Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pie Crust

 This recipe is a great crust recipe, it is very flaky and easy to make. You can use all butter, shortening, lard or a combination of butter and shortening, depending on your needs and wants. Sugar can also be added depending on you wants. There are lots of *tricks for making pie crust and I will list some at the end. The best advice is to practice. This recipe is for a double-crust pie but, hey if you are not making a double-crust pie, use it for two single-crust pies. You can never have enough pie, at least not at our house!

2 ⅔ cups all- purpose flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, shortening, lard or a combination of butter and shortening as long as it equals 1 cup ( I like ¾ shortening with ¼ butter. I have also had desperate times when I used margarine and it worked fine)
½ cup cold water

Makes one 9-inch pie

Sift together flour and salt, cut in butter (or whatever fat you are using) with pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture resembles small peas.

Drizzle water over flour mixture a tablespoon at a time. Using a table fork, blend the water with the flour mixture and continue adding water just until it holds together when you press together to make a ball. The dough should be evenly moist, Not Wet.

Turn dough out on a lightly flour surface. Make the dough into a ball, then divide the dough in to 2 equal pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the frig for 20 minutes.

Leaving one ball of dough in the frig, take the other ball of dough out of the frig, unwrap and place on a lightly floured surface. If dough is too cold let it rest for 5 minutes. Lightly scatter top of dough with flour. Press dough with rolling pin to form an X and continue rolling out, making sure to roll from all directions, to about a 13 inch circle, about ⅛ inch thick for a 9 inch pie pan.

To move the dough to the pan, place rolling pin in center of the dough and fold dough over the rolling pin, gently lift and center dough over the pie pan, unfold the dough evenly in pan without stretching the dough. Press the dough to the bottom and sides of pan. Trim over hang to about 1to 2 inch overhang.

If making a single crusted pie trim dough to 1 inch overhang, tuck under overhang and then flute the edges, fill and bake as called for in recipe.

For double crusted pie, roll out the second ball of dough the same as the first except only rolling to a 11 to 12-inch circle, then cut vents in it using a knife or small cookie cutter. Fill bottom crust, gentle place top crust to pie using the same method as used for the bottom crust, making sure to center the crust over the pie. Trim edge to make it even with the bottom crust, tuck both top and bottom under and flute, then finish and bake according to recipe.

*Just a few Hints -
Cold is important when making a god crust. Any fat you are working with should be cold, even shortening or lard.
For good cold water, fill a cup with ice then add water, use the water for the crust, adding it to the crust 1 tablespoon at a time.
Use your hands to touch the dough as little as possible. Warm hands brake-down the fat in the crust.
To repair tear in the crust - A tear in the dough is pretty normal and rich dough is more likely to get a tear. Just use a little cold water, either using a pastry rush or your finger dab or brush cold water and moisten the area and gentle reconnect the break or add a small piece of dough and press it gently into place stretching as little as possible.

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