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Pie Crust That's Easy As Pie

SCF fans might remember a few years back I shared my recipe for a No-Fail Pie Crust . I still stand by it, but the other day, I didnít have cream chese in the house and I didnít feel like going to the store. So I tried a new recipe, one I found at in the Nov. 2008 issue of Food & Wine. Small Bites fans have already seen it, but here it is again for home viewers.

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First, cut your butter ó 2 sticks ó into small pieces. Put the butter back in the fridge to stay cold.

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Next, measure your flour into the cup measure with a big spoon and level it off with a knife. That way you know you have the proper amount of flour: 2 1/2 cup. Put it in the food processor with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse a couple times to mix them.

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Dump in the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like peas. Then slowly add up to 1/2 cup ice water. You may not need it all. You will know your dough is done if when you pinch it, it holds together like this:

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Toss the dough onto the counter. It will look like crumbs:

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Sort of gather it together:

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This recipe is for two crusts, so separate in about halves:

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Before you make it into a ball, take the heel of your palm, and push the dough out across the counter:

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Gather it back together and do it again:

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This helps to make streaks out of the butter and results in a flakier crust. Remember, donít touch the dough too much. Youíll bring out the gluten, which makes the pie crust denser and less flaky. Someone on Small Bites had a great suggestion: treat the dough as if itís too hot to handle.

Gather it in a ball:

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And flatten into a disc:

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Wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour; an hour or more is better.

Throw down some flour and start rolling it out. Start from the center and work out toward the top edge, then turn it 1/4 turn and do that again.

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Keep going until it will fit your pie pan.

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Sometimes it doesnít quite fit:

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Thatís OK. Cut some from another spot where itís too long and cover it up by pinching them together:

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After youíve made your filling (Iíve got another post for that), roll out your second crust. Hereís a good way to move your crust from countertop to pie pan. Pick it up with your rolling pin:

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And drape it over the pie, releasing from bottom to top:

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Voila:

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Iím THE WORST when it comes to pretty crimping. I usually have Greg do it. But this was for his birthday, so I didnít. I pressed the two crusts together and do the best I could. It looks more homemade that way, I guess:

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Be sure to cut steam holes. They can just be slits if you like. I decided to get a little fancy. I even drew little veins in my leaves, but you canít quite see that:

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For a pretty brown crust, whisk an egg with a little milk and brush it over the crust before you bake:

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This baked at 375 for 1 hour and 10 minutes. It was delicious.

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Double Crust Apple Pie
Adapted from Grace Parisi at Food & Wine

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cubed
1/2 cup ice water

Cube the butter and put it back in the fridge. Measure the flour and salt. Pulse the flour and salt in a food processor, then add the butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Drizzle on the ice water and pulse until evenly moistened crumbs form; they will stick together when you press the dough between your fingers. Turn out onto a surface and pull the dough together. Run the heel of your palm along the dough a couple three times. Form into two balls and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

Yield: Enough dough for two crusts.

10:47:00 on 10/11/08 by liz - Category: Recipes

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