Don’t fear the crust!

Pie crust has a bad reputation. People think it’s tricky and time-consuming to make. Unwieldy, difficult, and not all that good for you. Not true! Pie crust is exceedingly simple to make, and it doesn’t take much time at all. It’s not difficult to work with, and when it’s cooked it generally looks good no matter how much you mangle it. In fact, pie crust is one of those things that thrives on neglect. The less you mess with it, the better it tastes.

Here’s a recipe for basic pie crust. Flour, salt, butter, and ice water. Simple! Also called short crust or pate brisee, this pastry is extremely versatile and can be used for just about any of your pie crust needs.

The trick is to keep it quick and keep it cool.

recipe after the jump…

As a general rule, it’s recommended that you use a 2/1 flour to fat ratio. Personally, I use less fat, more flour, and make up the difference with water. I use butter. You can use margarine or any other vegetable fat, though, either with or instead of the butter. 2 tricks for keeping it light and flaky. First – you freeze the butter. I stick a bar of butter in the freezer, and then wait an hour or two to use it. Second – grate the butter, and then stir it in with a fork, trying to keep it as piece-y as possible.

Here we go…

2 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
1 stick butter
ice water (up to one cup)

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. [I like to add all sorts of different things at this time, depending on the recipe! I’ll put white pepper, black pepper, various herbs, paprika, lemon zest, very finely grated hard cheese, ground oats, ground nuts… but we’ll keep it simple this time.}

Grate the butter into it, stopping every now and again to mix in what you’ve just added. If you wait to the end it will all clump up again. I stir with a big fork. When it resembles bread crumbs, and all the butter seems to have coated itself with some flour, add about 1/2 cup of ice water. Stir again with the fork. At this point you’ll have to use your fingers, but use the tips, and keep them cool. (and clean!) Pull it together into a ball, kneading a tiny bit to incorporate all of the ingredients. (you might need to add more water). Wrap the ball in foil or plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. That easy!

About these ads

24 thoughts on “Don’t fear the crust!

  1. Pingback: vegetarian cornish pasties | Out of the Ordinary

  2. Pingback: Deep Mushroom Pie | Out of the Ordinary

  3. Pingback: Non-sausage rolls with butternut squash and goat cheese | Out of the Ordinary

  4. Pingback: Quiche | Out of the Ordinary

  5. Pingback: Pie, Mash & Liquor – vegetarian style | Out of the Ordinary

  6. Pingback: Roasted carrot & apple with goat cheese in a rosemary crust | Out of the Ordinary

  7. Pingback: Greens & roasted butternut squash in a hazelnut crust | Out of the Ordinary

  8. Pingback: Don’t Fear the Crust! Puff pastry Edition. | Out of the Ordinary

  9. Pingback: Eggplant Wellington | Out of the Ordinary

  10. Pingback: Spaniko-sushi with spicy sauce | Out of the Ordinary

  11. Pingback: Roasted chickpea & tarragon pie | Out of the Ordinary

  12. Pingback: Portobello Wellington | Out of the Ordinary

  13. Pingback: Spice mix! | Out of the Ordinary

  14. Pingback: Butternut tart with caramelized fennel | Out of the Ordinary

  15. Pingback: Pat̩ en croute Рvegetarian style | Out of the Ordinary

  16. Pingback: Beer-braised vegetable pie | Out of the Ordinary

  17. Pingback: Asparagus & Spinach quiche | Out of the Ordinary

  18. Pingback: Tart with pumpkinseed-sage custard and roasted butternut coins | Out of the Ordinary

  19. Pingback: Tart with ramps, chervil, and meyer lemons | Out of the Ordinary

  20. Pingback: Non-sausage rolls with roasted mushrooms and white beans | Out of the Ordinary

  21. Pingback: Roasted beet & fiddlehead tart | Out of the Ordinary

  22. Pingback: Eggplant pie with greens, quince, and hazelnut | Out of the Ordinary

  23. Pingback: Artichoke heart, caramelized onion and brie tart | Out of the Ordinary

  24. Pingback: French lentil, roasted musrhoom tart with savory almond topping | Out of the Ordinary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s