says

    I have had one of these forks for a couple of years now and really like it for the reasons that Ken pointed out. Also, I have always used a pastry blender to work in the fat (don’t know why, but I do not like working the fat with my hands) and find that the fork allows me to fluff the mixture after blending and if needed, I can use the fork to break down larger pieces of fat without breaking them down too finely.

  2. says

    Plus, it looks pretty. I really like the shape of it. Thanks for sharing this information, too. I didn’t know there was a pastry fork for the actual prep time, always thought it was a dessert-themed style of cutlery.

    Hugs!

  3. Linda Freyberg says

    Hi Kate,
    I just made some pies today and used a meat fork. Looks to be about the same as the pastry fork. I think you told us King Arthur’s site sells them for $6.95, correct? Not a huge expenditure to experiment, hm?
    On another note, I continue to rave about your Pie Camp to anyone who cares to listen to me. I think I have recruited at least one gal for your fall Camp. After my pie experience today, I could probably use a refresher course. :)
    Blessings to you and your fam!

    • says

      Hi Linda- I think that’s where the whole conversation started with someone at Pie Camp mentioning them being on the KAF site. My local store had them for about the same price. I’d love to have you and any of your friends at Pie Camp. We sure do have fun while making pies!

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