How about making your pastry dough? It will be without doubt better than one bought in the store! Pie crusts are intimidating at first, but with a little practice and the following tips, you will have a perfect, flaky crust every time.
Only 15 min of preparation! With flour, butter, sugar, an egg and a small pinch of salt, it's done!
Once you are comfortable with making a dough pastry, you can vary the flavors in any other ways, adding chocolate, cocoa, or the zest and juice of lemon.
Tips for making a flaky pie crust:
1. Keep the ingredients chilled: It will inhibit the development of gluten in the flour. Use butter right out of the refrigerator and the liquid (water or milk) should always be ice cold when adding it to the dough. When incorporate the butter use your fingertips. Butter creates a flake, crisp pie crust.
2. Why some recipes calls egg yolk? The yolk adds fat, which makes the dough pliable and easier to handle.
3. Do not overwork the dough! Mix only as much as necessary to hold the dough together. Overworking heats up the pastry and makes it sticky, greasy, and a less flaky crust.
4. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight, up to 2 days. Chilling the dough helps gluten in the flour to relax so that the pastry becomes more elastic and easier to roll, not sticky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.
5. When you roll up the dough, lightly dust your work surface and the top of the dough to prevent sticking and tearing.
6. Use an egg wash for adding extra colour to crust. Brushing the top of the pastry will prevent them from turning too dark after baking. Also, to prevent excess browning of the edges during baking, cover the pie edge with a strip of aluminum foil. Bake as directed, removing the aluminum foil 15 minutes before the end of the baking time.
7. If blind baking (pre-baking) a pie crust, line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Bake until the edge just begins to colour. Remove the weights and carefully prick the bottom and sides with a fork to prevent air bubbles.
These ingredients are enough for any of the following pan sizes:
1 large tart ,made in 26 cm (10 1/4 -inch) removable-bottomed pan.
2 large tarts, made in 20 cm (8-inch) pie dish
4 large tarts, made in 16 cm (6 1/4-inch) pie dish
12 individual tarts, made in 10 cm ( 4-inch) removable-bottomed pans
Sweet Pastry Variation:
Chocolate Pastry: Add 20 g (0.7 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder with the flour.
Almond Pastry and Pistachio Pastry: Use only 250 g (8.9 oz) flour and add 100 g (3.5 oz) ground almonds or 100 g (3.5 oz) ground pistachio with flour.
Lemon Pastry: Add the grated zest o 1 lemon and the juice of 1/2 lemon when you add the eggs.
Recipe Step by Step
350g (12.4 oz) all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
125g (4.4 oz) butter, straight from the refrigerator, cubed
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk, slightly beaten
STEP 1 Into a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter. Using your hands flake the flour and butter together. No pressing, or squeezing, just soft motion, making sure all the butter remain coated, until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Not to overwork! Overworking heats up the pastry and makes it sticky.
Pour the eggs and the extra yolk into the flour mixture and mix everything together, using a fork. Turn the pastry onto a work surface; work the dough until it looks homogenous and enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then wrap each pastry ball in waxed paper, not plastic wrap (will make it sweaty) and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight up to 2 days.
You can use this dough pastry to make great pies and tarts.
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''Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live". ― Socrates