Since the last post, I've been trying out many things from the UPN clone to the Keste Clone. During that time, I also ditched my homemade sourdough starter for an Ischia starter. That made a big difference, my old starter would always make a very sour and gummy dough no matter how young the leaven or little of it I use. I guess it was too acidic (I tried many different temperatures, hydration, etc). The Ischia starter was INCREDIBLE. On my first go, it produced astonishing, to me, pies. The flavor was more complex than my old starter and just had a hint of sour. The texture was as many on the forum described about Ischia pies: very tender melt in your mouth, very thin crispy skin, very open crumb. The leoparding was great also. The oven also has gotten a lot better. I baked at higher temperatures (940F-970F) and didn't burn the bottoms at all. The cake yeast based pies were equally if not more tender (even after they have cooled down). However, they did not exhibit the same leoparding and did not have that thin, crispy crust.
I think I have settled down on 2 ways of making pies:
Cake Yeast: 58% hydration, 2.8% salt, peppercorn sized fresh yeast (I don't have a scale that can measure that small an amount), 24 hr bulk between 68F-74F, 8 hr balled between 68F-77F.
Ischia: 59% hydration, 3% salt, 1% Ischia, 24 hr bulk at 65F, 8 hr balled between 68-77F.