November 3, 2011


Whenever I eat a slice of Pie and the Pie Crust is dry and brittle and hard, it doesn't matter how good the Pie filling is, I don't want to finish it.  If a Pie Crust is flaky and tender with lots of Buttery flavor then that's the Pie I want to eat.  The secret to any flaky delicious Pie Crust is very cold Pastry Dough.  The Butter must stay cold until the second it hits the oven because it is the steam from the cold Butter that will cause the Crust to be Flaky and delicious.
This recipe is for a double 9 inch Pie Crust and uses a food processor.  You can also use a Pastry blender by hand as long as you follow the rule of keeping the Butter cold and not allowing the Butter to be broken down too small.  ALWAYS keep the Butter cold and in big pieces that you can see.  That is where the flavor is and Pie Crust perfection that follows.  And where there is flavor there is always Cooking the Amazing!

Here is the recipe.

2 1/2 c  All Purpose Flour
3/4 t  Fine Grain Sea Salt
3 t  Sugar (for Sweet Crust)
1/2 t  Sugar (for Savory Crust)
2 Sticks Frozen Butter, No-Salt
1/2 c Water with Ice Cubes Added

1 Egg (For Egg Wash)
1 T Water
Sugar To Sprinkle

1.  Prepare ahead.  This Pie Crust is easy to make when you use your food processor and takes about 5 minutes to make the Dough.  The Dough must be very cold when you bake it to get it to be flaky and tender.  Freeze the Butter ahead of time and take it out at the last minute.  Work the Dough in a cool area if possible.  If the Butter melts the Pie Crust will be less flaky.  Pour 1/2 c Water into a measuring cup then add 4-5 ice cubes and place in the freezer 5 minutes before needed.

2.  In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment put 2 1/2 c All Purpose Flour, 3/4 t  fine grain Sea Salt and 3 t Sugar.  Use 1/2 t of Sugar if you are making a savory dish like a Pot Pie or 3 t if you are making a sweet dish like Pumpkin Pie.  Pulse 10 times to combine well.
3.  Remove the Butter from the Freezer and cut each stick into small approximately 1/2 inch cubes using a sharp large knife.  Be careful because frozen Butter is hard to cut.  Take your time.  Place Butter cubes back into the freezer for 3 minutes until very cold again.  Remove from the freezer and place directly into the food processor over Flour mixture and pulse 6 times for 1 second each pulse.  Don't be tempted to pulse more.
4.  The Flour Butter mixture should look like there are small lumps in it and look coarse.
5.  Remove the Ice Water from the freezer and take out the Ice cubes.  Pour the cold Water through the shoot on top.  At the same time pulse for approximately 10-15 times 1 second each pulse.  The Dough will look coarse and like picture below.  You should be able to pinch a small amount and it holds together with your fingers.  If not, add 1 T more of Ice Water and pulse 1-2 seconds more.  Repeating this as needed until it does pinch together and hold.
 6.  Pour out the Dough mixture onto a lightly Floured surface and mound together pressing with both hands and gathering into one large lump.  It will be crumbly and will be loose in areas.  It won't look right, but it is.  You should see Butter pieces in the Dough.  This should take about 15 seconds.  If it looks like the Butter in the Dough is melting place it in the freezer for 5 minutes and then remove and begin where you left off.  (Warm melted Butter leads to an unflaky crust.)
 7.  Once in a big lump, cut in half.  Mold each half into a flat disc about 5 inches across using your hands and fingers (takes about 10 secs.) and wrap tight with plastic wrap.  If you plan on using the Dough today refrigerate for 2 hours before using.  Or freeze in a freezer bag over the plastic wrap for up to 60 days.  Thaw over night in the refrigerator before using for frozen Dough.
 8.  When ready to roll out your Pie Crust and use it, remove from the refrigerator and place the cold disc of Dough on a lightly Floured surface.  Roll with a lightly Floured rolling pin in one direction turning the Dough a quarter turn with each pass of the rolling pin.  DO NOT STRETCH THE DOUGH which will cause shrinkage of your Crust during baking.  Be gentle and keep it Floured to move it easily at all times.  Roll out in a rough circle approximately 1/8 th inch thick.  You want it about 2 inches larger than your Pie pan's top.  It is ok if the edges are rough as long as it is larger than your Pie pan and can overlap by 3 inches.  For a 9 inch Pie roll out at least 11 inches diameter.  Brush off excess Flour before placing the Dough onto the Pie Pan to shape.
  9.  Use your rolling pin to roll up the Pie Dough at one end.  Placing it on the edge of one end of the Pie pan and roll it out.  Adjust the Dough so it covers the entire Pie pan with overlap.  Allow the dough to fall into the well of the Pie Pan and gently press it in to form the shape of the pan.  Don't press too hard and DO NOT STRETCH IT.  If it tears or cracks do not worry.  Pinch or press together any tears in the Dough with your fingers to repair.  Use your thumb and forefinger to crimp the edge of the Dough and the forefinger of your other hand to make an indention in the crimp for the edges.   Use a fork to dock the bottom Crust so it won't puff up when baking.   Refrigerate the shaped Crust for 40 minutes before baking.  This helps the Dough relax and reduces shrinking.

 10. SINGLE CRUST PIE:  Blind bake the crust by placing a sheet of aluminum foil in the well of the cold Pie Crust after docking the bottom with a fork,  Add uncooked dried Beans as a weight.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and remove the foil and dried Beans (save dried Beans to use again for another Pie Crust over and over).  Prick the sides and bottom again with a fork if any puffiness is noted and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.  Remove and brush the entire Crust with 1 Egg beaten with 1 T Water.  Sprinkle with Sugar all over and bake continue to bake at 450 until golden brown, about 4-7 more minutes.  Watch it closely, ovens vary so yours may brown sooner.  Remove and allow to cool before using in a recipe.  Follow your recipe's directions and bake with the filling from your recipe but cover the crimped Crust edges with a ring of aluminum foil to prevent a burnt or dark edges.   Use this for my delicious recipe for Pumpkin Pie.
 11.  DOUBLE CRUST PIE:  If you are using a top and bottom Crust Pie, fill your Pie with filling after the bottom Pie Crust is in place then place the top Crust over the filling and crimp edges of the bottom and top Crust together.  Cut 4 vent slits in the center of the top crust.   The last 20 minutes of baking: Beat 1 Egg with 1 T Water with a fork and brush the entire top surface with the Egg wash.  If it is a sweet Pie you are baking, sprinkle with Sugar.   Bake as directed by your recipe at whatever oven temperature is called for.  To prevent the edges from browning faster than the rest of the Pie, cover the crimped edges with a ring of aluminum foil during baking, leaving the center Pie Crust exposed, until the last 15 minutes and remove the aluminum foil ring and finish baking as directed by your recipe.

TIP:  Use left over Pie Crust Dough to make decorative leaves by cutting out a leaf shape with a small knife and using the back of the knife to make the leaf veins as in the main picture at the top.

Click here for my amazing Pumpkin Pie recipe.

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1 comment:

Plastic cards said...

Great site..will forward to my sister.