FOOLPROOF PIE CRUST RECIPE

During my years as an amateur baker I've always been seeking for a perfect pie crust, and I still do. I've tried a lot of recipes, ones that involve cold butter, ones that involve room temp butter, ones that involve eggs, ones that don't involve eggs and so on. I only recently got a food processor and I can tell you that it is so much easier making a pastry crust in it than using your hands, but even I sometimes like to use my hands and feel that butter and flour between my fingers. Recipes that use soft, room temperature butter usually require a mixer so you can beat the butter and sugar...just like when making a cake or something. I like recipes that use cold butter better because the pastry ends up really flaky and super tasty too. This recipe makes enough pastry for a double crust pie. I've also tested it by making it with soft butter once and it came out pretty good too. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy making it just as much as I do!


INGREDIENTS:
  • 600g all purpose flour 
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 200g butter, cold
  • 50g sugar
  • ½tsp salt
  • 250ml milk

RECIPE:
  1. Put the flour in a big bowl and add cold butter cut into small chunks. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you get a crumby texture with some pea sized peaces of butter. (If you're using a food processor, put the flour and cold butter cut into small chunks together and then pulse 15-20 times until you get the desired texture.)
  2. Add in the baking powder, sugar and salt and mix it in quickly with a fork so you don't touch the butter too much. (If you're using a food processor, add baking powder, sugar and salt and pulse once or twice more to distribute evenly.)
  3. This is the part when everything can go wrong. With any dough/pastry I've learned not to add all the liquid listed in the recipe. It's almost always too much and it can make your dough/pastry wet and not pliable. Slowly add in half of the liquid and mix it in with a fork. If more liquid is needed, add it little by little until all the "crumbs" are moistened and you can form a dough ball in your hand when pressing the mixture. (If you're using the food processor, add liquid slowly while the beaters are running and when you see clumps of dough forming stop immediately.)
  4. Divide the dough in half and wrap it in plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour, or freeze it for up to a week. 
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. If blind baking, bake with a parchment paper and some baking beans or rice for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment with beans and bake for another 10 minutes or so. When baking pie, I usually always bake it for at least an hour but it all depends on your oven, so check it every so often to see if it's not burned or underbaked. 
TIPS:
- If using soft butter, first beat together butter and sugar. Mix the dry ingredients and add them to the mixture. Slowly add milk until everything is combined.
- Be creative with fillings, when I'm making pie I usually never follow a recipe. Just add enough flour or cornstarch so it doesn't get super juicy and wet.

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