Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pie Crust (Secret Ingredient!)

This year for Thanksgiving my mom decided that she was going to make the crust for her mince meat pie because she had a recipe that she was really excited to try. The recipe came from a cooking class we all went to as a family this summer (for my Dad's birthday, a great gift if I do say so myself). The dough was a dream to handle and the crust came out beautifully so I will share it with you, secret ingredient and all!

Lattice-Top Pie Pastry
by Maral Apelian Banks

  • 2.5 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbs. cream cheese, cold
  • 12 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" chunks
  • 3 Tbs. water, cold, more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 4 Tbs. vodka, cold
Combine the vodka with the 3 Tbs. cold water. Keep cold while you proceed.

Process half of the flour, salt, and sugar in your food processor, fitted with the metal blade to combine them. Add the cold butter and cream cheese and pulse until well broken down but before it starts to form a dough (will just begin to hold together in large clumps and all of the flour will be coated with fat). Break the clumps up if they are large and add the remaining flour. Pulse the mixture 3-4 times to just disperse the fat coated flour in the dry flour. Dump the flour mixture into a large bowl and add the water/vodka mixture. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula to form an evenly combined, slightly sticky dough.

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Form one part into a 4" round, flat disk, the other into a 4" square and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days before using.

Roll the round piece of dough to a 12" circle on a well floured counter. Brush away any excess flour and transfer the dough to the pie plate, easing it into the bottom of the dish (there should be about 1" of over hanging dough all the way around. Form a fluted edge and then cover the crust loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate to keep firm. Roll the other piece of dough into a rectable, 10" x 14" and cut into long strips to form the lattice top.

When ready to assemble the pie, beat 1 egg to form an egg wash. Lightly brush the edges of the crust with the beaten egg then transfer the filling into the crust. Form the lattice top, then lightly brush it with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Place the pie into the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour to chill and relax the pastry. Bake the pie for about 1 hour, covering the top with a sheet of foil if it is darkening too quickly. Cool for several hours before serving.

Ta da!


Carlene said...

No way. Really? Cream cheese & vodka crust. It looks delicious, and now I want pie.

Nicole said...

what a pristinely beautiful pie--my top crusts always end up ragged and not so pretty. I will definitely have to try that recipe!