Monday, March 5, 2012

Easy Pâte Brisée...At Last

I have only made a few pie crusts in my life...and always swore I would never attempt it again until I had a food processor. Cutting butter in with forks is awful, and using a pastry blender is almost as bad (I'll use a pastry blender for scones, but that's about it). Well, my Mom spotted a Cuisinart 7-cup food processor on sale and I said "YES!"

It has already made everything easier (like meatloaf...just wait until you see THAT post). It is quiet (which surprises me, since my Mini Prep is as loud as a beaver chewing through steel), speedy, and easy to clean. Why on earth did I wait so long?


Welcome home, Mr. Cuisinart!
I, of course, used Martha's Pâte Brisée recipe, although the one I used didn't call for the sugar. It did, however, call for everything to be cold. I measured everything out and cut up the butter, than put it all in the fridge for a while.


After pulsing the dry ingredients, I pulsed in the butter until it looks like coarse crumbs (you want little pieces of butter). This picture is pre-pulsing.
I didn't get a shot of it, but after the butter is in, you add the ice water in a steady stream until the dough pulls from the sides and holds together without being sticky or wet. Adding the water should not take longer than 30 seconds. Divide this mass in half on plastic wrap. Form them into balls and then press them down flat and chill.
They'll look like this.
One round will make one single layer crust. Roll it out to a 12" round.
This is another great Martha tip (although the dough is really easy to work with, and I most likely could have picked it up by hand). Roll the dough onto the rolling pin...
...like this...
...and then roll it right onto the pie plate!


Crimped the edges (I need practice) and docked the bottom of the crust. Then back to chill for 30 minutes.
In the meantime I made myself an "apple pie" with the scraps.
After the crust is chilled (I had brushed a beaten egg on the rim of the dough...forgot to mention that) I prepared to blind bake the crust (since this would end up a coconut cream pie the pie crust needed to be baked beforehand). Filled with a layer of parchment and dried beans (you could use pie weights, but what's the point of spending that kind of money?) it went into a 375 degree oven for about 18 minutes.
Then the beans came out (and were placed in their own jar marked "Pie Beans" since you cannot use them for cooking after this) and the crust baked for another 15-20 minutes. It's not the prettiest crust, but it is quite tasty.
Oh! And my apple pie was, too.

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