Monday, May 28, 2012

Pastry Basic: Pie Dough

Now that it is officially summer, everyone needs to know how to make a great pie!  And since the pie dough is the first step to making a great pie, that's what we are going to talk about today!  

Pie dough only has a few ingredients and almost everyone (if you like to bake and cook!) should always have these staple items on hands at all times!  

Another great thing about pie dough is that it freezes beautifully!  You can freeze pie dough in individually wrapped portions.  That way, you can make a larger batch of the dough and then pull 1 or 2 rounds out of the freezer when you are ready to make a pie!  

This recipe is enough for a top and bottom crust for a 9 inch pie or 2 separate bottom crusts.  

Pie Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. cold butter (that's 1 1/2 (4 oz.) sticks of butter)
  • 6 tbsp. cold water
  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. Cut the cold butter up into 1 inch chunks and put into the flour mixture.
  3. Cut in the butter by breaking it into small pieces using your hands.  You can also use a pastry cutter, but I think it works best with the best tool you have... your hands!  Rub the butter and flour mixture in between your hands to break it up easily.  This will take a few minutes.  You know you are done when the butter chunks are about the size of peas and the mixture turns light yellow.
  4. Add the cold water and knead until everything is combined.
  5. Roll into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.  If you are using the dough immediately, chill the dough in the fridge for 2-4 hours.  You can also put it in the freezer for later use.  Just pull it out when you are ready and let it defrost. 
*** If you want to freeze the pie dough for the later use, cut the dough in half and freeze that way.  Then you will know that each piece will be one bottom crust, or one top crust!  

Flour mixture

 Chunks of butter ready to be cut in. 

The butter pieces are still too big... keep breaking them up!

 This is about the size you want the butter pieces.  The size of peas. 

 I put ice in my water for a few minutes to make sure the water is really cold!  You want to use cold water so you don't start to melt the butter.  The chunks of butter in the dough give it that light and flaky texture once its baked!

Mix in the water until just combined.

Roll into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. 

Chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours.  If you want to keep it longer, put it in the freezer!

And that's how you make a good pie dough!  It's fast and easy.  I know people can be intimidated by the pie crust, but it is really easy to make and tastes so much better than a frozen pie crust!!  

So, now all you have to do is figure out what type of pie you want to make!!  I am making Strawberry pie, so keep an eye out for the recipe!  

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend!!  

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