Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Basic Pie Dough

Of all the culinary treats that the great state of Wisconsin provides its residents, neighbors, and friends, fruit might not come to mind. Cheese, beer, brats, oh well hell yes, that's easy. And quite integral to the proper function of human adults, in my opinion. Fruit?

I've had a jar of blueberry pie filling hiding in the pantry for a while just waiting for the opportune moment. Apparently that was Sunday, and with the 3-2-1 easy pie dough, it was near effortless to have a delicious, fresh-baked pie in no time.

The orchards of Door County are numerous and teeming with blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, apple, strawberry, and their flagship- the tart cherry. The main strip into town is lined with Ma and Pa fruit stands, some larger enterprises, even a little strip with a hotel, eatery, and general store that has an Irish theme and looks like a bad Hollywood backdrop.

At the roadside stands you can find all sorts of pick-your-own, fresh, and processed items like jellies and jams, salsas, mustard, butter, etc. It's like Costco, you can't do it without spending $75. But this is local, yokel. The people that grow and handle this food are standing right in front of you. Unless you DIY, I don't think you could get that much closer. I don't have to tell you this is the way to go for your taste buds, health, and wallet.

The ratio for the basic pie crust is, by weight 3-2-1 of flour-fat-liquid.

If you use a liquid batter for this shell, blind bake it first.

Pate Brisee
enough for one 9" pie shell and top

12 oz AP (yes, always weigh) flour
8 oz butter, large dice and very cold
2-4 oz ice water
1/2 ts kosher salt

Combine the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl by rubbing the butter between your fingers, until you have pea sizes chunks of butter and smaller beads. The mixture should resemble coarse meal. Add 2 oz of ice water and the salt, mix gently until just combined. You might need 1-2 more oz. ice water, just use enough until the dough comes together without working it too hard.

You can also use your food processor to combine the dough, it's just more shit to wash. Add the salt and the the water gradually, while pulsing quickly until it looks like coarse meal.

Split the dough in halves, you can weigh or eyeball this. Shape into 1/2" discs and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before rolling out.

Those chunks of fat will melt in the layers of gluten and create a light, flaky pastry dough. Mmmm...fat. Mmmm...cheese, beer and brats.

That sucks you get your
butt kicked by a girl, Stan.

I would NEVER let a woman kick my
ass! If she tried anything, I'd be
like 'HEY! You get your bitch ass
back in the kitchen and make me some

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