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Recipe

All-Purpose Pie Dough

Yield: enough dough for one 9- to 9-1/2-inch pie or 4 to 5 smaller ones

I like to use a couple of tablespoons of vegetable shortening (Crisco) in my basic pie dough. It adds a measure of workability and tenderness that’s hard to beat. However, if you prefer an all-butter dough, use a full 10 Tbs. of butter and
omit the Crisco.

Ingredients

  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) bleached all-purpose flour; plus more for dusting
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable shortening, cold and cut into several small pieces
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/3 cup ice cold water

Preparation

  • Lightly dust a small plate with flour. Scatter the butter cubes and shortening on the plate. refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix, about 5 times. add the butter and shortening, and pulse until all the fat is in small pieces, the largest about the size of small peas, 12 to 15 times.
  • While pulsing the processor, add the water in a continuous stream (the mixture should be crumbly and start to form larger clumps, but not ball up around the blade), 8 to 10 seconds.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Dump the mixture onto the work surface. Gather the dough into a ball. Gently knead the dough a couple of times to smooth it out, then shape the dough into a disk almost 1 inch thick. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling, or up to overnight.
  • For individual pies: If you’re dividing the dough for 4 or 5 individual pies, after kneading to smooth the dough, evenly divide it into the number of pieces you need. If your individual pie dishes have a capacity of 1 cup or slightly more, divide the dough into 4 pieces. If your pans have less capacity, cut into 5 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, flatten into a 3/4-inch-thick disk, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight, before using.
  • For a double-crust pie: If you prefer to top your pie with pastry (instead of using a potato or cornbread topping), make two batches of the dough. after filling the pie shell, roll out the second piece of dough to be used as the top crust.

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