Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Never-Fail" Pie Crust

This one goes out to all those fresh fruits, waiting to reach their potential twixt two layers of flaky goodness.

3 Cups sifted all purpose flour
1.5 Cups refrigerated shortening
1 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg
6 Tablespoons ice water
1 Tablespoon of either vinegar or lemon juice

Cut shortening, flour, and salt together with a pastry blender or large fork until pebble sized. Add combined wet ingredients to flour and shortening mixture and cut together until everything is combined. Refrigerate at least one hour, preferably more than 6, before rolling out. Yield is plenty for one 9 inch double crust pie, or maybe three flats for an 8 inch pie.

I love using Crisco's butter flavored stick shortening. I generally use lemon juice, but I've used vinegar with equal success. I also have a pastry blender that works wonderfully. As much as possible, try not to touch the mixture, and don't overwork it when blending it together. The colder your shortening, the better chance you have of achieving maximum flakiness.

Bon chance y buena suerta.



At April 22, 2009 8:33 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I've read that using half ice water and half cold vodka helps in the tender/flaky department too (source: Alton Brown). Any thoughts on this?

At April 22, 2009 8:59 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

The vinegar/lemon juice seems to be what separates this recipe from a lot of crust recipes I've seen. I don't know why, but I think that acid/base mixture helps incorporate something. So I'm guessing the alcohol has the same effect, and Alton actually uses Apple Jack whiskey in his apple pie crust recipe. Plus along the lines of keep the fat as cold as possible, I think you can keep alcohol at a colder temp than water, which would feed into that theory.


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