Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to make a pre-baked crust that doesn't implode!

I have made the same pie crust recipe for years. I've had it since I was in High School when my pastor's wife gave it to me. But it's all vegetable shortening and recently I was pining for a recipe with butter in it. I found a great one that I would love to share. I will give the credit where it is due. It is from Cook's Country and it is really good. Here is their recipe for a double crust (top and bottom crust for a pie):

Makes enough for one 9-inch pie
  • 2 1/2cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • 2tablespoons sugar (I used white sugar)
  • 1teaspoon table salt (I used Kosher)
  • 8tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled (this is a 1/2 a cup)
  • 12tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
  • 6 - 8tablespoons ice water
  • 1. Process the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds (see related Tip). Scatter the butter pieces over the top and, using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
  • 2. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does.
  • 3. Divide the dough into two even pieces and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it out and fitting it into a pie plate.
  • To Make Ahead
  • The dough can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let the frozen dough thaw on the countertop until malleable before rolling.
    It worked just great and it was just the right amount of butter I was looking for. I didn't use a food processor but my hand cutter. The next problem was solving how to make a pre-baked crust for a refrigerated pie. My problem is that the edge of the crust would always implode, bubble and fold in on itself so that it left little room for the filling. Well, I finally got some great tips that worked perfectly. I want to pass those on to you! 
    First, follow the recipe above all the way through step 3 BUT before you put your dough in the pie pan, Take three pieces of foil (about 15" long) and lay them on top of each other. Put the whole thing in your pie pan and shape to the size of your pie pan. Press firmly. Let it come up and over a bit from the edge to accommodate your crust. Take it out. Soften some butter in your microwave and butter the bottom of your foil form. 
    After your dough is in your pie plate, prick the dough on the sides and bottom with a fork. (Don't worry, the holes close up during the baking process so your filling won't leak).
    Put the pan in your freezer for at least 30 minutes (longer if you have time). 
    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
    Quickly take your pie pan out of the freezer and put the foil form in it. Pressing the foil against your dough. Shape the top of the form so that it covers the top of your crust. 
    Bake for 20 minutes. 
    Take off the foil form. Press any puffed up areas with the back of a wooden spoon. Put it back in the oven for 10 minutes or until nice and golden brown. The more color your crust has, the more flavor it will impart to your pie. Careful, burnt is not flavorful. 
    Let it cool before filling. 

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