This was my first attempt at making a lattice top crust.
I’ve just never had the desire to go through the extra work when I could much more easily throw a whole sheet of pie dough on top of my pie and walk away to do more important life things like check my facebook.
But this pie crust recipe is new and I wanted to take her for a test drive, see what she could do. And it turns out she’s pretty cool.
Hope you like your pie crusts female.
So you remember that shout out I gave to my favorite “anti-recipe” book last week? This one? Well, I’m doing it again. Because great pie crust – whether it’s old fashioned wheat or gluten free fabulous – boils down to a very simple ratio.
I love it because it’s something anyone can remember.
3 parts flour (any kind)
2 parts solid-at-room-temperature fat (the kind does matter here – I use butter for the best flavor)
1 part liquid (very cold water)
Follow this ratio and you will get a dough that is the perfect consistency for rolling and making into pretty crusts like the ones that come from the bakeries.
This pie? This one right here? Is awesome. Just looking at it makes me want to buy out of season peaches and make it again. This is my “rustic” pie crust. It uses almond flour as part of the flour blend. Almond flour lends an incredible flavor to the dough but it throws off the ratio with the extra fat and so is un-rollable. And that’s fine if you’re not going for pretty. But today, well, it’s getting close to Christmas, and I’m thinking we all want something for holiday parties that looks as good as it tastes.
So here we go.
A word on technique – you’ve probably read, and possibly been intimidated by pie crust recipes that stress the importance of time, temperature, and how vigorously you work your dough. These things are stressed in large part because of the gluten in regular flour. Pie crust is one of the baked goods where the presence of gluten really does NOT help so we have a little more leeway in our prep.
I don’t have pictures on this one. Yet. Next time I make dough I’ll add them on here. Just a quick explanation today. It’s really simple once you’ve done it a couple times. It’s mostly just getting a feel for it – getting to know your dough. That’s what makes the best pie crusts.
For the easiest prep all you need are a kitchen scale and a food processor. You can also do this using a pastry blender to bring your dough together. I have one. I used to use it. I ❤ my food processor. It makes making dough sooooo much easier and quicker.
For a two crust pie:
Grab a glass of ice water and set it on your counter.
Take two sticks of butter and unwrap them, leaving them sitting on their wrappers. Cut them in half the long way, turn on their sides and cut in half the long way again (so you have four long rods of butter, each). Then make 8 slices to each. Each stick of butter is now cut into 32 little equally sized bits. Wrap the sticks of butter back in their papers and stick in the freezer while you ready your flours.
Measure out 12 oz All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend into the food processor. It doesn’t have to be this blend exactly. It doesn’t even have to be gf. It could be wheat flour if that’s how you roll. Just make sure it’s 12 oz by weight. Add 1/2 tsp salt, a Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp Xanthan Gum (only if doing this gf). Run the food processor for a few seconds to combine and aerate. Or picture this whole thing happening in a bowl and whisk together.
Next, grab your butter out of the freezer and dump all the little bits in with the flour. Hit the “pulse” button approximately 15-20 times. You want to get it to the consistency of pea sized chunks. Chunks of butter are good – they are what make for flaky pie crusts by creating pockets when the dough bakes. Don’t over-mix. If you’re doing this with a pastry blender, go at it carefully and quickly. We want everything to stay cold. If the butter gets too soft you’ll lose your chunks.
Next, grab that ice water and drizzle some into the machine, pulsing to combine. You want your dough to just come together. If you can squeeze it together with your fingers and it doesn’t fall apart you have enough water. I never measure the water. But if you’ve done the math you know it works out to be 4 ounces or about 1/2 cup (I don’t think I use this much, actually. Start with 1/4 cup and go by feel.)
Now, normally, this is where you’d divide your dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, pat them gently into discs and set in the fridge. This step serves two functions – it keeps the butter in the dough cold and it allows the gluten to relax. If you’re not using glutenous flour you don’t have to worry about that second thing at all. If you work quickly you really don’t have to put the dough in the fridge. If it’s a hot day, sure, let it chill for awhile. But the hour they tell you it has to rest? And then the 15 minutes you have to wait to get it warm enough to work with again? Not necessary with gluten free pie crust.
So again, just work quickly, try not to manhandle your dough too much (as the heat from your hands will soften the butter) and you’re good to go. Start rolling, crimping, whatever you want to make a pretty pie crust you’ll be proud to bring to a party. Bake as you would any pie crust.
This was a Salted Caramel Apple Pie I made for Thanksgiving. If I weren’t planning on making about a bajillion cookies and candies in the next week I might make a pie again. Speaking of which – I’ve got sleepin’ babies so I’m gettin’ me into the kitchen to make some cookies.
(Here’s the easily copied and pasted recipe)
12 oz All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend (or regular flour)
8 oz (two sticks) salted butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Xanthan Gum (only if using GF flour)
Grab a glass of ice water and set it on your counter.
Take two sticks of butter and unwrap them, leaving them sitting on their wrappers. Cut them in half the long way, turn on their sides and cut in half the long way again (so you have four long rods of butter, each). Then make 8 slices to each. Wrap the sticks of butter back in their papers and stick in the freezer while you ready your flours.
Measure out 12 oz All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend (or regular flour) into the food processor. Add 1/2 tsp salt, a Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp Xanthan Gum (only if doing this gf). Run the food processor for a few seconds to combine and aerate. Or measure into a bowl and whisk together.
Grab your butter out of the freezer and dump all the little bits in with the flour. Hit the “pulse” button approximately 15-20 times. You want to get it to the consistency of pea sized chunks. Don’t over-mix. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a pastry blender (or in a most desperate case, a fork).
Next, grab that ice water and drizzle some into the machine, pulsing to combine. You want your dough to just come together. You may not need exactly 1/2 cup. Or you might find you need a teeny bit more. If you can squeeze the dough together with your fingers and it doesn’t fall apart you have enough water.
If your dough is still cold and firm you can continue from here rolling it out and baking as you would any crust. If it’s a warm day or the dough is getting soft for whatever reason, stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes before rolling it out.
Makes enough dough for one two-crust pie.