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Category: Desserts

Double crust

A couple of weeks ago, I was out on the road in Northern California, heading southeast from Sacramento on Highway 16 toward the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It's a beautiful drive, and on that blistering summer day I might ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time | Makes enough crust for 1 (9- to 10-inch) double-crust pie
Note: The cider vinegar is used to help "shorten" the crust, improving the texture. Though you might smell the vinegar as you roll out the crust, you should not taste or smell it in the finished pie.

Double crust

  • 3 cups (12.75 ounces) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold shortening, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water, more if needed
  • 1 egg or egg white, for an egg wash, as desired
  • Sugar, for sprinkling, if desired

Step 1To make the dough using a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the shortening and pulse until incorporated (the dough will look like moist sand). Add the butter and pulse just until the butter is reduced to small, pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle the vinegar and water over the mixture, and pulse once or twice until incorporated. Remove the crumbly mixture to a large bowl and gently press the mixture together with a large spoon, rubber spatula or the palm of your hand just until it comes together to form a dough. Mold the dough into a disc roughly 6 inches in diameter. Cover the disc tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Step 2To make the dough by hand, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the shortening and incorporate using a pastry cutter or fork (the dough will look like moist sand). Cut in the butter just until it is reduced to small, pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle the vinegar and water over the mixture, and stir together just until incorporated. Gently press the crumbly mixture together with a large spoon, rubber spatula or the palm of your hand just until it comes together to form a dough. Mold the dough into a disc roughly 6 inches in diameter. Cover the disc tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Step 3Halve the dough, keeping the second half refrigerated as you work on the first half.

Step 4On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough out into a round roughly 13 to 14 inches in diameter. Place in a 9- to 10-inch baking dish, trimming any excess so the edge of the crust meets the edge of the pan. (One trick I use is to roll out the dough onto well-floured parchment or wax paper, invert and center the pie dish over the dough and then flip the dough into the dish.)

Step 5Fill the pie as desired and brush the edge of the crust with the egg wash or water, then refrigerate the pie as you roll out the second dough half.

Step 6Roll the second dough half as you did the first. Remove the pie from the refrigerator, and center the top half over the filling. Press the top crust along the egg wash-brushed edge of the bottom crust to seal, then trim the excess top crust so that it extends from the edge of the pie plate by one-half inch. Fold this edge and tuck it under the bottom crust to seal the crust completely. Crimp the edges as desired. Brush the top crust with the egg wash, and sprinkle over sugar if desired. Slit the top crust to create vents for the filling as it bakes.

Step 7Refrigerate the formed shell for 20 to 30 minutes before baking.

Each of 8 servings, without filling or egg wash:
385 calories; 5 grams protein; 37 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 24 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 38 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 439 mg. sodium.
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