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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Basic Pie Dough recipe

 

Makes enough dough for 1 (9-inch) pie with top crust or lattice

 

The ingredients for both this Basic Pie Dough and the Basic Tart Dough are the same (though proportions are different, as are the pans that are used and the way the doughs are shaped in the pans). I know that many very good pie bakers swear by shortening, because it makes for a flakier crust, but I prefer the taste of all butter and don’t find it to be a huge sacrifice in texture.

 

Any kind of 9-inch pie pan can be used—metal, glass, or ceramic—as long as it’s not “deep-dish,” or you won’t have enough filling. Though they don’t conduct heat as well as metal pans and may take longer to cook, glass pie dishes are good for pies where the filling is baked in a raw crust because you can see how much the crust is browning on the bottom.

 

Whenever a crust is baked without filling you have to fill it with something

so it keeps its shape and doesn’t shrink and fall down on the sides. With pies, you can line the raw dough in the pan with aluminum foil, poking with a fork all over so it stays in place. (For tarts, the foil-only technique doesn’t work, you need to fill the pan with parchment or foil and weight it with raw rice, dry beans, or pie weights.) You can also use parchment paper and weights for pies, like I always do.

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

 

Food processor or stand mixer

Rolling pin

9 1/2-inch pie pan

Parchment paper

Rice, dried beans, or pie weights- if using

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch kosher salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

About 5 tablespoons ice-cold water

 

To make the dough in a food processor:

 

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in the food processor bowl. Pressing the pulse button quickly, pulse the mixture until the butter is the size of small peas, 5 to 10 pulses. This will happen very quickly, do not overmix it. Add the 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water, then pulse just until the dough is crumbly. Stop the machine and gently squeeze about 1/3 cup of dough in your hand. If it comes together without any dry pieces, you’ve added enough water. If it’s still floury, pulse in another tablespoon of water and test it again. Add a little more water if necessary or continue to mix until the dough forms small clumps. Do not process it to the point where it forms a ball.

 

To make the dough using a stand mixer:

 

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer. On low speed, using the paddle attachment, mix in the butter until it is the size of small peas. Add the 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water, then mix it in just until the dough is crumbly. Stop the machine and gently squeeze about 1/3 cup of dough in your hand. If it comes together without any dry pieces, you’ve added enough water. If it’s still floury, stir in another tablespoon of water and test it again. Add a little more water if necessary or continue to mix until the dough forms small clumps. Do not mix it to the point where it forms a ball.

 

Form the dough into 2 flat (1-inch-thick) disks—without treating it like Play-Doh and mashing it. One disk should use two-thirds of the dough, the other disk one-third. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days. The dough can also be frozen for 2 months. Make sure you let the dough warm up for about 15 minutes after taking it out of the fridge so that you can roll it easily. Defrost overnight in the fridge.

 

To roll out the dough:

 

Put the larger dough disk on a generously floured work surface—don’t worry, the dough won’t absorb any more flour at this point and it’s more important that it doesn’t stick. Sprinkle more flour on the top of the dough. Roll it into an evenly thick 14-inch circle, or one that’s 2 inches wider than your pie pan. A quick and easy way to measure the size is to hold the pie pan over the dough and make sure the dough is about 2 inches wider than the top of pan. The important thing to keep in mind is that you’re aiming for an evenly thick, as well as evenly round, circle.

As you roll, try not to press the pin down at the outer edge, otherwise the center will be thick and the edge thin.

There are several ways to roll the dough, but a couple of them work for me. You can work from the center out and always roll away from your body, starting at the 12 noon position and then rotating the dough a quarter turn each time. Or simply roll from the center, going to 12:00, then 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. Whichever way you find you’re comfortable with, pick up the dough occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking to your work surface.

 

To line the pie pan with the dough:

 

Make sure the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface by running a large metal spatula underneath the dough. Transfer the dough to the pie pan by gently lifting up one end of the circle and loosely rolling it around the rolling pin and then unrolling it so it’s centered over the pan. Press it into and along the inside bottom corner of the pie pan. Trim the dough around the edge of the pan, leaving a 1/4- to 1/2-inch edge hanging over the side. For a pie without a top crust, fold the edge under and crimp or make a decorative pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

 

For a double-crust pie:

 

Roll the smaller disk into a 12-inch circle and place it on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or overnight before using it as a top crust

 

For a lattice-top pie:

 

Roll the smaller disk so that it is 1/8 inch thick. It doesn’t matter what shape you roll it, just so it’s evenly thick. Using a sharp knife or decorative wheel cutter, cut it into 10 (3/4- to 1-inch-wide) strips. With a large metal spatula, transfer the lattice strips onto the baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate them overnight, but cover with plastic wrap.

  

To bake the pie crust without a filling:

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Press foil onto the side and bottom of the dough-lined pan and loosely fold the excess foil over the pie edge. Using a fork, prick holes through the foil into dough all over the side and bottom. You can also use parchment paper and weights (see page 143 for more information). Bake until the edge of the dough is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil.

 

Return the pan to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Let cool to room temperature.

 

**After I roll out the dough and form it in the pan I let it rest while I prepare the filling.

 

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE RECIPE

 

Serves 8

1 unbaked 9 1/2 inch pie crust for lattice top pie and lattice

 

2 1/2 pints (about 2 1/4 pounds) strawberries

2 large stalks (about 12 ounces) rhubarb

2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

5 tablespoons cornstarch

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

 

1. Remove and discard the stems from the strawberries. Cut the berries into 3/4-inch pieces. You should have about 4 cups. Transfer to a medium bowl.

 

2. Cut the rhubarb into 3/4-inch pieces to measure about 2 1/4 cups.

Add to the bowl with the strawberries. Add the 2/3 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and lemon zest and stir until everything is evenly combined. Spread the fruit mixture evenly over the bottom of the baked pie crust.

 

3. Lay 5 of the lattice strips across the fruit filling and the other

5 strips across in the other direction to form a lattice pattern.

Cut or press off extra overhanging dough and press the strips into the side of the dough shell to anchor them. Brush the strips with the cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.

 

4. Put the pie in the oven and place a baking sheet on the rack underneath. This will catch any drips that spill from the pie. Bake the pie for 50 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until the top and bottom crust are golden brown and the juices of the pie are thickened, about 30 minutes.

 

5. Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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Taken on May 9, 2010