Pie Crust, with shortcuts

I love The Pie and Pastry Bible, and the lovely, flaky-tender pie crusts that come from her recipes. But I sometimes feel like the numerous steps are a little bit fussy. When I am baking with my Junior Assistant Baker, they are *way* too fussy. Anything that involves multiple “wait 30 minutes” steps is not going to happen—if I lose the JA’s attention, getting her back and scrubbing her back in to be food-safe (-ish) will take way more than 30 minutes, and we’ll never finish making anything.

So here’s what we *actually* did:

  • Put dry ingredients (1 1/3c flour, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp baking powder) in the food processor. 
  • Let JA push the pulse button until she gets bored with it. 
  • Add three individual containers (each 1oz) of cream cheese to the dry ingredients, try to keep JA from running the blades while you are adding it. 
  • Now let her run it for under a minute. 
  • Add 8 tbsp of butter, ideally frozen and in little pieces, but at least cold from the fridge. 
  • Let JA run the blades again, until none of the butter is larger than a pea. 
  • Add 1.5 tbsp of ice water and 1.5 tsp of cider vinegar through the liquid feed tube, and let JA run the blades again, until it starts to thump together and rock the food processor. 
  • Stop, put her stepstool out of the kitchen so she can’t reach the dough and try to eat it raw.
  • Remove the dough from the food processor to a piece of cling wrap and put the food processor in the sink where JA can’t get to the blade. 
  • Squish tightly into a disk and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes (or, in this case, 2 days, which is the most that Beranbaum says is allowed).
  • Sweep up all the spilled flour and *then* let JA wipe the sponge around, once it’s almost all clean. 

This makes enough for a lattice pie (bottom crust and lattice top) in a 9″ pie plate.


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