20 November 2007

Food Glorious Food! Pie Crust Edition

Tomorrow, I will bake pies. I didn't want to bake them too long before Turkey Day because I don't like them when they get stale-ish. I found this Martha Steward recipe that I got years ago from my mom - who always went on and on about how wonderful it is in the food processor - only I never had one. I tried it today - and it is a snap. The recipe is terrific - and it makes THE BEST pie crust - ever. I thought I'd share - and tomorrow when the pies are baked - I'll post some pictures of those too!

Martha Stewart Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 + cup of ice water

Makes enough for 2 single-crust pies or 1 double crust pie

Making the dough:
1. Add flour, butter (very cold and cut into cubes), salt and sugar to food processor.
2. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-sized pieces remaining.
3. Add 1/4 cup ice water (mostly ice with water to fill spaces and drain 1/4 c very cold water off)
4. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. If needed add up to 4 Tbsp. more ice water 1 Tbsp. at a time) DO NOT overmix
5. Turn out onto work surface,; knead once or twice, until dough comes together - Chill
For easy rolling, always start with well-chilled dough, and a lightly floured work surface. Chilled dough will not soften as quickly as warmer dough; flour absorbs any moisture from the dough and prevents it from sticking.

Use this with any of your pie recipes.
Here are some other tips:

To Freeze Dough:

Put tightly wrapped disks in a resealable plastic bag. Label with the date, and freeze for up to three months. Defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Pressing: Place one dough disk on a floured piece of parchment paper. Using knuckles, press edges of dough to help prevent cracking.

Rolling: Roll dough to a 14-inch round. Using parchment, lift and wrap dough around rolling pin; carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate.

Fitting: To avoid tearing or stretching the dough, lift around the edge, and let the dough drape inward. Use kitchen shears to trim the edge of the dough to a 1-inch overhang.

Crimping: Fold excess dough under so it’s flush with (and on top of) pie-plate rim, and pinch to form a flat edge. Crimp edge of dough, if desired: Using your thumb and forefinger, press the dough gently against a knuckle from your other hand, and continue at regular intervals.

1 Preheat oven to 350°. Prick bottom of pie dough all over with a fork (to prevent it from puffing up or shrinking). Refrigerate until chilled, at least 10 minutes.

2 Carefully line dough with parchment paper or foil; fill to the top with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is firm, about 15 minutes.

3 Remove parchment and weights; continue baking until crust is golden brown and bottom is flaky to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

By following these seven simple rules, you can produce a flaky, tender crust every time.

1. When making the dough, make sure the butter is very cold.

2. Handle the dough as little as possible. Both the stretching of the dough and the warmth from your hands will further the development of gluten -- long, stringy protein molecules that form when flour is blended with liquid -- resulting in a tough dough that's difficult to roll out.

3. Since our pie-dough recipe yields two single crusts, divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a flat disk before wrapping it in plastic and chilling. This will make it easier to roll out each crust into a perfect circle.

4. Chill the dough thoroughly (at least 30 minutes) before rolling it out, and use a minimum of flour to dust the rolling pin and work surface. Brush excess flour from the rolled dough with a dry pastry brush before transferring it to the pie plate.

5. For an extra-crispy pie crust with a golden color, brush the unbaked top crust with water, and sprinkle it with sugar.

6. For a shiny pie crust, brush the unbaked top crust with an egg wash made from one egg and 2 tablespoons cream.

7. Cut decorative vents in the top of a double-crusted fruit pie; vents allow steam to escape and prevent the fruit juices from overflowing.


  1. That is too much like work, LOL!!!
    I can give you the *best recipe* I know for crust, it's yummy, it's not just the recipe that makes it so good but the ingredients.

  2. I can see you with your own show. Little apron, nice music in the background and then you pull the pie from the oven.
    This post didn't at all make me want to make the crust but I really did want to eat some.


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