September 13, 2010

Baked Pie Crust

This is one of my pie crust recipes.  I use this recipe when making cream pies (such as my rhubarb meringue pie), or when the recipe calls for a baked pie shell.  This recipe is from "Cook's Country" magazine (call me crazy, but I can't see a date on it).  It turns out perfectly every time, tastes almost like a shortbread cookie, and is truly a no fear pie crust. 

No-Fear Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but cool
2 ounces cream cheese, softened but cool

Lightly coat 9-inch Pyrex pie plate with cooking spray.  (I don't use a glass pie plate, but it would be helpful.)  Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in bowl.  With electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese in large bowl, stopping once twice to scrape down beater and sides of bowl, until completely homogeneous, about 2 minutes.  Add flour mixture and combine on medium-low until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 20 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until dough begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.  Reserve 3 tablespoons of dough.  Turn remaining dough onto light floured surface, gather into ball, and flatten into 6-inch disk.  Transfer disk to greased pie plate.  (I skip this last part, and just throw the dough straight from the mixing bowl into the pie plate.)
Press dough evenly over bottom of pie plate toward sides, using heel of your hand.  Hold plate up to light to ensure that dough is evenly distributed.  (I skip this part, and just eye-ball it from the top.)  With your fingertips, continue to work dough over bottom of plate and up sides until evenly distributed. 
On floured surface, roll reserved dough into 12-inch rope.  (I just take the dough and make a bunch of snakes.)  Divide into 3 pieces, roll each piece into 8-inch rope, and form fluted edge.  (I just take all my "snakes" and put them together on the top of the pie plate, making sure to connect them to the rest of the pie dough.  Then I flute.)  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325.  Lightly prick bottom of crust with fork.  Bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  If large bubbles form, wait until crust is fully baked, then gently press on bubbles with kitchen towel.  Bubbles will settle as crust cools.

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