I can certainly understand if, when you find yourself in a pinch, you might pick up one of those pre-made discs of pie dough in the refrigerated section of your local grocer. (I’ve been in that situation myself a couple of times.) But what I haven’t done, and hope you will not do, is succumb to buying one of those frozen shells in a disposable aluminum pan. YIKES!

It only takes a small amount of additional effort to make a pie crust that is far superior to anything you will find in the refrigerated or frozen sections of a grocery store. After years and years of testing and trying, this is the recipe that I have developed and depend on. It is crispy and flaky…it actually fits the dimensions of the pie plate…and it has flavor (something no commercial product can boast). It’s also versatile in that it works equally well for both savory and sweet pies.

Eddie’s Pie Crust
If at all possible, please use organic ingredients
1 ¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5 ½ Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons cold non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons ice cold filtered water (plus another few drips if needed)

In a large bowl stir together the flour and salt. Toss in the butter and shortening until the pieces are coated with flour. Use a pastry blender (rocking back and forth), to cut the fats into the flour until the mixture is uniformly crumbly. Sprinkle in the ice water and toss with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Then, use your hands to mash together and lightly knead the mixture until it holds together into an homogenous ball. Pat into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, dust a bread board or clean work surface lightly with flour and set out a 9-inch Pyrex-type glass pie plate. After the dough has chilled, roll it out on the work surface until quite thin and even and at least 1 ½ inches larger than your pie plate. Gently lift the dough from the surface and drape over the plate “nudging” it into the contours being careful not to stretch the dough. Press the edges of the dough against the edges of the plate and trim off any excess dough using a sharp knife. Press the tines of a fork along the outside rim of the dough to create a decorative edge.

Refrigerate the dough for another 30 minutes before baking. (This can also be frozen successfully). A lot of recipes call for baking the dough for a few minutes before adding a filling. Sometimes I do that and sometimes I don’t. It wasn’t necessary for tonight’s Quiche recipe, but I usually do so for a lemon pie.

I know this may sound daunting, but once you get the “hang of It” (practice not only makes perfect but leads to confidence and courage of conviction), you will be glad for having witnessed (and tasted) the outcome of the experience. SLOW FOOD IS THE BEST FOOD!!!

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