Saturday, 25 June 2011

Weekend Baking: Pie Crust

I'm not sure how but, earlier this month, I turned 26

It's not that I'm freaked out about getting older because I'm kind of an old lady already. In fact, I'm knitting a prezzie for my Bro Bro as we speak.

The thing is, though, I expected to feel older. Because, honestly, I still feel 17

Whether this is good or bad, I cannot say.

Anywho, I decided that, this year, I'd like my birthday candles on a banana cream pie topped with giant white chocolate curls : )

Now, there are those who never make pie because they think the crust is too tedious

There are others who have believe you aren't a real baker until you've mastered it. 

I think you shouldn't bother if you're not a pie person. However, if you love pie like I do, don't give up because practice and a little patience is really all there is to it.

makes enough for one double pie crust

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs- you should leave a few pea sized pieces of butter in there so your crust gets flaky when you bake it. Add the egg yolk and ice water and work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in a food processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients, then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.) Check the consistency of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If it's still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. When you get it to the right consistency, divide your dough in two, shape into disks and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes. 
Once your dough is cold enough to work with and not stick to your work surface, roll out one half and fit carefully into an 8 or 9 inch pie dish. Put it back in the fridge until it's nice and cold again then blind bake at 375°F until golden brown. OR fill your pie bottom with whatever thoroughly cooled filling you like, roll out the other half of the dough and fit carefully over your pie. Make sure you seal the edges and brush the top with some egg wash before baking.

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