Making Pie Dough With A Food Processor
Using a food processor is very fast. If you have one, we highly recommend it for holidays and feasts.
Flour and butter in a food processor for pie dough
1. Place the flour and salt in the food processor and pulse once. Add the fat. Pulse 3 or 4 times or until the mix has large chunks of fat.
Pouring ice-cold water into food processor to blend with flour-butter mixture
2. With the processor on, quickly pour in the liquid a little at a time using only as much as is needed to get it all combined . Turn off the food processor as soon as the dough forms.
3. Remove the dough from the food processor and form a disk , wrap in plastic or seal in containers, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Making The Dough By Food Processor Or By Hand
The folks at Cooks Illustrated insist on using a food processor for this method. We sort of agree It makes making the flour and butter paste easy.
Use the food processor to make the paste then add the remaining flour. Pulse a few times then transfer everything to a bowl and add water until the dough comes together. .
Using the food processor eliminates variability. If you have one, use it.
With all that said, we hate cleaning dishes and since a food processor means 5 parts to clean we tried this method by hand.
We used a pastry cutter to cut the butter into part of the flour and made it as close to a paste as possible. The flour was moistened by the butter and the mixture looked like fresh breadcrumbs it was not powdery from flour. Then, we cut in the remaining flour and added water until the dough came together.
The dough made by hand was just as easy to roll out and turned out just as flaky. In fact, the photo above is actually from dough made by hand, not the food processor.
So, if you dont have a food processor or are like us and hate the extra dishes, give making it by hand a go.
Helpful Tips To Make Perfect Shortcrust Pastry
- Keep butter and water coldice cold: This is crucial: the butter and water you use should in this recipe should be very coldnot room temperature, not cold from the fridge, *ice cold*. Ice-cold butter better distributes into the flour, and ice-cold water allows the dough to come together without melting the butter, both of which are key to producing tender, flaky dough.
- To make ice-cold water, simply pour a bit of water in a small bowl, then fill it with ice. The water will be cold enough to use a minute or two later.
- To make ice-cold butter, cut it into cubes, spread the cubes over a small plate, then plate it in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Shortcut your way to shortcrust: Keep portions of pre-cubed butter stored in airtight containers in the freezer. Whenever I want to make a pie crust, no need to wait 20 minutes for the butter to coolI simply take out a container of frozen butter cubes and add it straight to the food processor. I prefer this to freezing shortcrust pastry because mixing a fresh batch of dough with frozen butter is much, much quicker than letting shortcrust pastry thaw to room temperature.
- Be accurate: This shortcrust recipe works, but only if youre counting accurately. Youre literally seconds away from under- or overmixing the dough, so make sure to concentrate. If needed, look at your watch or use the stopwatch function of your phone to time things accurately.
- 2tbspice water
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Why Is My Pie Crust Tough
There is one reason why your pie crust may be tough: Youve overworked your dough.
Flour has proteins in it called gluten, which gives the flour structure in recipes. When flour is mixed too much or overworked with your hands while kneading or rolling, it can result in a tough crust.
This is one of the reasons why bread recipes are left to proof. In addition to the yeast needing time to wake up and help the bread dough rise, the gluten proteins in the flour need time to relax after being tightened up when you kneaded the dough.
You know when try to roll out a pie dough and it just wont roll out, but keeps springing back into a smaller shape? This is why you need to let your pie dough rest in the fridge before rolling it out. The gluten in the flour needs some time to relax!
And so when making pie dough, you want to first, make sure that you dont over-mix or over-roll the dough and second, allow the dough at least 2 hours to rest in the fridge before rolling.
These 2 keys will prevent you from having a tough pie crust!
So go on! Make a few batches of this all butter really flakey pie dough recipe for your next pie or your upcoming holiday celebrations!
How To Blind Bake To Prevent Soggy Crusts
If you made a double-crust pie, you’re almost ready to pop it in the oven. But for many single-crust custard or cream pies like pumpkin, you need to take a step back in the process before crimping, and prebake or blind bake the crust before adding the filling.
Blind baking keeps the final pie crust from getting soggy. How to prebake a pie crust simply involves baking the crust on its own, usually with pie weights to maintain the crusts shape in the oven.
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Tips For Pie Dough Success
This pie dough works a little differently than classic pie dough:
- Take the chill off the butter: Many pie crust recipes call for working with very cold ingredients, which is important for an all-butter pie crust. But in this recipe, you’ll work the butter into the flour with your hands, which will only work if the butter isn’t too cold. Take the butter out of the fridge and let it sit out for a few minutes before working it into the flour mixture. But don’t let it sit out too long! You do not want soft room temp butter here.
- Squish the butter into the flour: As you work the butter into the flour, squish it so that some of the cubes flatten into the flour. Pressing down with your knuckles in the bowl can help with this. Flattened pieces of butter will result in flaky layers.
- Stir the sour cream: Use full-fat sour cream and if it has separated in the container, stir it before adding it to the dough mixture.
- Make sure your dough disks do not have cracks in them: Do not worry about overworking the dough to form the dough disks because of the way we incorporate fat, this is a very forgiving pie dough. Do what you need to do to get the dough to hold together well. As you work it into disks, it should end up smooth, having the consistency of play-doh. Once you wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap, you can massage the dough and the edges with your warm hands to close any cracks.
Pie Crust Recipes And A Favorite Pie
What’s your perfect pie crust? It depends on what you’re looking for. Here are a few excellent pie dough recipes you can try as you learn how to make pie dough from scratch, and a Yummly apple pie recipe to get you thinking about the pie filling.
Creating a fabulous apple pie is all about the details. For starters, not every apple holds up well to baking, so this pie features two that do, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. Three kinds of spices and two of citrus add complexity, and cranberries bring in a pop of color and tartness. For beauty, and to prevent the slump that can occur in a baked apple pie between the top pastry crust and the filling, youll precook the apples just a little.
Now you can sit down and enjoy your well-earned and well-made slice of pie.
A slice of double-crust Spiced Apple Cranberry Pie
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Can I Make These Pies Ahead Of Time And Bake Later
Yep! Fill and crimp the mini apple pies but leave off the egg wash. Store the bare pies in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for a couple days.
Then to bake, apply the egg wash and cinnamon sugar and bake as usual. I also recommend this route if youre only baking these pies for a couple people. Bake what you need, and chill the bare pies until you want another fresh batch.
Part : 1 Minute Pie Crust Dough
I feel like Ive paid my dues over the years, making pie crust dough by hand either rubbing the butter in with the tips of fingers or using a pastry cutter. Nowadays, I opt for the simple, foolproof, 1 minute method using a food processor.
Pulse flour, sugar and salt twice just to combine, then scatter butter over
Chickpea size butter Pulse 5 times until the largest butter bits are chickpea size
Ice cold water With the motor running on low, drizzle 2.5 tbsp of water in.
Crumbly dough after 10 seconds, it should look crumbly but when you pinch it together, it should stick and form a dough. Crumble = good = leads to flaky pastry. If it stays sandy, add another 1/2 tbsp cold water and blitz again
Tip out crumbly dough on work surface
Bring together with your hands no kneading. Crumbly dough will stick together!
Pat into disc shape
Refrigerate Wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate. This makes the teeny tiny butter bits cold again = flaky pastry.
OK, so maybe that takes you 90 seconds. Or 2 minutes. Its still super duper fast!
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Flaky Vs Tender Crusts
The flakiness of a crust is a result of both the fat that you use and how much you work the fat into the flour before adding the water. Because of their higher melting temperature and unique structure, lard and shortening do make very flaky crusts. But you can make an equally flaky crust using all-butter by not over-incorporating the butter into the flour. In this recipe, that means adding the butter in two additions, and cutting it into the flour just until you see pieces no larger than peas. Conversely, if you like a very tender crust, work the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs.
Tips For Making Pie Crust
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Making Flaky Pie Crust Its About The Method
Whats more important than vodka is the way you combine flour and fat .
Remember that gluten is our enemy when it comes to pie dough? Well, Cooks Illustrated found that if you thoroughly mix part of the flour with the fat and make a flour-butter paste first, every particle of that flour becomes coated in fat.
Think of each particle of flour with butter raincoats. These raincoats make it very difficult for the flour to absorb water. In other words, it helps to prevent the development of too much gluten.
Then, you can add the remaining flour so the perfect amount of gluten develops. This means perfect pie crust, every time.
What You Need To Make A Pie Crust
Heres all you need:
Very cold butter your goal is to end up with tiny little bits of butter in the dough rather than melted or creamed butter mixed through the dough. The little bits of butter melt in the oven and create air pockets which makes the pastry flaky.
Very cold water for the same reason as above
Flour, salt and if making pastry for a sweet filling, sugar.
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All Butter Vs Shortening Vs Mixed Crusts
Pie crusts are made by working fat into flour when the fat melts during baking, it leaves behind layers of crispy, flaky crust. Yum. But just what fat you use in your pie is a matter of much debate one that really boils down to personal preference. While some people prefer lard and shortening crusts because they can be easier to work with, I prefer all-butter crusts because of their lovely, rich flavor. Here, Im sharing my go-to method for making an all-butter pie crust, which I promise is practically foolproof.
Ingredients For Homemade Pie Crust
Learning how to make homemade pie crust starts with the ingredients. A good pie dough has only a few required ingredients: flour, salt, fat, and liquid. There are many variations, but this is the simple formula and theres no real need to mess with it. Heres a quick explanation of the different ingredients you might find in recipes.
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How To Make Pie Dough By Hand