All Butter Pie Shell

Butter-Pie-ShellWhen I was a teen, I baked pies for fun.  My dad was very skinny and there wasn’t much of a dietary focus in the household.  Since you couldn’t buy pre-made pie shells in the store yet, the first part of making a pie was obviously making the crust.  Without a food processor.  And with shortening.  Maybe it still is better to use shortening, but butter sounds tastier.

My goal is quiche for dinner with things from today’s Farmers Market walking distance from home.  This plan is an effort to convince Larry that Real Men Actually DO Eat Quiche.  My friend, Cathi, reintroduced me to making quiche a few years ago as a total slam-dunk entree for feeding crowds, especially using premade shells.  But yesterday, I realized we had a lot of butter and no shortening.  I made one butter pastry shell for one upcoming quiche.  Not hard, a few steps.  The recipe (halved, below, to make just one shell) is from What’s Cooking America and I reworked a bit to not be so messy:

All Butter Pastry Recipe

  • 1-1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (1/4 lb.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 to 5 Tbsp. ice water

In a food processor, process the flour, salt and sugar until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and process with 1-second pulses until butter bits are no larger than small peas, about 10 pulses.  Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.

Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. of ice water over the mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, fold to mix.  Press down on the dough with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding up too 2 Tbsp. more water if the dough does not come together.

Flour hands generously.  Flatten the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling.

On a piece of wax paper, form pastry into a ball, top with another sheet of wax paper and roll with a rolling pin until 2 inches larger than pie plate.  Peel off the top piece of wax paper, place the plate upside down on the dough.  Using your hand underneath, lift the plate and dough, flip over.  Carefully peel back the sheet of wax paper and gently fit to the edges of the pan.  Pinch crust edges for decoration, trim off excess.  Chill, covered with wax paper, until ready to use.  Bring to room temperature before baking.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 lisa June 1, 2009 at 6:01 pm

ok, so here’s a question: do you pre-bake the pie shell before adding the quiche ingredients? or do you pour the eggy, gloppy mess into an unbaked shell and hope for the best? my favorite recipe is for a mix in the piepan crust from the Wooden Spoon baking book.

Patti comments: I’ve done it both ways, but if you prebake the shell, only do it for maybe 5 minutes because the edges start to shrink quickly.

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