Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flakiest Baked Piecrust

This baked piecrust is for those pies with filling that doesn’t get baked. For instance, banana cream or chocolate pudding and the like.  It is light and flakey and identical to my regular piecrust, you just bake it empty or “blind” (with beans or pastry weights inside to keep it from puffing up) before adding the non-baked filling.

Or stop just before the "blind" bake and fill the crust with your filling of choice. (I'd like to recommend quiche for a savory option or pecan pie for a sweet one.)  Then bake according to recipe instructions. 

1 1/4 cups or 156g all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons or a little shy of 70g shortening (I prefer Crisco, when I can get it.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
Preheat oven to 425°F or 220°C.
In medium bowl with fork, lightly stir together flour and salt.
With pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle in cold water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork after each addition until pastry just holds together.

With hands, shape pastry into a ball. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Pop your dough ball into one of these handy devices, with a generous sprinkling of flour or on lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll pastry into circle 1⁄8 inch thick and about 2 inches larger all around than pie plate.

My piecrust bag is 12 inches and perfect for a normal pie pan, but the smaller size seems hard to find these days.

Transfer to pie plate, easing into bottom and side of plate. Fold overhang under; pinch to form a decorative edge.

Prick bottom and side of crust all over with a fork, to prevent puffing during baking. Cut a circle of parchment paper to lay inside and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool for a couple of minutes and then carefully remove the hot weights or beans and put them in a heat resistant bowl to cool. The beans can be saved in a Ziploc for future use as pie weights. Of course, the pie weights are reusable too.

Fill with the unbaked filling of your preference. In our family, we prefer banana cream.


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