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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Super Flaky Tender Pie Crust


I know I have already posted a recipe and tutorial on pie crust, but this one is just so phenomenal, I can't not share it with you. Look at how flaky that pie crust is! It's almost like puff pastry. I've been messing with this recipe for a little over a year now, but have finally gone a few times making it without making any adjustments to the recipe.

You use the exact same technique as I outline in my Pie Crust 101 post and video. It's amazing how just a few alterations in the recipe make such a huge difference. A pleasing bonus is that the dough is easier to work with when rolling because using half cake flour reduces the amount of gluten in the dough. Give this dough a try in your next pie crust application - I promise you will not be disappointed!

Super Flaky Tender Pie Crust
Yield: enough for two thin single crusts or one thick crust with some extra

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp table salt
11 TBS chilled butter cut into small pieces
5-6 TBS chilled water
1 TBS white vinegar

I think making crust is easiest in a food processor, but you can certainly mix it by hand. Mix together the flours and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea sized pieces of butter remaining. Mix the water and vinegar together and then add to the mixture while pulsing in the food processor or add all but the last TBS and then mix by hand. Hold back the last TBS of water regardless of your method until you are sure you need it. The ambient humidity will impact how much water is required to allow the dough to come together into a ball. Pulse just until the dough starts to clump. Dump out onto the counter and shape into a disk of dough about 6 inches across. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30-60 minutes before rolling.

7 comments:

  1. Since you taught me how to make crust I am happy to try and new recipe you are using! I will be forced to make a pie this weekend... I know Doug will be very upset :)

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  2. Ha ha! I'm sure Doug will be crushed. ;-) I hope you and your boys are having a wonderful Christmas season!

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  3. I have another Australia based question for you...

    I have looked up "cake flour" on Cook's Thesaurus and found this: "Substitute 7/8 cup all-purpose flour for each cup of cake flour and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every 7/8 cup all-purpose flour used. Cakes made with all purpose flour tend to be less delicate and crumbly"

    Which is good, because I thought that 'cake flour' was maybe what we call Self Raising flour. We only have '000' flour for pasta & pizza, 'baker's flour' for making bread, but mostly plain flour (maybe all purpose flour?) and SR or Self Raising flour, the last two coming in 'plain' (white) or 'wholemeal' (whole wheat) so some of yours require some translating for me. Thank you for telling me what a stick of butter was in your croissant recipe, I really appreciate it! :-)

    Thanks again for walking me through all the translations! I love, love, love your site! It's so refreshing to read a blog from The States that doesn't ask me to use 3 cans of cinnabon dough for monkey bread! Thank you!

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    1. Hi KJ, I had to do a little reading before I could get back to you... I would definitely NOT substitute self-rising flour for cake flour in this case. The suggestion from Cook's Thesaurus may have merit and I would give it a try. Ultimately, the purpose of the cake flour in this recipe is to lower the protein content without having to have another type of flour in my cupboard. Ideally, I would use pastry flour for all of the flour, but I went half and half to approximate that result. (I already keep whole wheat, white whole wheat, all purpose, and cake flour on hand at all times; I just can't store another bin of flour!). I think your pizza and pasta flour may actually be close to pastry flour, but I can't be 100% sure. Is it really three zeros and not two? This flour translation is harder than I thought! ;-) Let me know how it goes! I'm very interested in hearing!

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  4. Hi Tara, Did you use the pie crust receipe to make the cute cinnamon rolls in the picture? If so how much cinnamon and sugar did you use. And how long did you bake them. Thanks for a wonderful blog. I enjoy reading is so much. Merry Christmas!

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    1. I sure did. I love using any leftover dough to make these little pinwheels (to be honest, sometimes I make the crust just to make the pinwheels - very dangerous!). I posted the pinwheels early on in my blogging career. You can see the post here: http://cooking-from-scratch.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-dont-know-about-you-but-every-time.html or search for "pinwheels" in the search box at the top left of the page. In general, though, I don't measure the butter, sugar, or cinnamon. I simply smear and thin layer of butter and generously sprinkle with both sugar and cinnamon. They always turn out delicious!

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