Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Perfect Pie Crust


My mother has many talents. One that she likes to share with us often is her exceptional baking ability. Last time I visited my parents on their farm I documented how my mother created the perfect pie crust. The end result was divine with its savory and flaky qualities. I cannot wait to try this recipe on my husband and future guests.
Mrs. Fields Cook Book
 
This recipe is adapted from Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book, and it makes two pie crusts or one pie crust with a crusted topping. This recipe only requires three ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 sticks (1 cup) of chilled salted butter, and 6 to 8 tablespoons of iced water.

 
You will place the butter and flour in a food processor on low speed. While the food processor is churning, slowly pour the iced water into the mixture. The mixture should start to stick together like the picture below. If the mixture is not ready, slowly add more water until you get the desired texture. (*You don’t want the butter to melt or to mix completely into the mixture. The flaky, desired crust is made from the solid butter pieces melting into the crust as it bakes.)
 
Kitchenaid Mixer
 
Once you have your desired consistency, remove the dough from the food processor. Sprinkle a dry surface with flour and place the dough on top. Then sprinkle more flour on top of the dough (*Don’t go overboard with the flour, because it can dry out the crust. You want enough flour so that the dough doesn’t stick to your hands, the surface, or the rolling pin.)
 
 
Pour a small amount of iced water to help pull the dough together as you knead it. Cut the dough in half. Roll each half into a flattened ball. From here you will take a rolling pin (preferably made of wood) and roll from the center out until you get the desired thickness, and size to fit your pie pan. (*Flip over your pie pan onto the dough to measure and determine the crust size you need.)

Pie dough
 
 
rolling pin
 
 
 Now you can start to place the pie crust into the pie pan. Start by folding the crust in half, and then into a quarter. Then place the tip of the fold into the center of the pie pan and unfold the quarters into the pan. Once you place the pie crust into the pan, you may notice that you have some cracks. Press the dough together to fix any cracks in the pie crust. Then cut the excess crust off the edges with a butter knife. Once you cut off the crust from the edges, crimp the edges down with your finger. Take a fork and punch holes into the bottom of the pie crust to let the steam escape from the crust and to prevent bubbles while it bakes.  
 




 
 

 
 
 Bake the pie shell for about 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until it is golden brown. Cool on a baking rack. This dish can be a great base to build savory and sweet dishes off of. Hope you enjoy!
 
pie crust
 

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