Friday, October 15, 2010

Basic Butter and Shortening Pastry Pie Dough

Time to start busting out holiday recipes. This is my pie crust recipe. I got it from a book called "Bubby's Homemade Pies". This book describes the ins and outs of making pies like Alton Brown would do it. Here's an interesting snippet from the book:
"Fats hold the key to both the flavor and texture of a crust. The better the fat flavor, the better the crust flavor. A flaky crust can be achieved with any fat as long as proper consideration is shown to keeping the fat cool and well below its melting temperature. It is necessary to keep fat in its solid state during mixing and rolling to achieve a desirable crust texture and structure. Whatever fat you choose, it should be very cold when it is mixed into the dough".
Good to know huh? It goes on to talk about how butter softens quickly at room temperature, is harder to work with and keep cold, but has better flavor. Shortening has a higher melting temp, is easier to work with, and yields a very flaky texture. So, I make a combination of butter and shortening crust. This is about a 10 page illustrated recipe with very specific instructions that I've condensed. I left out a lot of the rolling out and baking can do that part right? :) Don't forget to make pie crust sticks with your leftover dough.

Basic Butter and Shortening Pastry Pie Dough
Bubby's Homemade Pies
8-10 inch Single Crust 
4-5 TBSPs ice cold water
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 TBSP cold unsalted butter
3 TBSP cold shortening

Double Crust
5-6 TBSPs ice cold water
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
7 TBSP cold unsalted butter
4 TBSP cold shortening

Measure out water; chill in freezer. Measure out flour and add to medium bowl. Add salt; stir. Use cold butter; coat solid stick with flour mixture in bowl. Cut lengthwise in half then lengthwise in quarters, coating with flour as you go. Dice into 1/4 inch cubes. Chop shortening into 1/4 inch pieces and add them to the bowl. Chill briefly in freezer.

 Using a pastry cutter, cut until fat is size of shelling peas and lentils. Rechill if necessary.

Add water, 2-3 TBSP at first, quickly tossing with hands with light upward motion to distribute water evenly. Work dough as little as possible. Continue adding little bits of water. When there are no floury bits anymore -just comet like cobbles that don't quite cohere- slow down and sprinkle on the water. To test dough, lightly pat together some dough the size of a tennis ball. If ball crumbles, it's too dry. Let it break apart add a drop or 2 of water and work just a little. If butter starts to melt or dough ceases to feel cool, put whole mixture in the freezer about 10 minutes.

Shape into ball (I slightly flatten my ball into a disk). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out, and place into pie plate. Trim excess dough about 3/4 inch beyond the edge of the pan. Roll dough edge under to lip of the pie pan; crimp edges. Chill for another 20 minutes before filling or baking it.

For baked pies: Follow the pie recipe's baking directions.

For a pre-baked (blind-baked) crust: Poke the bottom of the entire crust with a fork. Line the inside of the crust with parchment paper or foil and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and lift out liner and weights. Turn oven down to 375 and bake for 10 more minutes.

Here's the pie I made with this crust: Sugar Cream Pie . It's a recipe my mom makes, but I'd never had before. I made it for a friend, but was able to have a little slice when I dropped it off. It was really good; kinda custardy.

1 comment:

Kristy said...

great stuff, I love it!