Sunday, April 12, 2009

Perfect Pie Crust

We are always seeking the perfect something, aren't we?  I have 3 cookbooks that claim to be 'bibles' - or the authoritative text - of their subject matter. Today, I turn to one for some pie crust advice. But like most untrusting souls - I have to pull in advice from my favorite cookbook too. So - i have adapted 2 recipes to bring you my version of the Perfect Flaky Pie Crust infused with some graham cracker crumbs (made for a lemon meringue pie.)

Pie Crust - for prebaked pie shell
adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible plue the New Best Recipe 

1 stick cold unsalted butter
184 grams AP flour (1 1/3 c)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp bkg powder
2.5-3.5 TBSP ice water
1.5 tsp cider vinegar
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Divide the butter into 2 parts.
- 5 TBSP: cube and wrap in plastic wrap. Put into the fridge for 30 minutes
- 3 TBSP: cube and wrap in plastic wrap. Put into the freezer for 30 minutes

Place the flour, salt and baking pwd into a gallon ziploc and put into the freezer for 30 minutes.

In a food processor: mix the cold 
flour with metal blade to mix. Add the 5 TBSP cold butter and pulse until it looks like coarse meal (about 10 pulses). Add the frozen butter and pulse until all of the forzen butter is the size of peas (toss with a fork to see if you got everything). 

Add 2.5 TBSP of water and vinegar and pulse 6 times. Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together add half of the remaining water and pulse 3 times. Try the pinch test again. The mixutre will be in particles and will not hold together without being pinched. 

Once it holds together, transfer mixture back to the gallon ziploc. KNead the mixture from the outside of the bag until it all holds together and get it into a disc shape. Place in the fridge for 45 minutes or overnight.

Spread about 2 TBSP of graham cracker crumbs on your
 worksurface before rolling it out. Spread more on top of the dough - and roll into the desired shape.  Keep adding more until you've used about 1/2 cup of crumbs. this will help keep the dough from getting soggy from the lemon filling.  

Shape the dough in the pie plate - making the edges look as pretty as you can. Refridgerate the dough lined plate for 40 minutes. Then freeze for 20 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pie plate from freezer, line with tin foil (all the way over the edge) and fill with weights (i use dry beans). Bake about 25-30 minutes - until crust is dry and light in color. Remove the foil and weights.
 For partially baked: continue baking until light golden brown (5-6 minutes). 
 For fully baked: bake until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to wire rack.

Pie recipe found here.

It turned out great! I changed my meringue "design" to be more flat - used a popsicle stick to draw lines instead of having huge peaks and valleys. It cooked much more evenly and was still very pretty.


Kate said...

I am simply blown away by this. My pie crusts come from the dairy section and are rolled out by my hands, but that's about it!

Tangled Noodle said...

I'm like Kate - when I do bake a pie, it's premade crust. But I've been meaning to break from that habit - so thanks for this!

phanitha said...