Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Basics: French Pastry Pie Crust

This is really part 1 of a two part entry to make some little fruit pies, but since this is my go to recipe for all things crusted I decided to give this versatile crust its own entry.

There are lots of recipes out there for pie crust and this one is my favorite. This is the crust I use for all my pies, from fruit pies to hearty chicken pot pies. And I know that there are lots of magic gadgets to make all your kitchen and cooking chores easier and quicker, but I prefer the good old fashioned way, I use my hands! Let's get started.

There's the recipe, and I'm ready.

Flour, sugar and salt in the bowl, and yes, this is my favorite dough making bowl. And I'm going to mix it all up.

This is my choice for crust. It comes in one cup blocks. Now to be totally honest this recipe will work with any solid fat, regular shortening, butter, lard can all be used. They can be used in combination like half a cup of shortening, half a cup of butter. In any case, you're going to need on full cup of a solid fat, never oil!

Now you need to cut this up into the flour. There are gadgets you can use but I'm going to just use ny hand. Swirl your fingers in the flour first and the fat won't stick to your hand so much.

And when it looks course and mealy throughout, you're done with this part.

This dough can almost hold its shape!

Now it's time to add the wet ingredients. This is 5 the water, vinegar and egg. I'm going to mix this all up and pour it over the flour and work it with my hands until my dough forms a ball.

Now it looks like this. And I'm going to divide it in half because this is enough dough for two crusts.

Here's half the dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Scoop up the edges of the plastic wrap and wrap the whole thing into a tight ball.

And here's my two crusts, rolled up tight and ready to rest in the fridge before rolling out. It needs to rest for at least 10 minutes but even if it rests for several hours it'll still be good for your crusted culinary delight!

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