Dishboy Scott and I worked for days on our ridiculously challenged pie dough skills to be able to enter a real pie in the fair. Friendly competition and a bit of jealousy ensued on both our parts as one would get a bit better as the other struggled to catch up.
You see, although I make a lot of pies, I am a miserable failure at pie crust. My mom, now she makes it look easy. I just usually make it look messy and strange. This time though, I powered through recipe after recipe until I finally put together something that worked.
Yes, I am that "challenged". That being said, this must be a hard one to fail, because I’ve made it several times since and have yet to screw up. I finally have a good recipe.
Sadly, after all our hard work our pies almost were not entered at all. Dishboy Scott and I showed up to drop them off this evening and were quickly rejected. “NO GLASS!” barked a cranky looking judge. I raised my eyebrows and stated we had no idea, as the rules just came out today. I kept thinking, “Who the heck doesn’t bake with Pyrex?”
Anyway, I decided I could knock the old bat out cold and leave my pie behind with its wonderful crust as a memento. She complained of a bad back and I’m combat trained. So, this is the part where I tell you I kicked her teeth in right?
Well, no such thing happened. Instead we just stood at her table refusing to move until she accepted our pies. We might get last place, but at least we’re entered.
I guess I’ll have to learn to use a metal pie pan next year.
Good Pie Dough
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cubed
10 ounces (by weight) unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cold full fat cream cheese, diced
2 tablespoons cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Place butter in a sandwich bag. Freeze until solid; about 30 minutes. Place flour, baking powder and salt in a gallon size bag and freeze as well.
Pulse together flour mixture in a food processor. Add the cream cheese and pulse to combine, about 15 seconds. Add the frozen butter and pulse until very small crumbles form. Pulse in the heavy whipping cream and vinegar.
Divide dough crumbs in half adding a little more to one batch for bottom dough. Place into gallon size plastic bags. Label bags “bottom” and “top” if needed. Refrigerate crumbs 6 to 12 hours.
Remove the dough to the counter for 20 to 30 minutes or until the dough warms up enough to roll but is still cool. Open bags and press dough together through the outside of the plastic. Shape dough into a flat disc using the bag to help form the shape kneading a couple times as you form.
Place the dough between a lightly floured pie size piece of wax paper, lightly sprinkle dough with flour and top with another piece of wax paper. Roll 1/8” thick and 12” in diameter. *Roll dough forward only, rotating the dough an eighth a turn per couple of rolls* Near the end of rolling, gently peel off wax paper and lightly sprinkle dough with flour. Place wax paper back over the dough, flip dough over, peel off wax paper and lightly flour the bottom side to prevent sticking.
Note: If pie dough is too soft after rolling, slide a cookie sheet under the wax paper and freeze for 10 minutes.
Yield: 1 double crust for 9” pie.
Recipe & photographs by Laura Flowers