November 29, 2008

Perfect Pie Crust

I posted a recipe for my boy's favorite pie this summer. In that post, I wrote that my recipe for the crust would "follow in another post." Better late than never I suppose.

For some reason, pie crust is one of those things that brings stress to many cooks. I honestly don't understand why. My seven-year-old son has made this crust on a number of occasions, quite successfully I might add.

This crust is incredibly easy to make and turns out light and crispy every time. Seriously, I have never had the crust turn out poorly. Lay aside your fears and give it a try.

I know that some recipes call for the use of butter in the crust. I prefer to use a good quality vegetable shortening or lard. I find that it results in a better texture.

Pie Crust

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening or lard
1/3 c. cold water

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the shortening or lard.

Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in the shortening. I prefer using the fork method.

Within a minute or two, the mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.

Add the cold water and stir until the dough just starts to come together. Use your hand to gently form the dough into a disk.

If time allows, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes. While many chefs deem this as a necessary step, I have made a successful crust even when the dough is at room temperature.

To roll out the crust, lightly flour your work surface. Place the dough on the floured surface, lightly sprinkle with flour and roll out to the desired thickness.

Invert your pie plate onto the crust. Using a knife, cut out your crust leaving a 2 inch boarder around the dish.

Remove the pie plate and fold the crust into quarters.

Place the point of the wedge in the middle of your pie plate.

Unfold the crust into the pie plate and tuck the excess edge under. Gently press into place.

If desired, you can crimp the edge of your crust.

Pour in the desired filling and bake. In this case it was pumpkin.

To prepare an empty crust, simply fill the unbaked shell with pie weights. You can also prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

No comments: