As I’ve been working through the WS baking book, I’ve been avoiding some of the pies. And when I make the pies, I have been getting very frustrated by the crusts, which despite my best efforts rarely turn out like I’d like them to. I’ve kept at the same recipe over and over, assuming that practice would make perfect. FAIL.
So I’ve moved on to a new recipe, having made it twice in the last week. The first time it came out absolutely awesome. The second time, needed a bit more moisture, so it didn’t roll out very nicely for me. But I’m sure that I can nail this one, and it makes a lot more sense to me than the previous recipe I had been following.
This particular pie dough recipe comes from Kenji at Serious Eats. Kenji also devised the use-vodka-in-place-of-water dough recipe that Cooks Illustrated published a few years ago.
The basic idea of this particular recipe is to completely mix some of the flour and fat in a food processor, then coat those particles with more flour which can absorb the water. This should eliminate some of the variability in how much water the dough needs. Based on my first two attempts, I think the recipe is right on the mark, except I think it might be important to carefully measure how much flour will go into the fat and how much will be used to absorb the water.
Recipe for two pie crusts:
354 g flour
25 g sugar
4 g salt
284 g butter (2.5 sticks)
88 g water (cold if possible)
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer 2/3 to a food processor. Place the butter, cut into pats, into the food processor. Process with about 25 pulses until the mixture is relatively homogeneous. Add the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and pulse about 5 times to incorporate.
Transfer the mixture back to the original large bowl, then add the cold water. Stir in with a large spatula until the dough forms. Divide in half, shape into 4″ disks, wrap & refrigerate for 2 hours prior to rolling out.
Lesya and I made an apple pie with our first attempt at this recipe, and it turned out great. The second batch (the drier one, which didn’t roll out as nicely) will be used next weekend for the Super Bowl, maybe a lemon meringue and a chocolate silk pie.