Monday, January 7, 2008

Pie Crust

(Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book)

Makes 2 9" crusts

2 1/4 cp (270g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cp (5 oz/144g) shortening (I like to use butter-flavored Crisco if I'm not going to have time to refrigerate the dough.) or 6 T each shortening (72g) and butter (3 oz) (refrigerate dough for at least 1/2 hour)
5-6 T ice water

I always cut the fat into the flour in two parts--the first part until it resembles cornmeal and the second part till there are pea-sized bits of shortening/butter left. In adding the water, it helped me greatly when I finally realized that pie crust should be on the dry side and biscuits on the wet side. Sprinkle 3 T of ice water over the flour mixture and then mix using a lifting motion with a fork. Sprinkle 2 more T of water and continue lifting motion till the liquid seems well-distributed. Set the fork aside and use your hand to pull the mixture together into a ball, squeezing very gently. Sprinkle a bit of water, using as little as possible, onto any dry flour mixture under the ball of dough or inside it if it is coming together yet falling apart at the same time. The object is to get the dough into a ball using as little water and squeezing as possible. Divide the mixture into two equal portions and place each on a piece of plastic wrap. (I keep mine in the fridge and use them over and over in my effort to be environmentally-friendly.) Flatten each ball into a disc about 5" in diameter, pull up the plastic wrap around it and place in the fridge.

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