Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Remarkable flaky pie crust

I posted a recipe for a totally amazing pie crust last year, and while it was good, it wasn't quite right.

I'd done part of it from memory and part from a scribbled note I'd made at the time, which I totally, ummm, screwed up.

I found the correct recipe last week. 

The whole recipe this time, and I made it and then proceeded to bake two pumpkin pies.   I also had some dough left over which I had fun with.  I'll tell you about that one later on.

I have to say, this is fiddly.   But worth it.   And only three ingredients to worry about.   Just make sure your butter is cold.  And if you happen to have a marble or stainless steel counter or work area, go for it.   I also place a bowl of ice on the stainless top of my little island.  You also need some kind of scraper to get the dough off of the counter.   I used my off-set spatula along with a dough scraper. 

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting.
8 oz. cold salted butter, cut up into chunks
1/4 cup ice water

To start with, measure out the flour and dump it in the middle of your counter or your pastry sheet.   Then place the cut up butter on top, and toss them together until the butter is covered with flour.

(this does get a little messy).   Then using your fingers or the heel of your hand or your rolling pin, press the butter into the flour and roll it.
You'll get long streaks of butter here, then use the dough scraper and scrape the dough together into a rough pile, use your rolling pin and roll it out again, repeat this a couple of times, then make a well in the middle of the dough pile and add the ice cold water.

Work the water into the flour/butter mixture and then roll it together one more time.      
Sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto the counter/ pastry sheet you are using.  Then,  roll into a rough rectangle,

and then fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.  Turn this 90 degrees and roll out again, forming a rectangle.  Repeat the folding and rolling twice more.  The dough will have come together beautifully by now.

Form into a rough disc and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  This gives the flour time to relax, and cool down.   Divide it into two pieces at this point, cause it does make two crusts. 
Trust me on this, it's a lot easier to roll out each piece, rather then fight with one big one.

After the final roll out, form it into a nice round and roll it over the rolling pin,

then transfer the pastry sheet to the pan, draping it in the middle.
Fill with your favourite filling, in this case it was pumpkin pie.   And bake. 
And this dough also lends itself well to make lattices for the top of the pie.  I haven't done that in forever, but I think it's time to give it a try.  It's kinda hard to overwork this dough, really.   
You can make up a couple of batches of this pie crust and freeze it for later on.  And I just got a great tip the other day, a friend said her grandmother would roll out her pie crusts, then freeze it flat, and that way she could whip up a pie in no time at all.   I'm going to be a copy cat and try that myself, just as soon as I get couple of things out of the freezer, and make room for more stuff.    

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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