Photo: Silverton Lookout, BC
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup (60-120 ml) ice water
In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process, using the pulse button, until the mixture is crumbly (resembles coarse meal) (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough starts to clump together when pinched (it should not be a solid ball of dough). Add remaining water, if necessary. Do not process more than about 30 seconds.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten each portion into a 5 inch (12 cm) disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes, or until firm enough to roll out. (This will chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.) At this point you can also freeze the dough for about a month. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight before using.
For each disk of pastry, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit into a 8 or 9 inch (20 to 23 cm) pie pan. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). To make sure it is the right size, take your pie pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than your pan.
When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto the top of your pie pan. Never pull the pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too much pulling of the pastry when placing it in the pan). Gently lay in pan and with a small floured piece of pastry or with your fingertips, lightly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Flute the edges of the pastry or use the tines of a fork to seal the pastry. If possible, chill the pie crust before filling and baking. The pastry is now ready to use.
Makes two – 9 inch (23 cm) pie crusts. Preparation time 30 minutes.