Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pie dough

I think I was shown how to make basic pie pastry before I was taught how to scramble an egg. When I'd visit my Memere as a child of 5 or 6, my favorite thing to play with was a half batch of the recipe listed below, along with some cookie cutters, a bowl of cinnamon sugar, and some raisins. To hell with playdough, I wanted the real thing!

I have friends and relatives with all sorts of crazy pie dough recipes. Some include eggs, others vinegar, and one that I know of utilizes a can of clear soft-drink. Crazy. Mine is pretty basic in comparison. Flour, shortening, and water - room temperature. I don't even bother with the dash of salt anymore. For a double crust pie I typically use:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • ½ - ¾ cup water (depends on humidity and brand of flour)
  1. Cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry blender or the backsides of 2 butter knives.
  2. Do this until the pieces of shortening are about the size of lentils or whole oats; not walnuts or peas!
  3. Mix in water with a knife or fork until a dough forms and just begins to get tacky.
  4. Let rest for at least 20 minutes, preferable somewhere cool.
  5. turn out portions onto well floured surface and roll to several mm thickness.
  6. baking times depend entirely on what you fill this dough with. Usually at a temperature of 350 - 370°.
This recipe will give enough dough for a top and bottom crust, plus a little extra to play around with.

There are many recipes I make that require this dough, so I'll be referring back to this post often.

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