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Pastry Crust (aka pie crust)

August 23, 2012
Pie Crust

As far as desserts go, I really do love a fresh baked pie. It ranks right up there with fresh baked cookies in my book. Truth be told, I am slightly particular about both and that is probably putting it lightly.

I like my crust to taste of butter, not lard, but to be flaky, melty in your mouthy, and topped with lots of golden baked sugar. The key to accomplishing this is threefold: keep the ingredients cold when making the pastry dough, bake at a high temperature to begin with so the butter bits will burst and make the crust flaky, then of course, use an egg wash and lots of sprinkled sugar before baking. Yum!

I use a food processor to make my pastry dough, but you can also use a pastry cutter in a large mixing bowl to cut in the butter and shortening and then use a fork to mix in the iced water one tablespoon at a time.

Pie Crust

In a food processor, whirl together the flour, sugar, and salt.

Flakey Pie Crust

We want butter flavor and the light fluffiness the vegetable shortening gives, so go one half cup each. Place the measuring cup of vegetable shortening in the freezer while you retrieve all of the other ingredients, this helps to chill it. Dice the butter into 1/4 inch pieces.

Perfect Pie CrustAdd to the flour mixture and pulse 7-10 times until in pea-sized pieces.

Pie Crust

Should look something like this…

Pie CrustWith the food processor running, pour in 1/2 cup ice water (minus the ice, of course!) Let it run for 20-30 seconds until large balls of dough begin to form. You do not want the whole thing to come together in a huge ball. If, after 30 seconds, the dough does not form balls, then add 1-2 tablespoons more of iced water. This may happen if the flour you measured was packed tightly so you ended up with more than 3 cups to begin with. I always fluff my flour with a spoon before I scoop a cup out.

Pie Crust

Like this! It is ready when you pinch the dough and it sticks together.

Pie Crust

Dump on to a floured work surface.

Pie CrustWith hands, work dough together into a ball.

Pie Crust

Form into a flat disk. Work somewhat quickly, as you do not want the butter bits to start melting.

Pie Crust

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Or you can freeze for up to a month. To thaw, refrigerate dough overnight.

Pie CrustAfter dough has chilled, return it to a floured surface and cut in half.

Pie CrustForm a ball with the dough and grab your rolling pin.

How to Make Pie Crust

Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough, turning it as you roll it out. Should be about 15 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.

Make an apple pie. Make a peach galette. Make a pie-doh princess castle. Go hog wild and make all three.

Much love and beautiful flaky pie crust to you, my friend.

Truly,

Amanda

PASTRY CRUST (aka pie crust)
Author: Amanda Wilson
Prep time: 3 mins
Total time: 3 mins
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 4-5 ounces (1/2 cup) ice cold water
Instructions
  1. In a food processor fitted with blade attachment, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Then, add vegetable shortening in spoonfuls and diced butter. Pulse 7-10 times more, until butter and shortening are in pea sized pieces. With the food processor running, pour in the ice cold water and allow it to run just until you notice small balls of dough beginning to form (no more than 20-30 seconds) then turn off. (Note: If you can pinch the balls of dough and they stick together, it is ready.) Add 1-2 more tablespoons of ice water if dough does not start forming balls after 30 seconds. This may happen if flour is packed. You can prevent this by fluffing your flour with a spoon before measuring it.
  2. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and form a disk with the dough using your hands. Do not overwork the dough; you do not want the butter bits to melt. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. (Note: If making ahead, dough may be frozen for up to one month; to thaw, place in refrigerator overnight.)
  3. When you are ready to use the dough, flour your work surface. Cut the disk in half and roll each half into a large ball using your hands. Then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out evenly by turning the dough as you roll it out.
Notes

If you do not have a food processor, you can work the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, then mix in the iced water one tablespoon at a time with a fork.

 

 

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