Friday, June 27, 2008

Flaky Pie crust

This pie crust is simple to make, but tastes much much better than store bought. Also, it is very versatile, it can be used for pies, quiches... I recommend you use room temperature butter, either microwaving it at very low power for 30 second bursts, or, if your microwave is dead (me), you can take it out an hour beforehand. This recipe uses one stick of butter and is enough for a 12" quiche or French-style pie (no upper crust). The formula is simple: X weight of butter + 2X weight of flour + salt + least amount of water possible for it to easily form a ball = pie dough!

Ingredients (for one 12 inch crust with sides):
  • 1 stick butter (113g) (room temperature)
  • 226 grams flour (about 8 oz)
  • about 1/4 cup water
  • salt (1/2 teaspoon if salted butter, 1 - 1 1/2 tsp if unsalted)
  1. Cut butter in small cubes (dice sized).
  2. Put flour and salt in a large bowl and mix together.
  3. Add butter, and, using a pinching motion, flatten the butter into the flour (this will create flakiness).
  4. If you have a pastry cutter, use that at the beginning. Once the butter is incorporated, use the pinching motion.
  5. After you have pinched the butter into the flour, add 1/4 cup of water.
  6. Moisten all the flour and form a ball. If the ball does not form easily, you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time.
  7. Remember, the more you handle the dough, the more gluten will form, causing chewiness instead of crispness.
  8. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour (you can do this a day in advance and refrigerate the dough until you use it)
  9. Flour a hard, cold surface (the counter) and roll out the dough to 13-14". If you have one of those silicone baking sheets, or something similar, use it.
  10. Slide a thin, solid under the dough. I use a plate or the bottom of removable bottom pan.
  11. Oil the pan you will cook the pie in.
  12. Pick up the dough with the plate underneath and flip it onto the pan.
  13. Even out the edge, cut off the excess on the sides and use it to reinforce thin parts.
Now either fill it, or pre-bake it (blind baking). Blind baking is useful for things like custard pies that need to be cooked at a very low temperature, or pies that are not cooked at all. First cut a peice of parchment paper the size of the pie and place it inside. Add weights or beans/rice inside and bake for 20 minutes at 425. Here is more information.

Broccoli Quiche


Matthieu Devin said...

What do you mean by "pinching motion" can you demonstrate?

Catherine Granger said...

Point #10 is a killer! I used to try to roll the pastry around the rolling pin and unroll it over the tart pan but it would always break. Coline's method is much better!

happy said...

I have added a photo of pinching, I hope it helps!