Pie Crust

If pie crust was one of my exam areas, I’d pass with distinction. It was probably a decade ago that I first attempted to make it, after watching Giada. From then on, this recipe has evolved into what it is now. The most recent addition, sour cream, came after my trip to Portland, when I had Naomi Pomeroy’s creme fraiche pastry. This isn’t necessarily a recipe, but a ratio that I use for all sorts of pies. All you need is a food processor.

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Here’s the ratio for 1 portion of crust:

1 C. Flour

1 Stick of Salted Butter

A Shake of Baking Powder 

Enough Sour Cream to Bind

First, I start with the flour, baking powder, and cold butter, cut into about 10 pieces all thrown in the processor bowl with the normal blade. I’m highly technical, I know, but when I say a shake of baking powder, I mean I hit the side against the food processor and let some fall in. I imagine this would be about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon if I measured. Process using the pulse button until the butter is cut in the size of very small peas.

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Next, throw in some sour cream. To be honest, this is usually dictated by the amount of sour cream I have—you can just use iced water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing gently until the dough comes together—but use about 1/4 cup and then add a tablespoon at a time pulsing lightly until the dough comes together. It will be on the wet side if you use sour cream. That’s not a problem. (You can use any combination of sour cream and water too; the sour cream makes a flakier pastry, the water a stiffer one.)

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Once it has started to come together, pull it together and roll it out or press it into a pan. See the light spots above? Those a rather large chunks of uncut butter–that’s what makes for a flaky crust.

For a one crust pie, tart, quiche, or 12 muffin tin pies use 1 to 1.5 portions of crust. For a two crust pie,  use 2 portions of crust. For a large pot pie, use 2.5 to 3 portions of crust.

The general bake: always 400 degrees. Usually it takes about 40 to 50 minutes to get the crust perfect on a pie. Small pies/tarts take about 20-25 minutes blind baking. Super wet things should have a short blind bake first.

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