This is a basic pie dough recipe that can be used for tarts, crostadas, and pies. It is a simple recipe that is balanced for both savory and sweet applications. Because this recipe is basic, it can easily be expanded through experimentation.
Basic Pie Dough
Yield: 1 9 inch Tart
- 1 ½ Cups Flour
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 8 Tablespoons, Chilled Unsalted Butter Cut into 1 Tablespoon Pieces
- 4 Tablespoons, Ice Cold Water
Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Add one tablespoon of butter into the food processor and pulse until the butter has been incorporated into the flour. Repeat this until there is no more butter remaining. Try to use as few pulses as possible as too much friction from the blades will melt the butter. The finished product should contain pea-sized bits of butter covered in flour.
To make this a dough, add the ice cold water one tablespoon at a time. Pulse the dough and see if it starts to come together to look like a dough. If it does not, continue adding the water and pulsing. The exact amount of water needed to bring the dough together will vary depending on the humidity that day, the type of flour, and other factors. Sometimes less than four tablespoons of water is needed and every now and then, the flour will need a bit more. However, it is better if the dough is slightly dry than too wet.
Once the dough looks right, remove it from the food processor and gently roll it to combine it into a ball. Do not overwork the dough, or the resulting crust will be chewy.
Add flour to a rolling surface and cut the ball into five to eight pieces. Roll each piece once on the mat using the palm of your hand, then collect the dough and set aside. Repeat for the other pieces, combine the dough, and form it into a disk at least one inch wide. Chill in the freezer for at least eight hours.
While the dough is chilling, find a recipe for a good filling. Because this dough can be used in all types of tarts, just about any filling will do. After eight hours, preheat the oven to the temperature specified by the recipe. Roll out the dough on a pastry mat that has been covered with a little flour. Use a cold rolling pin if possible.
After the dough has been rolled, follow the rest of the recipe instructions for making the filling, bake, and enjoy.
Thanks to thebittenword.com for the image.