Sunday, November 16, 2008

King Arthur's Pie Crust

This is a wonderfully tasty and flaky pie crust that I've used for years. It rarely falls apart on me, transfers easily, and holds up great. You can use this for a Pot-Pie crust as well, just make it a bit thicker and double the recipe. I found this in a King Arthur Flour Company catalog years ago, saw it in a demonstration during one of their cooking schools, and loved it.
Apple Pie
Medium- or Short-Flake

medium-flake crust can be used for main-course dishes or, by adding the optional sugar, for sweet fillings or even tart shells. Our recipe makes enough for a double-crust 9-inch pie. You can easily substitute whole wheat pastry flour for an equal amount of your unbleached white.

Start with about 1/2 cup until you find a ratio you like. Whole wheat pastry flour produces a crust with a "bite" and a hearty flavor, which is great with savory fillings and is a wholesome alternative for sweet fillings, too. I love this recipe. It is simple, doesn’t fall apart, and can be made ahead of time. This is the one I use all the time.

2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 cup shortening, lard or butter (I use unsalted real butter)
4 to 7 tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar if you're using it. With a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingertips, cut or rub half of the fat into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Then take the remainder of the fat and cut or rub it in until the largest pieces are the size of a dime, or flattened peas.

Sprinkle the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, over the flour/fat mixture. With a fork, toss the mixture that you've just moistened and push it to one side. Continue until the dough is just moist enough to hold together.

Then gather it into a ball (a bit like gently packing a snowball), cut it in half and flatten the halves into two disks. If you're making a double-crust pie, make the piece for the bottom crust slightly larger, since it has to fit down into the pie plate.

Wrap the two pieces of dough and put them in the refrigerator to give them a rest for 30 minutes or more before rolling them out.

my cherry pie

If you get in a pinch or need to do the pie crust quickly, I've used my food processor and they still turn out okay.  


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