Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Single-Crust Pastry



This is a handy pie crust recipe that you can whip up whenever the mood strikes you to bake some pie. This particular recipe is for a pie with a single crust. That is, the pie has a bottom crust and a filling. If you come across a recipe that calls for a double-crust, that means you will need a top crust, a bottom crust and a filling that goes in between the top and bottom crust. In which case, double each ingredient called for in this recipe in order to have enough dough to make two crusts. Here's how it's made:


Serving Size: This recipe is big enough to bake a 9-10 inch pie.


Prep Time: 5 minutes.


Equipment:

-Food processor OR a pastry cutter OR two butter knives.

-Large bowl (if using a pastry cutter or two butter knives).

-Cling/ plastic foil.


Ingredients:

-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour.

-1/3 cup chilled shortening OR chilled, cubed unsalted butter.

-1/2 teaspoon salt.

-3 to 5 tablespoons of ice cold water.




Instructions:

-If you're using a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse 4-5 times to combine. If you're using a pastry cutter or two knives, combine the salt and flour in the large bowl until well combined.

-Add in the chilled shortening or butter into the food processor (if using one) and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. If you're using a pastry cutter or two knives in a bowl, cut the shortening into the flour/salt until crumbly. It should look something like this..


-If you're using a food processor, add 1 tablespoon at a time of the ice water through the sprout of the food processor as you pulse the mixture. If you're mixing by hand, sprinkle a tablespoon of ice water at a time over the mixture and work it with a fork or the two knives just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Like this...


Do not overwork the dough. The more you mix and handle the dough, the more gluten (protein found in flour) will form, and the tougher your crust will be. Do not use too much water, otherwise your crust will be soggy.

-Damp the mixture out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. and mould together to form a ball. 


-If you're making a single pie crust, form the dough into a ball then flatten it into a disk using the palm of your hands. Like this....

Cover tightly with some plastic/cling foil and Refregerate for at least 30 minutes before you're ready to roll it out.   


If you're doubling this recipe to create a double-crust, cut the dough into half and form each half into a flattened discs. The discs should be the same size. Cover the discs in cling/plastic foil and chill for at least 30 minutes before you're ready to use them. Chilling the dough makes it easier to handle and helps to achieve a flaky crust. If you're working with a double-crust, keep one portion of the dough covered and chilled while working with the other.

The filling you put in the pie crust is only limited by your imagination. Happy baking! =)