November 26, 2013

TASTE: The Perfect Pie Crust

Perfect Pie Crust.
I just had to share this before we are all in the swing of holiday baking later this week. I made a pie crust last week (to make with this quiche) and I couldn't believe how incredibly easy it was. Why haven't I been doing this all my life? Please, this year, promise me that you will resist the temptation to pick up a few pre-packaged crusts from the frozen food section.


Tools:
- Food Processor (mine is a 3-cup and can totally manage this recipe)
- Rolling pin
- Clean counter-top surface or wooden cutting board

Ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups flour (plus extra for rolling)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of very cold butter (almost frozen, seriously)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 6-8 tbps. ice water


Method:
Note: This recipe makes a bottom and top crust combination. If you only need a bottom crust and are leaving your pie/quiche, etc. open on top, you can cut this recipe in half or freeze your dough.
1. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix the ingredients.

2. Chop up the really cold/frozen butter into, roughly, 1-tbsp. sections.

3. This is the fun part! Add the butter to the food processor and pulse about 8 times. This part always fascinates me, because it completely transforms the consistency! Keep pulsing until the mixture is coarse and the butter is scattered throughout.

4. Begin adding 1 tbsp. of ice water at a time, pulsing the mixture, then adding another tbsp. Keep doing this until the mixture begins to form a crumbly dough. A good test: if you you pinch some of the dough, it should stick together. If it doesn't, add a bit more water and pulse. You don't want to add too much water because it will make the dough tough to work with.

5. Remove dough from the processor and transfer to your clean surface (preferably a pastry board like this or this, but we can't all be so lucky, huh?)

6. Begin by mashing the dough up a bit. This is not only a therapeutic moment, but it actually helps the dough layers flatten (resulting in a flaky crust, mmm!)

7. Roll the dough with your hands until it forms a round mound. Using a large knife, cut the dough in half. Now you have two parts, one for the top crust and one for the bottom. Wrap each mound in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Note: If you only need one crust for your recipe, you can refrigerate the second mound of dough for up to 2 days. Or you can freeze it for up to a month.

8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes (this allows it to soften a bit.) Flour your rolling pin and pastry board or clean surface and begin rolling the dough out. You want to roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. If the dough is sticking a bit, just keep adding flour to the surface.

9. Carefully lift the rolled dough and place in a 9-inch pie pan. Using your fingers, gently press the dough into the pan. Trim the edges with kitchen shears. I like to use the excess dough to make designs on the crust with these cookie cutters. So festive.

10. Add pie filling.

11. Repeat step 9 with the second mound of dough. Leave a little extra dough around the edge of the top layer and press into the bottom layer around the edges. You can use your fingers or a fork. Make 4 2-inch cuts in the top layer of dough to allow steam to escape while the pie cooks.

Voila! Ready for baking!

I guarantee that you will be so pleased with the ease and TASTE of this dough that you will never go back to the store-bought stuff again! And your family will get a big kick out of your homemade handiwork (they don't have to know how easy and fun it is; that will just be our little secret!)

2 comments:

  1. Great tip! I avoid making a pie crust with everything in me! :) Thanks for sharing!
    Hope
    hchdesigns.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete