05 October 2010

The One

When I think of a really good pie, it usually involves a buttery, flaky crust. Hands down, it's my favorite kind. In a way, it actually inspired this website. My husband and I were eating my apple crumb pie one day and he commented, "wouldn't it be great if we made a pie with just the crust and the crumble topping for the filling?"

And the idea was born.

Anyway, this is a version of that original crust that started it all. (That one was actually a Pillsbury refrigerated crust. That is really a great product and it was all I used until just last year, when I made a crust from scratch for the first time.)

I only use butter in my crust. I no longer use shortening in any recipes. It scares me a little - what is it, really? Why does it look like wax? Also, I used some that had gone bad in cookies one time and didn't realize it until after eating the cookies. Um, gross.

My Basic Pie Crust recipe comes from AllRecipes.com. It's buttery, flaky, and scrumptious. The recipe makes one crust, so double it for a double-crust pie. (I tend to make crumble pies most often, so a one-crust recipe is fine for me!)

Something I learned from watching Food Network: make sure all your ingredients are COLD when you make a pie crust. Cut up the butter and put it back in the fridge. Put water in a measuring cup with ice. I even add the flour and salt to my food processor and put it in the fridge for a little bit before making the crust. Then I refrigerate the crust after its in the pan, before baking. A cold crust is a good crust!

This is a small pie; this crust recipe will make two of these.

All Butter Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, diced and chilled
1/4 cup of ice water

1. Combine flour and salt in food processor. Add butter and process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. (Um, who has that kind of patience? Mine refrigerated for about 1/2 hour, but you probably should do it a bit longer if you can stand it!)

2.  Roll out dough to desired size and press into pie plate. Chill until ready to bake.

This recipe makes one crust. Double recipe to make a two-crust pie.

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