Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Favorite Pie Crust

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Source: Piece of Cake


My Favorite Pie Crust
Adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

This recipes makes two crusts, enough for a double-crust pie. If you need just one pie shell, halve the amounts. I make this in a food processor, but you could also do it by hand with a pastry cutter and grating frozen sticks of butter with the large holes of a box grater right into the dries. Put your flour in the freezer for 30 minutes, keep the butter in the fridge until right before you use it and use ice water--cold ingredients are key here. For a savory crust, I include the smaller amount of sugar as listed here--it's great for flavor and browning. For sweet pies, you can add more as you like, up to 2 tablespoons.

Makes enough dough for 1 double-crusted pie or 2 single, 10-inch crusts

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons sugar (see note)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)
1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pulse a few times to blend. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse until the butter is the size of large peas.

Add 6 tablespoons of the water and pulse until the dough just begins to form a ball (you may need to add up to 2 tablespoons more of the ice water). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough in half, and gently pat each half into a disc. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

After you roll out the crust and place it in the desired pan, let it chill for 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator before baking to prevent shrinking.

To prebake or blind bake this crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the pie shell with parchment or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 25-30 minutes covered, then remove the pie weights and liner and bake until lightly golden, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.