Saturday, April 11, 2020

Flaky Pie Crust Made Easy

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After seeing how flaky and gorgeous the crust was on the quiche that I made earlier, a number of people asked me for the recipe. The recipe isn’t all that special; there is honestly nothing to it. It’s a recipe that is available almost anywhere online, but the key, I have come to learn, is not as much the recipe itself, as it is the baking, and by that I mean pie weights. Nothing beats pie weights for weighing down the crust. Trust me when I tell you that I have used a variety of dried beans in the past, popcorn kernels (you can imagine how foolish that was), and when I didn’t have either of all those things, I filled the crust with oven safe measuring spoons. None of those yielded the flaky crust that I got here.

Generally speaking, I am one of those people who buy crust because it’s convenient and easy. I have total trust anxiety when it comes to rolling it out; I am just not good at doing it. So another important aspect is, after you have taken your dough out of the food processor and put it onto plastic wrap, flatten it as much as you can, I am talking flat! Make about an 8-inch disc. That way you will only have to roll it out 2-4 inches all the way around to get something that comfortably fits a 9-inch pie pan.
Simple Pastry Crust for Quiche
Makes one crust for 9” pie plate

1¼ c. all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cubed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water

In the work bowl of a food processor place flour, cubes of butter, and salt. Pulse until crumbly and then slowly, through the feed tube, pour in the ice water, a tablespoon at a time. Start out with about 3 tablespoons of water. When the dough pulls away from the side of the work bowl, and you can pinch of piece, squeeze it between your thumb and index finger, and, if it sticks together, you’re finished. Place it on a piece of plastic wrap, flatten it into an 8-inch disc, seal it completely in the plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but closer to one day.

When you’re ready to bake, roll out the pastry on a piece of parchment paper to a generous 12” circle (If you want an overhang to fold under to make a fancy schmancy edging, otherwise 10” will do). Fold the
parchment paper over carry it over to your pie plate, put it face-down, and slowly peel the parchment paper off. Fit it into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. Don’t stretch it, or it’ll shrink. Just pat it lightly into place. A tart tamper can often help here. At this point you can make any type of decorative edge that you desire, or simply cut off any excess and imprint with a fork all the way around, which is something that I generally do. Then, take a sharp-tine fork, and poke holes in the bottom. Place it into the freezer for an hour.

Shortly before you’re prepared to bake your quiche, preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the piecrust from the freezer, line the bottom and up the sides, and over the edges (to prevent the burning) with aluminum foil, and cover the bottom with
pie weights. Place on the bottom rack in your oven, and bake for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, remove the foil and pie weights, and bake for five minutes more to bake the bottom through. Now you’re ready to make your quiche.

If you would like the recipe for the Easy Gruyere and Brie Quiche shown in the photo above, you can find it here.


Linda said...

That flake on the crust looks so good. My tried and true recipe is the one from good old Crisco. I only tried an all butter crust one time and it was not the greatest. I'm saving yours to give it a go again!

Gina said...

Your pictures inspired me to add quiche to my menus for next week and GUESS WHAT I finally found the flour at the grocery store! Since we are home-bound (well at least I am since I am on call) I am making a batch of crusts to freeze for future uses. I am dreaming of fruit pies and quiches...My recipe calls for shortening and butter is very dear now...but I like to do a butter version when I am making only one crust. Happy Easter!! said...

I need to stop being lazy and buying pie crust, I know homemade is better and not hard, I used to make it all the time...I really had a laugh when I read you tried popcorn and pie weights, too funny! Happy Easter Pattie!