Simply striking and strikingly simple. Recipes, crafts, home decor and general life hacks that are easy yet impressive.
I think every cook or chef has one item that they feel overwhelmed at the prospect of making. For me that is pie crust. Oh the pressure to make the perfect tender flakey crust. That was until I discovered this great trick of freezing the butter ahead of time and grating it. That is because the premise of flakey and light pastry is to maintain the temperature of the butter to be as cold as possible before baking. The butter should also not be completely mixed into the dough but rather speckles left within the dough. That is because the flakey texture comes from the butter melting during the baking process creating air pockets and thus the flakey texture.
In order for the butter to remain as cold as possible, the recommendation is usually to keep all the tools as cold as possible by placing them in the freezer. That is when I laugh and laugh thinking who has freezer space, especially for a large stainless steel bowl? What I do keep in the freezer is frozen butter and I may place my grater in 15 minutes before grating. Otherwise, I ensure I have ice cubes available to help chill the water and mixing bowl.
Lastly, be very careful how much water you add to the dough, Too much water will make the dough tough and chewy, and nothing can be done to save it.
You will need:
1 cup of frozen butter
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6-10 Tbsp ice cold water
A tea towel or oven mitt
1) Remove ice from bowl if used to chill. Sift together the flour, salt and sugar
2) Grate the butter into the flour mixture. Use the tea towel or oven mitt to hold on to the butter to prevent your body heat from softening the butter
3) Add 6 tbsp of ice water and gently combine with your fingers. Only add more water 1 tsbp at a time, if required. Stop once the dough comes together when you roll it into a ball without crumbling.
4) As you can see by the dough rolled out, you can still see pieces of butter in the dough.
5) At this point the dough can be stored for up to a week wrapped well in plastic wrap or a plastic zip bag.
There you have it, an easy no fuss no muss way of making the perfect pie or tart crust. Enjoy!