Superflaky Pie Crust

iStock
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 -inch squares
  • 3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 cup ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar (have an extra 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water in reserve; you may need a bit more)
Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, gently combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and butter. Butter should be left in half-inch squares. Place in the freezer until butter is hard, about 5 minutes. Dump mixture on the counter and roll over it quickly with a rolling pin, scraping off whatever adheres to the pin; repeat 2 or 3 times until the butter forms flat flakes. Scrape mixture back into bowl and add shortening in chickpea-size lumps. Freeze another 5 minutes.

2. Dump mixture on the counter and roll and scrape two more times to incorporate shortening. Return to bowl, freeze 5 minutes more. Add water-vinegar mixture to bowl; toss with a fork. Press a few tablespoons of the mixture in your hand. If it clumps, you are okay; if it crumbles, add water a teaspoon at a time until mixture clumps. Dump onto the counter and bring together with your hands. Knead only once or twice, just to form a mass that sticks together. Divide into 2 flat rounds, one just slightly larger than the other. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours before rolling.

Adapted from It's All American Food by David Rosengarten (Little, Brown 2003).

Yield: 
Enough for 1 double-crusted pie (9 1/2 inches)
  • Nordic cuisine: Leave the herring, take the taco quiche

    With almost 800 pages of recipes and striking photography, Magnus Nilsson's The Nordic Cookbook is the definitive work on the food cultures of his native land. He spoke with Melissa Clark about the impact winter has on the Nordic countries, the common source of everyone's family herring recipe, and the enduring popularity of taco quiche.

Top Recipes

Reviving an 8,000-year-old winemaking tradition in Georgia

John Wurdeman studied music and art before becoming a winemaker in the country of Georgia. His winery, Pheasant's Tears, has revived an 8,000-year-old Georgian winemaking tradition. He tells Melissa Clark what brought him there, the myriad varieties of Georgian wines, and the integral part they play in that country's meals.