Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pate Brisee

Yesterday I made some tomato pies. I intended to use a store-bought crust, since that is what I usually do, despite the fact that I think the store-bought crust has a weird bitter taste. However, I forgot, so I took a friend's advice and tried Martha Stewart's recipe for Pate Brisee (fancy French term for pie crust). You make it in the food processor, and making the dough was surprisingly easy.

Rolling it out was a bit tricky (hence me usually buying dough), but I managed. I still need some practice with fluting and accounting for "shrinkage," although someone has suggested that if I put a big more water in the dough I'll get less shrinkage. I'll happily keep practicing if it means I can eat more tomato pies.

Pate Brisee:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water (I just put mine in the freezer while I got out the food processor and ingredients)

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8-10 seconds.

With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time.

I would say I added closer to 1/4 cup than 1/2 cup.

Divide dough into 2 equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the fridge and chill at least one hour. Dough may be stored frozen up to 1 month. Makes 1 double crust or 2 single crust 10-inch pies.

You can use this crust for both sweet and savory pies and pastries.

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