How to make pie crust

                                                  (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

From the Los Angeles Times.

Veronique de Turenne:

What put my pie crust over the top, though, was a technique borrowed from Rose Levy Berenbaum, author of “The Pie and Pastry Bible.” You cut the fat into tiny cubes (she suggests three-quarters inch, but I go a bit smaller), then add it to a plastic bag with the flour mixture. Toss to distribute, squeeze out the excess air and — here’s the genius part — you go over the whole thing with a rolling pin.

The butter (or leaf lard, if that flavor appeals to you) flattens out into golden flakes. Chill the flattened mixture in the fridge for half an hour, then bring it out and quickly add the water, stirring it until it forms a dough. Form a disk, chill again to make sure the butter is good and firm, and your crust is ready for the rolling pin.

Recipe: Pie crust


Pie crust

Total time: 10 minutes, plus chilling times

Servings: Makes enough crust for a 2-crust pie.

2 scant cups flour, plus extra for rolling out the crust
3/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Place the flour and salt mixture in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the butter cubes to the bag and toss to distribute. Squeeze out the excess air before sealing.

2. Use a rolling pin and roll over the bag, flattening the butter into flakes. Chill the flattened mixture for 30 minutes, then sprinkle one-fourth cup water over the butter/flour mixture. Quickly stir until the mixture forms a dough that holds together when pinched. If the mixture is too dry, continue to add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it will become tough.

3. Form the dough into 2 flat disks 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and chill again.

4. On a floured board, roll out each crust with a rolling pin to a diameter of about 12 inches (for a 9-inch pie). If the fruit is piled high in the bottom crust, you may need to roll the top crust a little larger than 12 inches; just make sure you have enough dough to go over the mounded fruit with a half-inch overlap.

Each of 10 servings: 213 calories; 3 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 14 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 37 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 119 mg sodium.