|4.9028573 (8)||rate this recipe »|
A medium-flake crust can be used for main-course dishes or, by adding the optional sugar, for sweet fillings or even tart shells. Our recipe makes enough for a double-crust 9-inch pie. You can easily substitute whole wheat pastry flour for an equal amount of your unbleached white. Start with about 1/2 cup until you find a ratio you like. Whole wheat pastry flour produces a crust with a "bite" and a hearty flavor, which is great with savory fillings and is a wholesome alternative for sweet fillings, too.
2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) Round Table Pastry Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (8 1/2 ounces)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 cup shortening (3 1/4 to 5 7/8), lard or butter (4 to 6 ounces)
4 to 7 tablespoons (2 to 3 1/2 ounces) tablespoons ice water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar if you're using it.
With a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingertips, cut or rub half of the fat into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Then take the remainder of the fat and cut or rub it in until the largest pieces are the size of a dime, or flattened peas.
Sprinkle the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, over the flour/fat mixture. With a fork, toss the mixture that you've just moistened and push it to one side. Continue until the dough is just moist enough to hold together. Then gather it into a ball (a bit like gently packing a snowball), cut it in half and flatten the halves into two disks. If you're making a double-crust pie, make the piece for the bottom crust slightly larger, since it has to fit down into the pie plate.
Wrap the two pieces of dough and put them in the refrigerator to give them a rest for 30 minutes or more before rolling them out.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 6, May 1991 issue.