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Pie Crust, Pie Crust, Pie Crust!!! Even the most experienced chefs can be intimidated by making pie crust. Here is a good basic single pie crust recipe along good tips to help with pie crust problems.
Single Pie Crust
1 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Shortening or Cold Butter
4 Tablespoons Cold Water
In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Roll out to fit a 9 inch or 10 inch pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the plate; flute the edges. Fill or bake shell according to recipe directions.
Keep Dough Cold & Butter Chunky: If you would like a flaky crust, then keep the butter from melting into the dough before baking. The bits of butter should be about pea size and should melt in the oven, which creates flakey pockets. If dough appears to be too soft when you’re working with it, then place it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. When rolling dough out you should see “veins” of butter running through it.
From The Center Outward: It is so much easier to roll dough into a circle if you work from the center out to the edge in all directions. Give it a try and you’ll see how much easier it is.
Don’t Work It To Death: Make sure not to overdo it. When you overwork the dough and are using too much flour your crust can become tough and dry. Keep a light hand with both flour and rolling. Roll just enough to reach your desired size and use only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.
Pie Crust Bag: What’s this? A pie crust bag is a handy tool that takes the strain out of rolling by providing a non-stick round frame for the dough as you roll it out. This allows you to use less flour and avoid shaggy edges. Just put your chilled dough in the bag, zip it up, roll it out, and then transfer it to your pan. The bags come in different sizes for regular and deep-dish pies are available from many online stores.
Those Pesky Edges: Crimp or flute the edge of a double crust pie. This seals the dough and keeps the filling from leaking out during baking. Even on a single crust pie, crimping can create a helpful dam effect. There are many good techniques, but my favorite is the basic pinch by pinching the dough around the index finger of one hand using the thumb and forefinger of the other.
Store Bought Dough: When all else fails or if you’re short on time you can always cheat and use ready-made dough. I’ll never tell!