Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Perfect Pie Crust

It's true.  I think I've finally found it.  You can read more about my pie crust struggles over the years  here.

I found this recipe online (I had just copied it down by hand, sorry I can't remember the original source) and tried it for the first time on Thanksgiving.

My sister-in-law was so excited about my apple pie she took a picture of it. :)

It bakes up buttery, flaky and tender.  It has worked well with sweet fruit pies and savory chicken pot pie.  This recipe also makes a generous size that fills my deep dish pie pan with plenty of room to work with.

It's perfect and I'm so excited because making pie crust was one of those annoying challenges in my homemaking that I just couldn't conquer.

I realize this isn't the healthiest recipe, but if you aren't eating the whole pie by yourself...it should be forgivable.

The Perfect Pie Crust
(makes a top and bottom crust)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup stick butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter, using a pastry blender or by criss-crossing two butter knives, until mixture is crumbly.
Stir in water gradually until dough forms into a ball.  Wrap up dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

*Use a large bowl.  You really need room to work with and it will save a lot of mess from flying flour.

*To gradually add the water I use a sippy cup without the stopper.  I fill it up and add a few ice cubes (it really does help) and you can pour in just the right amount of water while stirring the dough.

*Keep the dough cold.  I usually divide it into two pieces before chilling so I can roll out the bottom crust and keep the rest in the fridge until I am ready.  It makes it much easier to work with.

*I roll my pie crust out between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper.  I've found that they release much easier than with using wax paper.  The sheets are larger so you have more room and it keeps your counter clean.

*Before baking the pie, I brush the top crust gently with egg yolk.  It helps it bake up golden brown.

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