Friends, Thanksgiving is one week away. Let’s review:
Dough Making, Pie Baking
No matter which pie dough recipe you use, the principles of making it will be the same: keep the ingredients cold, cold, cold. Purists will say that making a pie dough in the food processor is a no-no, but I find it works very well—so does Martha Stewart!—and if you are making a lot of dough, using a processor will save you a lot of time. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
• To start the pie-dough making process, cut your butter into smallish slices or cubes, place them on a plate (or some other vessel) and stick them in the freezer. Fill a large liquid measuring cup with ice and water. Set aside.
• If you want to make several batches of dough, rather than multiply the recipe and load up your food processor, make separate batches consecutively. For example, when I triple the pie dough recipe below, I’ll start by cutting up the butter and placing each portion on a separate plate in the freezer. Then I’ll fill up a large liquid measure with ice and water. Then I’ll line up three big mixing bowls and fill each with 320g flour, 2 T. sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Then I make one batch at a time using the food processor, wrapping each batch in a tea towel or plastic wrap before proceeding with the next batch. No need to clean the processor in between batches.
• When I make the dough and plan on using it shortly thereafter, I prefer rolling it out immediately, fitting it into the pie plate, then chilling the dough-fitted pie plate. I find this easier than chilling the dough round, then rolling it out once it has chilled and firmed up.
• When you are rolling out your dough, try to keep tools and ingredients cold — my aunt uses a marble rolling pin that she keeps in the freezer. (I never remember to freeze my rolling pins, but it’s something to keep in mind.)
• As Martha Stewart says: “Make it cold; bake it hot.” A good rule of thumb is to bake your pie on the lowest rack of the oven at a high temperature to start (around 425ºF for 20 minutes or so), and then to reduce the heat to a lower temperature (350ºF or so) for the remaining baking time, anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes longer. Every oven is different, of course, so adjust temperature and timing as needed.
Pulse 10 times. You don’t want to over-process the dough—it should look like the photo below and come together when you pinch it with your fingers. When you dump out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap or a tea towel or whatever you are using to store the dough, it will look like a pile of crumbs, not a cohesive ball. It will come together into a cohesive ball when you pack it into a round.
This is the pie dough I use for everything: galettes, tarts, etc. Dough can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge or made weeks in advance and stored in the freezer.
- 2½ cups (11.25 oz | 320g) all-purpose flour
- 2 T. sugar
- ½ tsp. table salt
- 16 T. (8 oz | 227g) unsalted butter
- ½ C. + 2 T. (4 oz | 114 g + 1 oz | 28g) ice water
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and salt together (or pulse in food processor). Cut butter into flour and using the back of a fork or a pastry cutter, incorporate butter into flour mixture until butter is in small pieces. (If using food processor, pulse at 1-second intervals until butter is the size of peas.) Add ice water and continue to stir with fork until mixture comes together to form a mass. Add more ice water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time. Gently form mass into a ball, divide in half, flatten each half into a disk and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill until ready to use.
Here are a few pies and tarts I use this dough for: