Saturday, May 5, 2012

Domesticity Log, no. 9 | A Go-To Pie Crust Recipe



Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoon for sweet recipe)
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp ice water
Instructions
  1. Place cut up stick of butter in the freezer for at least 15 minutes, so it's thoroughly chilled.
  2. In a food processor, combine flour, salt, sugar, and pulse to mix.  Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles course meal, with pea size pieces of butter.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture begins to clump together.  If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready; if not, add a little more water and pulse again.
  3. Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface.  Carefully shape into a disc.  Do not over-knead the dough.  You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough (these will make the dough flaky!).  Sprinkle the disc with flour on all sides.  Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Before this recipe, I was in a sad state, or, often, a panicked, irate state (see: Thanksgiving morning, 2010, struggling with a pumpkin pie crust to take to my mother-in-law).  Crusts were either too sticky, or too unyielding, too tasteless, too brick-like.  I was at the end of my rope, really, when this recipe came to me, via Simply Recipes of all places.  I use it for everything now, sweet or savory, galette or popover.

Of course, as you can plainly see from the above photos, I have yet to master the art of a picturesque pie crust.  Though, truthfully, I'm not sure I care to work on that skill to any degree.  The pies always taste good enough.  And I kind of like to think that this is what my children and grandchildren will affectionately remember about me: "Remember those pies Mom used to make?  Remember how ugly they were?"
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