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Recipe

Heirloom Wheat Pie Dough

Yield: enough for two 9-inch crusts, 1 double-crust pie, or 8 hand pies

If you plan to make only 1 piecrust, refrigerate or freeze the remaining dough for later use. It will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer—just make sure to wrap the dough tightly with plastic to prevent freezer burn.

Ingredients

  • 2-1/3 cups heirloom wheat flour, such as Sonora wheat (300 g)
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 20 Tbs. (2-1/2 sticks/280 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup iced water (60 to 120 ml)

Preparation

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Toss the butter in the flour mixture. Quickly cut the butter into the dry ingredients by pinching the cubes with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with flakes the size of cornflakes and pebbles the size of hazelnuts. Make a well in the center, and pour in 1/4 cup of the iced water. Gently mix with your hands until a raggedy dough is formed. If the mixture is too dry to come together, add the remaining iced water. (Alternatively, you can mix the pie dough in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment: Place the cold butter cubes, flour, sugar, and salt in the mixer bowl. Mix until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the water as needed, and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly into a ball. Don’t worry if bits of butter are still visible—this means the dough isn’t overworked. Divide the dough ball in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap tightly with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days. If you plan to make a single crust with the dough, wrap the remaining disk tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 1 month.

To shape and blind-bake a single crust

Remove 1 disk from the refrigerator, and let stand 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a round about 11 inches in diameter. Pick up the dough by rolling it onto the rolling pin, and lay it into a pie plate. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, leaving a lip on the edge. Trim any excess dough with kitchen scissors, leaving 1 inch of dough hanging from the edge. Gather the dough to form a border along the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the border by pinching the dough with your fingertips, forming small consecutive triangles along the edge. Refrigerate the shaped piecrust for 20 minutes— chilling prevents the dough from shrinking.

Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Coat the surface of the piecrust lightly with nonstick cooking spray, and line it with parchment. Fill it three-quarters of the way with dried beans or pie weights, and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more. (Rotating the baking sheet halfway through ensures even baking.) To check if the crust is ready, carefully lift a section of the parchment—the bottom should be golden. Let cool for at least 1 hour before removing the parchment paper and pie weights.

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