Sunday, January 25, 2009

Single Crust Pie

When I went to make some sweet potato pies for company last week, I decided to try out a new recipe for the crust. I am pretty happy with the recipe that I usually use, but I have had some trouble rolling and shaping for single crust pies. I went to my new cookbook, The New Best Recipe, and got some tips and a new recipe to try. I was impressed with the results, which is why I thought I would take a picture and share it. I have to admit that it looked better before it was baked than it did after. My crimped edge did sort of flop over during baking. But I missed part of the instructions and didn't chill the crust after it was rolled. That probably would have made a difference.


1 1/4 cups unbleached flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. sugar
3 Tbls. shortening, chilled (I didn't chill it)
4 Tbls. (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
4-5 Tbls. ice water

1. Process the flour,salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and process until combined. Add the shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn the mixture into a medium bowl. (I just used a pastry blender).

2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Press down on the dough with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if the dough will not come together. Flatten the dough into a 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated more than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Roll as directed on floured work surface. Place the end of your rolling pin near the center of your disk and holding it there with your left hand in a stationary position, roll the dough 1/4 turn with your right hand (as if going from 2 o'clock to 5 o'clock). Turn the dough a quarter turn and roll again as before. Continue turning and rolling in this circular way until the disk is the desired size (about a 12 inch circle)(reflouring surface again if necessary). Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie plate by rolling the dough around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan. Working around the circumference of the pie plate, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while gently pressing it into the pan bottom with the other hand. Trim the dough edges to extend about 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the pan. Fold the overhang under itself; flute the dough or press the tines of a fork against the dough to flatten it against the rim of the pie plate. Refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate until firm, about 40 minutes, then freeze until very cold, about 20 minutes.
4. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough-lined pie plate from the freezer, press a doubled 12-inch piece of heavy-duty foil inside the pie shell, and fold the edges of the foil to shield the fluted edge; distribute 2 cups ceramic or metal pie weights (can improvise with pennies) over the foil. Bake, leaving the foil and weights in place until the dough looks dry and is light in color, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights by gathering the corners of the foil and pulling up and out. For a partially baked crust, continue baking until light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes; for a fully baked crust, continue baking until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack.


Monica said...

I think your pie looks wonderful!!! I have never made Sweet Potato Pie, but do have a recipe. Do you think it would make a difference if I were to substitute yams for the sweet potatoes? I just happen to have some on hand, and was wondering what kind of special thing I could do with them.

Peter Jones said...

Monica- I don't think it would make a difference. I'm not clear on the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, but I'm guessing they are similar enough to use interchangably. I'm very fond of sweet potato pie! I hope you like it. My recipe uses evaporated milk which seems to make it extra delicious. Thanks for your comment!