Monday, March 2, 2015

Butter Pie Crust--Photo Redo in honor of Pi Day

Pi Day this year promises to be an epic event. Why not make an epic pie? To get you started, here are some prettier pictures for my butter crust. Wednesday, I'll post an apple pie to go with it.

This is the pie crust I always always use. With a more detailed tutorial here.

And for old time's sake, here's my original photo:

Recipe and instructions below:

Basic Butter Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts
prep time: 5 minutes with food processor
Cost: $1.35

Note on using a food processor: For me (besides having a non-4-inch rolling pin) this is what has made making pie crust doable. I hate cutting in butter. Hate hate hate it. With the food processor (or a blender, which I hear also works), no butter cutting in is required. You'll sacrifice (supposedly) a bit of flakiness in your crust, but I still think it beats the heck out of anything you buy at the store. Which I guess is my general philosophy about homemade pie crust--it doesn't have to be cooking show perfect to be really great and so much better than the store bought stuff. And it takes less than 5 minutes. Less. than. five. minutes. 

2 1/2 C flour (you can sub in part wheat flour if you wish--start with 1/2 C and see how it works for you)
1 C butter, cold
1 Tbsp sugar (if making a sweet pie; otherwise, omit)
1/4-1/2 C cold water

Process flour, sugar, and butter in food processor or blender until the butter is in pea-sized chunks (my chunks are always a little smaller). (Or cut the butter in with a pastry cutter if you feel the same way about cutting in butter as I do about kneading bread.) 

Add water by the tablespoon till the dough comes together. (I just pulse it in the food processor.) Knead the dough a few times if necessary, but try not to handle it too much with your hands because that warms the butter and that means less flakiness (if flakiness matters to you in your crusts). 

Divide into 2 balls. If you only need one crust, put the other in a freezer bag in the the freezer. 

Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on your work surface and roll out the dough. Try to get it even (even-ish will do just fine). The dough should be about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Lift it up and transfer to pie plate. (You can fold it and then lift and transfer and unfold, but I find it just easier to lift and flop it into a nearby pan.) Add whatever deliciousness to your pie. Add the other pie crust to the top if that is what you're supposed to do and bake. 

Note on rolling dough: The internet (which we all know is always right) says that a nice, easy, neat way to roll out your dough is to roll it between 2 pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper. Then the transfer is easy. Take off one layer of waxed paper and put your crust in the pan. Then take off the other layer and crimp your edges or whatever edge fanciness suits you. I tried this with 2 pieces of wax paper and it just scooted around annoyingly and wouldn't really roll out. I took off one layer and it still scooted around, but I got it to roll and it really did make the transferring way easier (though I'm still not sure I can recommend this tip), but do flour your wax paper.

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