Friday, January 7, 2011

No Fail Pie Crust

Now, one would think that a recipe with a title like No Fail Pie Crust would be just the thing for the pie crust impaired Berkshire Farmer, right? Well, not exactly. It was too wet, and stuck to the wax paper, and had to be sort of draped over the souffle dish I used as a pie pan. My husband says, in terms of taste it was excellent. There are several things that might be responsible. If any pie crust expert out there happens to be reading this, and has ideas, I would love to hear their thoughts.
1. I used the food processor. These recipes are pre-food processor recipes. Does the food processor do something weird to the consistency of pie crust dough? My New York aunt, who was a pie crust champion, always used the food processor. Who knows?
2. I used King Arthur White whole wheat flour. It's like pale tan whole wheat. I bought it because there was no King Arthur white at Safeway. Is that the wrong kind of flour for pie crusts?
If you want to use this recipe, I would advise putting in the water by the tablespoonful until you like the consistency of the dough. Let's assume you have never made a pie before and have no idea what I'm talking about. Dough should stick together, but if you add too much water the dough gets sticky, instead of cohesive. When the dough is sticky, it sticks to the rolling pin, the wax paper (don't try to make pie crust without wax paper), the counter and you. It's a mess. So add water in small amounts, gradually.

No-Fail Pie Crust

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup plus two tablespoons shortening
1 egg
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar

1. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. With a pastry blender or the finger tips, blend the shortening into the flour until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.
2. Beat the egg, water and vinegar together and stir into the flour mixture. The dough may be used immediately or held refrigerated for two days.
Makes enough for three pie shells or one large ten-inch two-crust pie.

1 comment:

  1. When making pastry in the food processor, add the water slowly. Depending on the day, you may not need all of it. See how it comes together as you add the water. Don't wait until it comes all together. Use the machine to sift the dry ingredients, then add the butter. Then the egg and liquid is what I would try.