Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crusty Trials and Tribulations

Ranking right up there with my biscuit-making failures are pie crust debacles.  Making pie crust has caused me to wring my hands, throw my hands up in disgust, and use my hands to fling the dough across the room. 

I have the utmost respect for pastry chefs.  Pastry dough is so temperamental - can't be too warm, can't be too cold, can't be this and can't be that.  Good heavens, can there be clouds in the sky?  This is why, when I made this recipe and it actually rolled out nicely and tasted good, I have stuck with it.

Whenever I have veered off this buttery course, I have encountered the dreaded loathsome result.  And, as you can see from yesterday's post, I still don't have a picturesque crust.  Yes, I am no Martha, who, by the way, began her foray into food by selling apple pies, but this crust tastes good and has a nice consistency.  If you have had similar hair-pulling experiences with pie dough, give this one a try and let me know how it turns out.

Butter Pie Crust Dough
(Bon Appetit, November 2003)

For a double-crust pie, double the ingredients, divide the dough in half, and form two disks.

1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C (1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 T (or more) ice water

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor.  Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until coarse meal forms.  Add 3 tablespoons water.  Using on/off turns, blend just until moist clumps form, adding more water by 1/2 tablespoonfuls if dough is dry.  Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk.  Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 1 hour.  (Can be made 2 days ahead.  Keep chilled.  Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

My list of pie crust don'ts:
  • Don't over mix it.  You want to see flecks of butter in the dough when you roll it out.
  • Don't over handle it.  Warm hands are lethal to pastry. 
  • Don't use anything but really cold butter and ice water. 
  • Don't stretch it when putting it in the pie plate or over the filling.  This causes it to shrink.
  • Don't give up!

1 comment:

  1. mbjgilzean@gmail.comJuly 9, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    I didn't think you could make pie crust with butter. My mother always used lard. I have used crisco but for the last ----years have opted for the refrigerator pie crust.