Cathartic Ink

putting my own spin on things

Flakey Pie Crust


I took some tips from Smitten Kitchen this year, but with the notable exception of using my food processor.

I pulsed 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in my food processor. Then I cut 2 sticks of butter into big cubes, then tossed those in the processor and pulsed twice. I dumped in a half cup of ice water [no cubes] and pulsed three times more. I do live in a very humid climate, so someone in a more dry climate might need more water. Everything should be pretty well mixed at this point, but there should still be large chunks of butter visible. I split the dough in half, tossed it in ziploc bags and put it in the fridge for 12 hours.

When it came time to make the pie, I mixed 3.5 pounds of peeled, cored and sliced apples with some sugar, some cinnamon, some lemon juice and a quarter cup of flour. I set the oven to preheat to 500 degrees and then assembled the pie. I handled the crusts one at a time and put the pieces back in the fridge when I wasn’t using them. (I rolled the bottom crust and put it in the pie plate, then put it in the fridge while I rolled and cut the top crust. Then I put the top crust in the freezer while I filled the pie plate with the filling). Once I had sealed the pie up, I brushed some milk on top and sprinkled on some large crystal sugar.

I made sure I lined my oven rack with tin foil, in case of bubbling over and turned the oven down to 450 degrees and slid the pie in [I aim for the top of the pie to be around the middle of the oven, vertically]. Bake for twenty minutes until nice and golden, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and baked it for another 30 minutes. [If I was using a metal or glass plate I might have baked it another 5-10 minutes on top of that, but this heavy ceramic plate continues to cook for awhile after it was taken out.] Remove from oven and cool, then enjoy! I think the heat stages in the cooking really helped the butter chunks to melt quickly and make flaky, crispy layers without burning the edges to a crisp.

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