Crust Recipes by luvcookin

luvcookin posted 11-22-99 7:06 PM pt (US)

Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust

Pastry for a 9-inch pie shell or a 9 1/2- or 10- by 1-inch tart shell
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 cup + 1 tablespoon pastry flour or 1 cup (dip and sweep method) bleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cream cheese, cold
1 tablespoon ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Pastry for a 9-inch lattice pie, a 9-inch deep-dish pie, a 10-inch pie shell, or a 12- to 14-inch free-form tart

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 1/3 cups + 4 teaspoons pastry flour or 1 1/3 cups (dip and sweep method)
bleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
one 3-ounce package cream cheese, cold
1 1/2 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Pastry for a two-crust 9-inch pie

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 cups + 3 tablespoons pastry flour or 2 cups (dip and sweep method)
bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, cold
2 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar


Food processor method:
Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it until frozen solid, at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea. (Toss with a fork to see it better.)

Remove the cover and add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together. Spoon it into the plastic bag. (For a double-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.) Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs) and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds: one third - use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)


Hand method:
Place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cream cheese and rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the cream cheese into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. Spoon the mixture, together with the cold butter, into a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag. Expel any air from the bag and close it.

Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into thin flakes. Place the bag in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or until the butter is very firm. Transfer the mixture to the chilled bowl, scraping the sides of the bag. Set the bag aside.

Sprinkle the mixture with the water and vinegar, tossing lightly with a rubber spatula. Spoon it into the plastic bag. (For a two-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.) Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs), and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds:one third - use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)


Store:
Refrigerated, up to 2 days; frozen, up to 3 months.




Basic Flaky Pie Crust

#1 Pastry for a 9-inch pie shell or a 9 1/2- or 10- by 1-inch tart shell

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 1/3 cups + 4 tablespoon pastry flour or 1 1/3 cups (dip and sweep method) bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Optional:
1/8 teaspoon baking powder (if not using, double the salt)


#2 Pastry for a 9-inch lattice pie, a 9-inch deep-dish pie, a 10-inch pie
shell, or a 12- to 14-inch free-form tart
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 1/2 cups + 1 1/2 tablespoons pastry flour or 1 1/2 cups (dip and sweep
method) bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Optional
1/8 teaspoon baking powder (if not using, double the salt)


#3 Pastry for a two-crust 9-inch pie
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons pastry flour or 2 1/4 cups (dip and sweep method)
bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Optional
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (if not using, double the salt)


Divide the butter into two parts, about two thirds to one third:

For #1 2.5 ounces and 1.5 ounces (5 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons)

For #2 3 ounces and 1.5 ounces (6 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons)

For #3 4.5 ounces and 2.5 ounces (9 tablespoons and 5 tablespoons)


Cut the butter into 3/4-inch cubes. Wrap each portion of butter with plastic wrap, refrigerate the larger amount and freeze the smaller for at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Food processor method:
Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.

Add the larger amount of butter cubes to the flour and process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining frozen butter cubes and pulse until all of the frozen butter is the size of peas. (Toss with a fork to see it better.) Add the lowest amount of the ice water and the vinegar and pulse 6 times.

Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together, add half the remaining water and pulse 3 times. Try pinching the mixture again. If necessary, add the remaining water, pulsing 3 times to incorporate it. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together without being pinched.

For tiny 1-inch tartlets, omit the baking powder and allow the processing to continue just until a ball forms. The additional mixing produces a dough that is slightly less flaky but ensures that it will not puff out of shape in the tiny molds.

Spoon the mixture into the plastic bag. (For a double-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.) Holding both ends of the bag opening with you fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs) and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds:one third - use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)

Hand method:
Place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.

Place the flour, salt, and optional baking powder in another medium bowl and whisk to combine them. Use a pastry cutter or rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the larger portion of the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal.

Spoon the mixture, together with the cold butter, into a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag. Expel any air from the bag and close it. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into flakes. Place the bag in the freezer or at least 10 minutes or until the butter is very firm.

Transfer the mixture to the chilled bowl, scraping the sides of the bag. Set the bag aside. Sprinkle the ice water and vinegar onto the mixture, tossing it lightly with a rubber spatula. Spoon the loose mixture back into the plastic bag. (For a double-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.) Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs) and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds:one third - use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)

Store:
Refrigerated, up to 2 days; frozen, up to 3 months.

The Pie and Pastry Bible ( 1998 Cordon Rose, Inc.)
Rose Levy Beranbaum
by permission of Scribner



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