It's that time of year again - pies are abundant and often the problem is making the crust. Some people find this difficult and resort to store bought crusts but there is nothing like the taste of a home made pie crust!
Here are some tips for the perfect crust.
1.Use a mixture of shortening and butter. Shortening makes the pastry flaky and butter adds the great taste.
2. Make sure all the ingredients are chilled - I keep flour in the fridge.
3.Add the water very carefully - too much will make the crust tough and stodgy but if you use too little the crust will fall apart.
4. Don't over mix the dough
5.Salt, vinegar or lemon juice will help the crust from becoming too crumbly.
6. Don't stretch the dough when you roll it. It may look like it's reached the right size but will shrink when you bake it.
You can use a food processor on pulse to make pastry but I find that my hands work just as well (maybe because I have COLD hands!)
2/1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
(1 tbs sugar if this is for a sweet pasrty)
Add 12tbs butter and 1/4 cup shortening cut into small pieces.
Using fingertips rub in until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Mix 1/2 cup iced water with 1 tbs white wine vinegar
Drizzle on mixture and work untill dough is formed.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour.
You can pre-bake using pie weights or dry beans at about 375 for about 10-12 mins. Remove weights and bake for another 10-12 mins
Tip: When you transfer the rolled out dough to the dish you are baking it in, line with foil before using the weights, then when you remove the weights cook the 2nd half with no foil to get the crust nice and golden,