Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MASTER PIE CRUST

For those of you who have trouble with pie crust, here is a recipe that always turn out well.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (personally, my favorite is Crisco for pie crust)
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. kosher salt

 Process the flour, butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, and salt in a food processor until butter resembles tiny pebbles, about 25 seconds.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Gradually add 3/4 cup ice water, using a fork to stir until dough is a mixture of clumpy wet pieces and sandier pieces, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if dry.  Press plactic wrap over surface of dough.  Chill in the bowl at least 1 hour or overnight.

Divide dough in half.  Platten each half into a disk.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk into a 13 to 14-inch round.  Roll over rolling pin and transfer to the pie dish.  Pick up the edges and allow dough to slump inside the dish.  Trim, leaving about 1-inch overhang.  (For single-crust pie, fold overhang under and crimp edges).  Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

For filled pie, follow pie recipe instructions for baking.

For a baked empty crust preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prick the chilled crust in pie dish all over with a fork.  Line crust with foil or parchment paper.  Fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake 25 minutes.  Remove from oven; lift out foil and weights.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Return crust to oven and bake, using fork to prick any bubbles that have formed and pressing back down with the back of fork, until the crust is a golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes longer.  Let the crust cool completely before adding any filling.

Yield: 2 crust = 1 filled pie or two unbaked pie shells.

Note: File Photo

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