Happy 2013, everyone! May your resolve be strong, and all your dreams be realized this year
To me, making pie crust from scratch has always been a daunting task. Sure, I’ve done it, but it’s so much easier to buy it from the store. But for those times when I wanna wrassle with a rolling pin, I now have a solid crust recipe that I want to pass along to all of you.
Recently I was planning to make a quiche for brunch, and a friend asked me if I had a solid crust recipe. I did not, and had planned on purchasing my usual box, but she told me I had to make the Mark Bittman crust. That meant nothing to me, so I looked it up online. (I do not ignore orders from this friend. She’s never steered me wrong.)
Here is a link to the recipe for flaky pie crust from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. And that’s exactly how I made it for the quiche, (that recipe to follow) and it was wonderful. I still loathe my rolling pin, and my weak wrists, but this certainly was flaky and delicious, and really not all that difficult or time consuming to prep. It also gave me the opportunity to try making a crust in a food processor; super easy.
FLAKY PIE CRUST – good for one 8″ to 10″ single pie crust
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp AP flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 8 Tbsp (one stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 3 Tbsp ice water (plus more if needed)
Combine your flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter chunks and process until the mixture looks like cornmeal. (About 10 seconds.)
Transfer your mixture to a bowl, and add the ice water. Mix it with your hands until you can form the dough into a ball (really squish it together with your fingers), adding an extra tablespoon or two of water if it’s not coming together. (I added another half tablespoon in the end.)
Form the dough into a ball, and wrap it in plastic. Then, either refrigerate it for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 before rolling it out to the appropriate size for your pie plate.
Before rolling it out, make sure to sprinkle flour on a clean surface (I use the back of my giant wooden cutting board), and put a little flour on the rolling pin as well. Roll out the dough into a circle, starting from the middle and moving outward. If you’re unsure if you’ve made the right size for your dish, it’s easy enough to measure by placing your plate upside down over the crust – it should be about 2 inches wider than the plate.
Should the dough become too tacky, try sprinkling a little more flour, or placing it back into the fridge to firm up a bit. To remove from your rolling surface, if it’s sticking, I recommend a bench scraper and patience. (If you don’t have a bench scraper, I highly suggest looking into it. It’s such a versatile and handy kitchen tool!) Then transfer your dough to the pie plate, trim any excess, and tuck the dough under itself around the outside edges. You can decorate the edge with a fork or your fingers.
Pop the dish back in the fridge for another 30 minutes before baking. When you’re ready, either fill it or for pre-baking (baking without a filling) prick it all over with a fork. (Pre-baking involves things like pie weights, which which I’m not extremely experienced – so I can’t give you further directions on that. Refer to this link though, for some helpful tips.)
If you’re making the dough ahead of time, you can keep it rolled up as a ball in the fridge for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for a month. Make sure you seal it in a freezer bag first, though.