Cayenne & Carob's Sunday Supper: Old Fashioned Sweet Shortcrust Pastry for making Sweet Pies straight from Jamie Oliver's book Jamie at Home, recipe here.
Making pie crust is scary because the results are highly variable, at least in my experience. I was looking for a go-too pie crust that I could count on and I believe Jamie's recipe is just that recipe. I was surprised at both how stressful it was to make this crust and how easy it will be to make it in the future. Just do a little practice before bringing this out for Thanksgiving.
Pie Crust Recipe
makes about 2 pounds
3 1/2 cups organic, all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's or powdered sugar), sifted
1 cup plus 2 tbsp good quality cold butter, cut into small cubes
zest of 1 lemon
2 large free-range or organic eggs, beaten
a splash of milk (substituted soy)
I really think having cold butter is the key here. You don't want to change the chemistry or consistency of the butter before or while it is combined with the flour. Chill your butter and a large cookie sheet in the fridge before starting.
1. Cube the butter and put it in the freezer while you prep the flour (~5-10 minutes).
2. Sift the flour from a height (12 or so inches high) onto the cold cookie sheet.
3. Quickly, but thoroughly, work the butter into the flour by smooshing it between your thumbs. When the mixture is a fine crumb add the lemon zest (or orange zest, pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, or vanilla seeds)
4. Beat the eggs lightly and add to the flour/butter mixture. Add a splash of milk as you gently work the mixture into a ball.
5. Divide into 2 balls. Flour lightly and pat it into a flat round. Wrap each round with saran wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
That is pretty much it! Mix up your fruit with your favorite spices and maybe some agave syrup (or sugar if that is your preference). Roll out your crust and be inventive with shapes and pans.
I had company over for this pie crust making extravaganza. One friend brought fresh tiny apples from Julian so we used those for the filling. We made 6 muffin-size pies and a regular pie with a bottom and top. In addition I was able to make a regular pie with a lattice top. It really was so easy. Now go make some pie crust!
photo credit: Cayenne 09.20.09