flaky pastry

I've posted this before, but not as its own entry. This makes a top and bottom crust for a 9" pie (with a little extra in case your pie plate is large). You can fill with fruit or meat. Leftover turkey in a light cream sauce with veg is especially nice...

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. icing sugar (or 1 tsp. white sugar, if you don't have icing sugar)
1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 stick cold unsalted butter

about 1/3 c. + 1 tbsp. ice water

A word about substitutions: you can use all butter in this crust, but it's a bit trickier to work with. likewise cold tap water for the ice water. if you only have salted butter, use the salted butter and omit the salt from the flour mix.

To make the dough for the crust:
Sift flour, sugar, salt together into a good steady mixing bowl. Cut shortening and butter into small chunks, and cut into flour with two knives or a pastry blender. Make sure that you bring the flour up from the bottom and distribute the contents of the bowl evenly -- you should end up with evenly pea-sized bits of stuck-together flour and butter: dry flour with little chunks, not cookie dough.

Sprinkle about half the water onto the flour mix. Using either your hands or a spatula, collect and press the dough together lightly. This is easier to do than explain, unfortunately. Add the rest of the water very slowly -- you want the dough *just* sticking together as you press it down into the bowl. Collect the dough together into a ball and knead it against the sides of the bowl 5 or 6 times. Don't worry if you have a bit of flour left that won't stick as long as you've managed a good-sized ball.

Wrap the ball of dough in cellowrap or wax paper, make it nice and round and press it down into a flat circle about 2 " thick. Refrigerate at least 30 min before trying to roll.

Posted by naomi on November 27, 2005 | TrackBack
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