Thursday, November 20, 2008

Homemade Pie Crust

(Sometimes referred to as Pâté Brisée though that actually requires butter - here I use shortening instead)

The #1 secret I can pass on for a perfect flaky pie crust is COLD COLD COLD ingredients! Plan ahead and freeze your flour, freeze your shortening, use iced down cold cold water and chill the dough ball at least an hour before rolling it out.

Single Pie Crust
Posted at

1 1/2 cups of White Lily all purpose flour, frozen
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of Crisco shortening, frozen
4 to 8 tablespoons of iced water

Double Pie Crust
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2 cups of White Lily all purpose flour, frozen
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup of Crisco shortening, frozen
5 to 10 tablespoons of iced water

*Using the regular steel blade, place the flour, shortening and salt in food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until it looks like coarse oatmeal. With machine running slowly begin to add water in a steady stream through the tube, just until dough begins to gather around the blade, about 10 seconds but never more than 30 seconds – you don’t want to overprocess. You may not need all of the water – you don’t want your dough to be wet or sticky to the touch. The dough should hold together when squeezed. If your dough is crumbly, it needs more water; add in a tablespoon at a time.

Remove from the machine, make a ball and then press into a thick disc – like a giant burger. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour before rolling out. Can also be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge till needed.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface using a light forward motion only (don’t rock the rolling pin back and forth - roll only in one direction) but periodically lift and turn the dough to prevent sticking and to keep it circular in shape. Add a bit more flour to the surface if necessary. Roll out to about 2 inches larger than the pie plate, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Gently fold dough over to make it easier to transport to the pie plate. Position and unfold, carefully molding from the inside of the pie plate to the edges. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears and either flute the edges by using the forefinger of one hand and pinching the dough next to it between your forefinger and thumb of the other hand and continuing around the crust, or simply take the rolling pin and roll firmly across the top to trim. Finish as directed (to prebake or not).

If your pie requires a prebaked crust, dock the crust before baking using the tines of a fork to poke holes all around the bottom of the crust. This will prevent the crust from bubbling.

* If you don’t have a food processor, combine the flour and salt and use a pastry blender to cut in the shortening. Then drizzle in the water stirring with a fork.


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