I had so much fun with this post. It was a rainy, drizzling sort of day which made being indoors delightful. With a warmed spirit, no errands to run and good music playing in the background; it made for a sweet baking day.
While taking pictures for Simple Bites I decided to pull out my flip camera and dedicate a post on my blog for a buttery, rich, flaky pie crust.
Once you see how simple a pie crust can be to make at home, head on over to Simple Bites to learn how to make a naturally sweetened, apple pie filing.
A traditional French Pâte Brisée.
There are many posts explaining how to make a pâte brisée; however, I thought a short and fun video, followed by the recipe, will help in illustrating how simple it really is.
You see, there really is nothing to it. The secret is to keep everything cold in order to prevent the butter from warming itself and incorporating into the flour.
Tips for a perfect crust every time
- Mise en place, have everything out ready to go, (except your butter, don’t bring out your butter until your ready for that step)
- Store your flour in the refrigerator
- Do not over process the dough
- use ice water
- Allow your finished dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour
For my pie crust, I grind my own whole wheat grain using soft white wheat berries. This is what you would find at the store called Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. In my opinion, store bought whole wheat flour does not compare to milling your own grain at home. It’s much heavier and in my opinion, gritty. If you do not grind your own grain, I would suggest using an unbleached all purpose white flour.
Ingredients for a two crust pie:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 6-10 tablespoons cold water (This is quite a gap in measurements, however, since I use freshly milled grains, it’s much lighter and I only need around 5-6tbls of water. If you’re using store bought flour, you will most likely need anywhere from 8-10tablespoons)
1. In a food processor combine the flour, salt and sugar. Blend to incorporate.
2. Cut the butter in small pieces, making sure to not handle it too much. Your hands will give off quite a bit of heat and it’s important to keep your butter as cold as possible.
3. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse 6-8 times or until the mixture resembles a coarse grain. Do not over process.
4. Add 1 tablespoon at a time of water and pulse. Continue to do this until the dough just begins to hold together without being wet or sticky. Again, do not over process.
5. The dough should not stick together in a ball-shaped form. It should just begin to hold. Once you’re at this stage, empty the dough “pieces” onto the counter and shape quickly into a rounded ball. Divide into two balls.
6. Quickly shape each piece into a disc and wrap in plastic. Do not overwork.
7. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.
The dough will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or frozen for up to a month.
Do you make your own pie crust at home? What’s your favorite recipe?