Superflaky Pie Crust

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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)

  • A look at the history of sugar, from art and language to 3-D printing

    Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.

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