Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Easy as Pie: Simple, Quick and Delicious Pie Crust

To make a great pie, you need a great pie crust. Pie crust is easy. There is a simple ratio to making pie crust and you adapt it anyway you want. Just remember this, the more short the pie crust is (that is the more the fat to starch ratio and the bigger the pieces of fat) the more flaky the crust. Also, the less water, the more tender the crust. The perfect ratio is of fat to starch is a 1 to 2 ratio. However much crust you want to make use one part fat to two parts starch and just enough water to bring the dough together and make it easy to roll out. For my pies I unsalted butter and all purpose flour. I don't have unsalted butter, omit any salt. I also use ice water. The ice water keeps the fat globules form melting into the flour. Also, I use the old fashioned pastry cutter method to cut the fat into the flour because I think a food processor mixes the dough to much. Remember it is those fat globules that are going to melt in the oven and give you a crispy, tender, and flaky crust so you want nice little pieces of fat covered with flour--this is what you are shooting for. Also, if you don't have a pastry cloth and stocking for your rolling pin, you should definitely invest in one. It makes rolling out the dough and transferring it to the pie plate so much easier.

Here is the recipe for the single 9 inch crust I used for my peach crumb pie.

Pie Crust

1/2 cup of flour
1/4 cup of unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
ice water

Mix flour and salt together. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter until it is crumbly and about the size of dried navy beans. Add ice water (about 3 T to start) and mix the flour mixture together with a fork until the dough just comes together and can be rolled out. Place dough on a floured pastry cloth and shape into a disk. Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin into a circle just larger than the pie pan. Dust the dough with flour, flip it in half by folding over the pastry cloth. Dust underside of dough with flour and flip again folding dough into a quarters. Slide dough from cloth into pie pan. Press around the edge, and trim edge to about a an inch below outside of pie pan. Fold dough under around edge of pie pan and crimp with floured fingers.


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1 comment:

Sylvia said...

You absolutly right, old fashioned pastry cutter is better than food processor,is a hard process, but the result is better. So I am searching for a good crust for my pies and tart, I will try your recipe and tell you