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Recipe: How to make the perfect pie crust excerpted from BOOK OF PIE

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Excerpted with permission/courtesy of Cider Mill Publishers LLC. Copyright © 2020 by Applewood Press Book Publishers, an officially licensed book by Cider Mill Press Book Publishers LLC. All rights reserved.

YIELD: 2 PIECRUSTS ACTIVE TIME: 10 MINUTES TOTAL

TIME: 2 HOURS AND 10 MINUTES 

INGREDIENTS 

21/2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR 11/2 ‘IABLESPOONS SUGAR 1 TEASPOON KOSHER SALT 

CUP LEAF LARD OR VEGETABLE SHORTENING 

2 TABLESPOONS COLD UNSALTED BUTTER, DIVIDED INTO TABLESPOONS 

5 TABLESPOONS ICE-COLD WATER, PLUS MORE AS NEEDED 

DIRECTIONS 

1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and stir until combined. 

2. Add the lard or shortening and butter and use a pastry blender to work them into the flour mixture. Work the mixture until it is a coarse meal, making sure to break up any large chunks. 

3. Add the water and continue to work the mixture until it is a smooth dough. If it feels too dry, incorporate more water in 1-teaspoon increments. Form the dough into a large ball and then cut it in half. Envelop each piece in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours before using. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes very well, and can be stored in a freezer for up to 6 months. 

BLIND BAKING 

The technique of baking a piecrust before filling it is also known as “blind baking.” When working with a custard filling, as in a lemon meringue or pumpkin pie, baking the crust ahead of time has several advantages. It prevents pockets of steam from forming in the crust once it is filled, which can cause the crust to become puffy and uneven. Blind baking also keeps the bottom of the crust from becoming soggy, and allows the edge of the pie to become sturdy. Uncooked rice is the most typical weight when blind baking a pie, though dried beans and weights designed specifically for the task can also be utilized. To blind bake a crust, place it in a 350°F oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is golden brown and firm. Remove, dispense with the chosen weight, and let cool completely before filling the crust. 

Excerpted with permission/courtesy of Cider Mill Publishers LLC. Copyright © 2020 by Applewood Press Book Publishers, an officially licensed book by Cider Mill Press Book Publishers LLC. All rights reserved.

Read more about the BOOK OF PIE here:

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