If you use butter, this
recipe uses a
classic French technique called sablage (after the verb sabler,
meaning "to make sandy"), which calls for the cold butter to be mixed into the
flour by cutting it with a bowl scraper.
one 8- or 9-inch shell:
1 cup cake flour (use Pillsbury’s Wondra Flour if you can find it)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold butter (if using Crisco, add 1 extra tablespoon)
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon water.
bowl or on a cool surface, mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the cubed butter, or Crisco, to the dry
the butter until the butter pieces are approximately the size of dried lentils
(about 1/8 inch), working quickly to avoid melting the butter.
the butter/flour mixture to a cool surface if you haven't already. Form a well
in the mixture and pour some of the cold water into the well.
to combine the water into the flour/butter mixture. Be careful not to overwork
the dough at this stage. (See below for notes on how to avoid such problems
with your dough.) Add more water as needed until all of the dough is about the
consistency of raw hamburger.
ensure that the dough is well blended, remove walnut-size pieces and crush
them against the work surface with the heel of your hand or with a plastic
bowl scraper. 6. Gather all the pieces of dough together, cover with plastic
wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or freeze for 20 minutes), up to
overnight, to relax the gluten.
Sprinkle some all-purpose flour on a cool surface. Have some extra handy.
Place the dough down and press down firmly on the dough with a rolling pin.
Turn it 90 degrees and repeat.
to roll gently, from the middle up, then back to the middle and down, rotating
the dough between rolls. Sprinkle more flour on the dough and/or the surface
if it starts to stick.
about 1/8-inch thickness.
Place the dough into the pie or tart pan by rolling it onto the pin, then
unrolling into the pan; or gently fold it into quarters, transfer by hand and
unfold in the pan.
the dough into the corners of the pan, making sure not to stretch or push
holes into the dough.
Using a knife, trim off any excess dough (you can combine extra dough in a
ball and freeze for a later use).
you would like a decorative edge, crimp the lip of the shell with your fingers
or a crimper.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before adding the filling and baking.
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