1 c Unbleached white flour
3/8 ts Salt
4 tb Cold unsalted butter;
– cut into small cubes
1 1/2 tb Solid vegetable shortening
2 1/2 tb Ice water, more if necessary
This versatile dough can be the basis for either fruit or meat pies.
The recipe comes from Deborah Madison’s “The Greens Cookbook”
COMBINE THE FLOUR AND SALT in a bowl; then add the butter and
shortening. With your hands, work the fat and flour together, sliding
and flattening the mixture between your palms, or thumb and
fingertips, until the butter and shortening are evenly distributed.
Add 2 1/2 tablespoons cold water and lightly work it into the flour,
using your fingers, slightly cupped together, or a fork. Gather the
dough into a ball, sprinkle a few drops of water over any remaining
dry ingredients and gather them together. Cover the dough with waxed
paper or plastic wrap, flatten it into a disk, and let it rest at
least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using. The dough can also
be frozen at this point for future use. When you are ready to roll
the dough, lightly flour the work surface and the top of the dough.
If it is stiff from the cold, let it sit for 20 minutes before you
roll it out. Roll it out with firm, even strokes into a circle about
1/8-inch thick. Pick it up on the rolling pin and slide it onto the
pie dish or tart mold. Or, alternatively, fold it into quarters, lay
it with the point in the center of the pan, then unfold. Trim the
edges, leaving an overhang of an inch or so; then fold the overhang
under and crimp the edge. To partially pre-bake the crust, first
freeze the empty shell until it is quite firm. If you intend to
freeze the crust for an extended period of time, wrap it in foil.
When ready to use, preheat the oven to 425F. Set the frozen tart
shell directly into the oven and bake until the crust has a “set”
appearance and is just beginning to color, about 8-to-10 minutes.
While the crust is baking, check to see that the bottom is now
swelling with steam and air. If it does, prick it lightly with a
paring knife. More traditionally, the crust may be prebaked unfrozen,
first lining it with buttered foil, filling the foil with pie weights
or dry beans, then baking, as above, until the edges are set and
slighted browned. Makes 1 9-Inch Pie or Tart