Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Perfect Pie Crust and "The Worm"

Pie Crust

Most people find pie crust daunting but as my main gal Ina suggests, there are a few secrets that will change all that. First the butter, shortening, and water must all be very cold. Second, let the dough sit in the refrigerator (bakers call it "relaxing" the dough) for 30 minutes before rolling, and finally, don't stretch the dough when you're placing in into the pan. Follow these tips and you'll have delicious, flaky pie crust every time. I have pictures and step by step instructions so you can follow easily.

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture
Pie Crust

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix.
Pie Crust

Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas.
Pie Crust

With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
Pie Crust

Pie Crust

Dump out onto a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pie Crust


Cut the dough in half. Then you are ready to roll each piece into a circle for your pie!
Pie Crust

Perfect Pie Crust
adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Family Style, Ina Garten
makes two 10-inch crusts

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out onto a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well floured board into a circle, rolling from the center of the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

You can also make this dough ahead of time. Wrap your dough tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Now what happens if you only need one of the pie crusts, instead of the two this recipe makes? Don't halve the recipe. Make the worm!! Not the most fetching name, but I promise, it's delicious. This is what I make anytime I have left over pie crust and it's my husband favorite. My Father-in-law's mother is famous for them.

The worm is a rolled out pie crust that has been smeared with a thin layer (about 2 tablespoons for a whole crusts worth) of softened butter, then sprinkled with a thin layer of brown sugar and cinnamon. See?
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Next you roll it up and seal the ends
The worm

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Then bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes and let cool. It's not the prettiest thing in the world.
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Next, gently cut into rounds with a serrated knife (the worm will be doughy and soft in the center. This is what you want) serve on a plate still warm or at room temperature (cover to keep them soft). What a treat!
Pie Crust Worm

Make sure to tune in tomorrow for the winner of my Big Christmas Giveaway!

11 comments:

  1. Wonderful recipe! Thanks so much for sharing. I just might have to give this recipe a try! xo

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  2. i love you for making your own crust and not buying that pillsbury stuff!! it is so easy to make your own crust

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  3. I have never made my own pie crust; but, you have shared a very good reason for me to give it a try. Yum!

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  4. we have never called it "the worm", but my family makes the same thing every time we make pie crust! oh, it's so good! :)

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