Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pie Crust

I have always had a hard time getting pie crusts just right. My first Thanksgiving that I did not go to my mother's house I tried to make pies, and failed! I made three batches of pie crust and ruined every one of them. I have finally found a recipe that works well and I find pretty easy. My sister gave this recipe to me last year.
Easy Pie Crust (for a 2-crust pie)
2 1/2 c. flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
8 T. shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
12 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled (I didn't have unsalted so I used salted and a tiny bit less salt, and it turned out great too)
6 to 8 T. ice water

Process the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and, using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.

Sprinkle 6 T. of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 T. at a time, until it does.

Divide the dough into two even pieces and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it out and fitting the bottom crust into a pie plate. (I didn't really let it soften, and it was still great for rolling.)

To Make Ahead: The dough can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let the frozen dough thaw on the counter top until malleable before rolling.

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