Friday, November 21, 2008

Dough you hear what I hear?

If you're planning on baking pies at all for Thanksgiving, then this weekend is the perfect time to make your pie dough (pate brisee), and freeze it so it's all ready to go on Thursday (it will keep in the freezer for up to a month). If you are thinking, "I was just going to buy a pre-made crust at the grocery store", you should look at this recipe- it's so easy and fool-proof, it may make you reconsider and go the all-homemade route this year. This recipe yields enough for either 2 bottom crusts, or one pie with both a top and bottom crust.

All you need is:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional-but I like it)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water
See? You probably already have all of this stuff in your house.

In a large bowl or food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Stir, or pulse a few times until mixed. Cut the butter in and either mix using a pastry mixer* or pulse until combined (this should only take about 10 seconds in a food processor). Add 1/4 cup of ice water while the processor is running until the dough is crumbly (not sticky or wet), but holds together. If the dough is still too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Err on the side of dry and crumbly- you do not want to let the dough get too soft and wet. Divide the dough into two equal portions and wrap in plastic wrap, forming a tight disk shape (but be careful not to warm the dough too much with your hands). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or freeze for up to two months (thaw in the fridge overnight before you want to use it). I made two batches so I'm set for our holiday party!

* A pastry mixer, shown at left, is available at Williams-Sonoma, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond or anywhere that sells cooking stuff), for about $10.

If this still sounds complicated, those lovely souls at Martha Stewart have illustrated the whole process in a step-by-step how-to. Easy as pie!

1 comment:

Chloe said...

You posted the day you are traveling!!!! It's only because of your master packing list! That is some list.