I love piecrust! I would eat it on its own, if the filling wasn’t so delicious. So, I decided to learn to make it myself – based on our general family rule that everything tastes better homemade.
It took awhile, a lot of practice, tough crust, experiments with different kinds of fat and amounts of liquid, dirty pans, and patient family. But, at last, I have sort of mastered the art of pastry dough!
Sort of. Crusts are inexplicably temperamental. Still!
My favorite recipe is one I’ve adapted from “The Joy of Cooking” (one of our favorite cookbooks). We have pictures of the process so that you will hopefully have some idea of how it looks coming together.
A few healthy alterations: I use half whole wheat flour and half white, half the salt of the original recipe, use butter and canola oil instead of shortening or lard (don’t tell!), and add a tablespoon of sugar. Ok, that last one isn’t actually healthier; but it does taste good!:
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
And here’s how you make it:
(hover your mouse over the pics to get extra captions…!)
All the ingredients! (it really helps with this recipe)
Cut the butter into small chunks
Whisk together the dry ingredients
Still being very careful not to overmix
It will all start to come together…
Into a lovely dough…
Which you can probably nibble on. Not too much. Just a little…
You can also test by feel
Now, the dough is done! Prepare it to roll out in nice little packages. Lay out 2 or 3 sheets of plastic wrap (depending on how thick you like your crust)
Drop some dough in the middle…
When you’re ready, have a little cold water handy to heal any tears, and begin rolling!
Someday, I want to get a marble rolling pin and board – they say it makes the best surface!
Roll to your desired thickness on a lightly floured surface, then gently lift over the rolling pin, which is an easy way to keep it flat as you transport it
And there you are! Proceed to make your pie with this lovely, crispy, flaky, delicious crust!
… Ok, results aren’t guaranteed, really! You will need to experiment and possibly (probably) fail once or twice. But keep at it! It is well worth mastering!