Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pie Crust

When it's admirable to be flaky...

A galette, crostada, tart or pie that elicits "oohs and ahhs" from guests probably means the contents have been deliciously nestled within a flaky, rich crust. Jungle Jim's International Market sells a variety of pies, but if learning to make a great pie crust tops your culinary bucket list, we have tested a simple recipe in the Cooking School that works every time. Follow along! The recipe is for a single pie crust used in a delicious tart cherry crostada made with Clearbrook Farms jam - a local product made in Sharonville, Ohio.

When you pulse the flour, sugar, zest, salt and butter in the food processor, you should be able to see pea-sized clumps of butter within the mix before you add the ice water (see above photo). The clumps of butter form the layers of flakiness as the crust bakes.

Once you add the ice water, pulse just until the dough comes together in moist, rough-looking clumps.

Gather the dough and shape it into a flat disk. You can see we had a large piece of plastic wrap under the dough. This helps to form the dough and keeps it from sticking to the counter surface. It's then ready to wrap for refrigeration. The butter is visible in the dough and that's what you want! Let the dough firm up in the refrigerator for an hour, then remove and roll out on a lightly floured surface to the size the recipe calls for or the size of the pie plate or tart pan you are using.

This dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and will keep in the freezer for 1-2 months. 

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt in food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse about 10 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces of butter. Pulse in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Roll out for a single crust 9-inch pie.

Tart Cherry Crostada

Pie Crust Recipe (above)
One 10-ounce jar Michigan Red Tart Cherry preserves, or your favorite flavor
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Prepare pie crust with above instructions.

Preheat oven to 400°. Have ready a baking sheet and parchment paper.

Lightly flour parchment paper and roll dough into an 11-circle. Spread preserves over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold and pleat dough border over preserves to form an 8-inch circle. Transfer crostada on the parchment paper to baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and preserves are bubbly, 30-40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack. Sprinkle with almonds before serving.

Serves 8

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