We’re happy to tell you it doesn’t have to be that daunting, with the the right tools and a good recipe.
Pie crust is often quite bland, lacking much in the way of character.
Take your pie crust up a notch in flavour by adding nuts!
They bring a whole new depth to the dish you create.
While this recipe uses walnuts, feel free to experiment. Hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans and macadamias are also all quite complementary.
Don’t be afraid of the long directions, they’re there to help you make delicious crust!
Flavourful Pie Crust
- 1 ¾ C all-purpose flour
- ¾ C ground roasted walnuts (or try with another variety of nut!)
- 1 C cold butter
- ½ tsp salt (if using salted butter, reduce salt to ¼ tsp)
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- ¼ to ½ C ice water (the easiest way to make this is to fill a measuring cup with ice and top it up with cool water, then let it sit while you prep).
Start by chopping the cold butter into small half-inch cubes. Optional but recommended: place the chopped butter in the freezer while you get everything else ready, approximately 15 to 20 minutes is good.
Using a food processor fitted with the metal S-blade makes pie crust easy, we promise. First, add your walnuts and process until they’re finely ground, similar to what graham cracker crumbs look like. If you notice them starting to stick at the bottom edge (the beginning stages of nut butter), stop processing further. Scrape the walnuts away from the edge of the processor bowl and add your flour, salt and sugar; pulse a few times to combine.
Now add half the butter chunks, pulse three or four times until they’re mixed into the flour, then add the rest of the butter. Pulse about seven to ten times, until the chunks of butter are around the size of green peas.
Add ¼-cup of ice water while you pulse a few more times so it doesn’t end up in a pool. Now check your dough: when you remove the lid of the food processor the dough will still look crumbly, but when you pinch the dough it should stick together and not crumble apart. If the dough is still crumbly when pinched, add more ice water two tablespoons at a time; again, pulse to incorporate and do the pinch test. You should not need any more than half a cup of water; add too much water and the crust will become more tough once baked.
Next, you will need to carefully dump out the crumbly dough onto a large cutting board or clean counter, making sure the surface is dry. Optional but recommended: you can use the heel of your palm to press into the dough and push forwards to flatten and stretch out some of the clumps of butter; this makes the dough a little more flaky. Don’t press more that four to five times, as you do not want to knead the dough.
Divide the dough into two portions, using your hands form the dough into two disks, again careful not to over handle (knead) the dough or it will become tough. Sprinkle with a little flour before wrapping the dough up to store in the fridge for at least an hour or for up to two days.
When you’re ready to use the dough, take out the disks and allow them to sit at room temperature for five to ten minutes. The time depends on how hot your house is, and allowing it to warm slightly makes it easier to roll out. Take your rolling pin and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface; if it starts to stick, add a bit more flour. You’ll want approximately a 12-inch circle, and it should be around one-eighth of an inch thick.
Carefully place the rolled out dough onto a nine-inch pie plate, and press it down into the plate gently, trimming away any extra that is more than a half-inch over the edge. Now roll out the next disk of dough the same as the first time.
Add your filling to the bottom crust right away and place the top over. Press the edges of the crust together firmly, either with your fingers or a fork. Cut a couple of holes in the top to allow steam to escape, and bake according to the pie recipes instructions.
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