Friday, October 7, 2011

Did someone say pie? Crust baby!

When I die, bury me in a giant pie. That's my motto! That I just made up. Have any of yall have seen "Waitress"? If you are like me, at the end you thought more about all the mouth watering pies than the actual plot. Though Kerry Russel will always have a special place in my heart, given the college years I spent watching Felicity (even post hair cut). Nallion Fillion can do no wrong, and I'll bake him a pie any day, if you know what I'm saying...... I'm saying he is crazy hot.

Regardless everyone should have a solid pie crust recipe in their pocket, because homemade crusts are the best. No store bought variety will compare, and if they do it's likely they are full of chemicals, partially hydrogenated oils, or plain ole expensive. I understand the impulse for pre-made crusts, homemade crusts take a while. Lots of time you don't need to be in the kitchen, but you do need a good 2 + hours to get it done. It's WORTH your effort, trust me. I read a bunch of different recipes, and each one had roughly the same steps. It may seem overboard to chill the dough, roll it out, then chill again, but these steps are vital. Light and flakey crusts happen when the dough and butter are cold when they go in the oven. Skip steps at your own dry brittle crusts risk.

Since I was the only one in the kitchen, I did not get any decent pictures of how to make your pie crust edge fancy. Decorative Pie Crust Edges, has lots of different ideas for crusts, so click on the link to pick your edge. I used the simple fluted pinch edge, but will be trying more in the future. There is a braided edge that looks adorable!

Pie season is upon us. There is no better time to perfect your pie crust. Many pies to come, so stay tuned!

Single-Crust Pie Dough
Adapted from America's Best Test Kitchen
Before being baked
This recipe makes enough for one 9 inch pie crust. For two crusts simply the double recipe. Be sure to have cold butter, freezing it works best, and ice cold water. These are key for a light flakey crust. Do NOT over-mix your dough.
The Goods: 
1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (increase to 1 tablespoon for sweet recipes)
8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled (in freezer if possible)
4-6 tablespoons ice water

The Deal: 
1. Process flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter butter over the top and continue to process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10-15 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula, until the dough comes together. If the dough is still dry, stir in remaining water, one tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Form the dough into a 4 inch disk, wrap tightly in a plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least one hour.
Do not over mix the dough
Label EVERYTHING. Memories fail, sharpies are forever.
At this point the dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for 2 months. Thaw on countertop until malleable before rolling. 

3. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it into a 12-inch circle and fitting onto a pie plate. Trim extra dough with kitchen sheers so there is 1/2 inch edge hanging over the pie plate. Tuck the folded edge underneath itself to form a doubled rim that sits on the lip of the pie plate. Make edge of your choice (see decorative edges above). Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Roll out crust, dots of butter are a good thing
Trim the edge, save left over dough in case you need to patch
pinching the dough
fluted edge :)
4. Be sure your oven rack is at the lower-middle position and heat oven to 375. Cover your pie with aluminum foil, being sure to fully cover the edge of the crust to prevent burning, and fill with pie weights (I used dried beans and rice, pennies work well). Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is light in color, about 25-30 minutes.

5. If you need a partially baked crust (also referred to as blind baking), transfer to a wire rack and remove pie weights and foil. For a fully baked crust, remove pie weights and foil and continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, about 12 minutes longer.

A fully baked pie crust can be stored at room temperature wrapped tightly in foil for up to two days.

No comments:

Post a Comment