Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Crust

It's been a LONG time since I have made a pie crust.  So I was a little worried.  But this came together beautifully and tasted great.  And as I mentioned in the Cran/Blue Pie Post it still tasted great three days after baking it.  Don't be afraid!  It was well worth the effort.

Bon Apetit November 2011

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup frozen non-hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces (I find the Crisco that comes in sticks much easier to work with)
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Cube the butter and the shortening and spread onto a plate - pop it in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour.  This will help keep the butter and shortening from melting as you pulse it in the food processor.  Butter and shortening chunks in the crust are what make it nice and flakey.  You want to see chunks!

Blend flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.

Add the frozen butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the "coarse meal stage."  Just remember you want to see small chunks.  and by small I mean about the size of a pea.

Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add 5 tablespoons ice water and mix with fork (or a pastry blender if you have one - I don't so I asked Santa for one) until moist crumbs form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dry.  I found that I needed to add about 5 more tablespoons of ice water by the time it would hold together.

Gather dough together and divide into two equal pieces. Form each piece into ball.  Flatten the dough balls into disks and wrap in plastic.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.  You can make them up to three days before you will need the pie dough and keep the disks in the fridge.  Let the dough soften slightly before you roll it out.  I find that it is easiest to roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper.  That way I don't add any extra flour to the crust.  It makes enough for one double crust pie, one lattice topped pie or two single crust pies.  Good luck!

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