The Secret To Perfect Pie Crust Pie Dough…
Also known as Pâte Brisèe has both sweet and savory applications. In addition to Mom’s Apple Pie, you can make Quiche Lorraine, Pork Tourtière (Canadian meat pie), or the ever popular Empanadas (Latin Turnovers).
You can use any recipe you like, I just happen to be partial to the one below.
- 12 oz. Pastry Flour Plus a small amount for dusting.
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 6 oz. Butter (cut into small, pea-sized pieces)…Place in freezer for 15 minutes (this is one of the true secrets to perfect pie crust)
- 3 oz. Water (ice cold to prevent melting of Butter as you work)
- In a large mixing bowl, incorporate: Flour, Sugar, and Salt Add frozen Butter, and toss gently in Flour mixture using a flat, rubber spatula, until Butter is coated with Flour. This mixture should form small crumbs, about the size of a pea, in order to achieve a flakey crust
- Make a well in the center of the dough, and add your “Ice Cold” Water, a little at a time, using your spatula to blend the dough until it comes together (do not overwork your dough, as this will make it tough).
- Divide dough into 2 equal balls Round, and flatten each ball into a disc. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate 45″-1 hour; this will chill the Butter, and relax the dough, so you can roll it out evenly.
- After adequate chilling, roll out discs, one at a time, on lightly Floured surface to approximately 12″ diameter, with a rolling pin. Be careful not to overwork, or over Flour your dough, as this will make it tough. And don’t worry if you see bits of Butter as you roll…This is a good thing.
- Place dough in a Pie pan, trim excess dough. Return rolled dough to the refrigerator until you’re ready to fill your crust
- Just prior to baking, using a horse hair Pastry Brush, lightly dab the edges with Egg wash (a combination of whole Egg, 1 teaspoon of water, and pinch of Salt)
- If you need a fully baked shell, simply “Blind Bake” your Crust, using a pie weight, or Parchment Paper and uncooked, dry Beans (about 1 and a 1/2 pounds).
- Blind baking is really nothing more than letting the pie crust bake for a little while on its own before you add the filling. Once the crust is set (you’ll know this because the edges will turn golden) remove the weights/Beans and let the crust cook a little longer on its own. For a partially-baked crust, you want the bottom to look dry and flakey, but still pale. For a fully-baked crust, look for the bottom to turn light golden. The whole process won’t take more than 15 or 30 minutes. “Par” bake 15 minutes, with Beans. “Fully” bake 30 minutes with beans, and an additional 3 minutes without beans Check after 10 minutes, as oven temperatures vary
- There are two times when blind baking is necessary: 1. Custard pies, or when the pie filling is unbaked. With a custard pie, like a Pumpkin Pie, the moisture in the filling can make the crust soggy before it has time to actually bake. Blind baking the crust until it’s half-baked helps the crust stay firm.
- With an unbaked filling, like with a French Silk Pie, blind baking just makes sure the crust is fully baked before the filling is added. You won’t have to guess very often. Recipes almost always tell you when blind baking is necessary. If you see a recipe that calls for a “cooked and cooled” pie crust, this is also another indicator that you’ll need to blind bake the crust before making the recipe.
- To prevent over baking…Cover the edges of your crust with aluminum foil, or a crust cover for the last 10 minutes of baking. NOTE: You can use Beans more than once, just place used, cooled Beans in an airtight container until you’re ready to bake another pie.