Holiday Entertaining Guide - Page 11 - The upper crust (2)

Holiday Entertaining Guide
- Page 11
The upper crust (2)
move fast, quickly rubbing the cold pieces of butter between your fingertips and into the flour. Too much handling will warm the butter; you will lose flakiness and the dough will become tough.

Rogers also recommended using a food scale for more exact measurements.

She chills the dough in the refrigerator for at least 45minutes after mixing it, and again for 30 minutes after rolling it out and putting it in the pie pan.This relaxes the gluten and firms up the butter in the dough, making for a flaky crust.

When you are ready to roll out the dough, let it sit at room temperature for a fewminutes.

Lightly dust a clean board or counter and a rolling pin with flour. Quickly roll the dough in all directions from the center, rotating it to keep it from sticking and to assure an even thickness. Form a circle that is roughly 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8-inch thick. If the dough sticks, use a pallet or a spatula to lift it. If you add more flour to the surface, do so sparingly.

Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unfurl it into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim, leaving an approximately 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck the excess dough underneath and crimp the edge between your thumb and index finger.

Chill the crust for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before filling and baking, Rogers said. She does not recommend blind baking (baking crusts before filling) for pumpkin or other custard pies. Rather, she heats a baking sheet to 425 degrees, places the filled pie on the sheet and then turns the oven down to the baking temperature.

Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days or frozen.

Paté brisee with egg
• 11/2 to 13/4 cups (230 g) all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon (10 g) sugar
• A pinch salt 11/2 sticks (180 g) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces (touch the butter only as much as needed while cutting)
• 1 egg 1 to 2 tablespoons low-fat or whole milk, cold

Using a food processor, combine the dry ingredients by pulsing briefly, 2 to 3 times.

Add in the chilled butter and pulse briefly 2 to 3 times.The mixture should contain visible chunks of butter, coated by the flour mixture.

Then add in the egg, again pulsing 2 or 3 times.

With the machine on pulse, add milk and watch for the dough to start to form a ball. Check the dough by opening the lid, pinching off a small piece and seeing if the dough holds together. If it looks grainy, it probably needs a teaspoon or so of additional milk. (Be careful not to add too much milk.) Once the dough has barely gathered together, turn it out, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl and flattening it into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap or put in a plastic bag. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes before rolling out.

Makes 1 pie crust, with leftover dough that can be used for lattice or other decoration on top of the pie.

Note: She does not recommend doubling the recipe. If two crusts are needed, make each separately. Recipe from Gidleigh Park restaurant, England.

Sweet hand pie dough
Makes 8 pies
• 3 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1/2 cup water, ice cold