Foolproof Pie Crust
Recipe from Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen
Makes two 9-inch pie crusts or 10 hand pies
How many times have you tried a piecrust recipe claiming to be the best, only to find yourself reduced to tears? Yeah, me too. The inspiration for this crust came from Mollie Cox Bryan, and her recipe for a vinegar piecrust in Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pie. Vinegar has long been a secret shared for pie crust making, but it often gets paired with shortening. I’m not a fan of processed foods, so even organic shortening doesn’t appeal to me. I set out to have the best of both worlds—a buttery crust, with a tender crumb, that was a cinch to roll out. Now that I think about it, maybe we should call this the best piecrust ever.
Music Pairing: Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch by The Temptations
1/3 cup (50 grams) yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
1 teaspoon (6 grams) natural cane sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) very cold butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons ice cold water
Add the flours, salt and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 1-2 times to mix well. Add the butter and pulse a few more times, until it forms a sandy-looking mixture, about 4 to 5 one-second pulses. Add the egg, vinegar and water. Pulse until it forms a solid ball of dough, about 8 to 10 one-second pulses.
Dump the ball of dough out onto a well-floured counter or smooth surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, wrapping one of them if you’re only make a single-crust pie (see sidebar). Roll one disc of dough out into a circle large enough to fit your pie plate. Proceed with the directions for whichever pie recipe you are using.
Freeze it! If you’re only making one pie, wrap the remaining disc of dough tightly in two layers of plastic wrap, then store it in the freezer in a zip top bag. One day before you plan to use it, transfer the wrapped dough to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Use as directed in the selected recipe.