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Name:Foolproof Crust Contributor:Shasta Willson
Description:tricks for foolproof crust Posted:2002-12-20
Key words:pie, crust, hints Category:Other
ID:322 Updated:2006-04-01 17:05:56
Ingredients:your usual crust recipe, but:
-2 Tbsp liquid
1 egg yolk
1-2 tsp lemon jiuce or vinegar
(finely chopped walnuts or pecans)
Preparation:Cutting butter: Use a food processor to cut the butter and shortening into the flour, salt, and any spices. I've never had luck with a pastry knife or fork.

The Critical tip: To 2 Tbsp less than normal amount of ice cold water, add 1 egg yolk and 1-2 tsp lemon juiceor vinegar. (lemon for sweet pie, vinegar for savory.)

Mixing in liquid: You can then either turn it into a bowl to add the liquid by hand, or if you're careful use the processor for that too. (But not until it rolls in a ball - just until it's moist, then turn it out onto wax paper and push/pat it into 1-2 balls to chill.)

Chill, then roll, then freeze the bottom crust for 5 minutes. This seals it a little bit from the filling.

Doing this has never resulted in a bad pie crust, and some have been truly fabulous. I think of each of these as a convenience - If I add a bit too much water, or mix a little too long, the crust is still really good.

To gild the lily:

You can also finely chop in walnuts or pecans during the butter phase. I'm not sure how many I used to throw in - I'm not eating nuts while breastfeeding, so it's been over a year, but a small handful makes it tenderer without making it impossible to work with. They have to be chopped tiny, though, so I'd often whir them before adding the butter.

Or chop a little cheddar in with the butter, for apple pie.

Use the egg white that's left over to seal the crust for wet fillings. Chill the crust, then pour in the intact white and roll it around and pour it out again.

Add a bit of sugar to sweet filling crusts to brown them.

Instead of trimming the edges, fold all that extra crust over (loosely!) with a bit of sweet (caramels for apple pie) or savory (cheese usually) between the thicknesses. Everybody likes crust, and this way everyone gets more, plus it looks nice if you like rustic, and it's easy.
Equipment:food processor

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