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Butter Crust

On Sunday I made a pie. It was a good pie, a pretty pie. A pie so pretty I felt the need to post my pie prowess on Facebook.

Who am I kidding, I post everything on Facebook but I did like this pie.

And a couple people responded with pie crust angst- people who I admire, smart people who I respect…alas, the saying easy as pie is just untrue. Pie, like everything else can be difficult.

I too once had pie crust angst…..therefore I am posting a post about food.

Don’t let me get into this habit. It’s so easy to talk about food. Almost…..as easy as pie.

So here folks, is my story about the butter crust.

I did not grow up on butter. As a child of the 70’s, food was not edible unless it was processed. Margarine, American Cheese, Cool Whip……butter was evil and fattening…..pass the Velveeta, Miracle Whip and Wonder Bread.

Time in Germany and marrying a man with Danish heritage has taught me one thing….

Butter is love.

The amount of butter we consume is somewhat staggering.

Last weekend we entertained. The conversation went somewhat like this……

“The crust on this filet is great. What did you do?”

“Sautéed them in butter.”

“These onions are amazing. How did you get them to caramelize like this?”

“Butter.”

“Blistered greens beans?”

“Yeah…butter. Would you like some more wine?”

So back to the pie.

Butter.

I too was daunted by a non-processed, whole butter pie crust.

But you can do this. Lets start with some basics…..

Number One:

This is a pastry cutter.

You need this. It’s like four forks on steroids’. You need this to break up the butter in the amazing butter crust. Some say a Cuisinart will mix the same. I say no! Seriously, I think too much air gets in the crust with a Cuisinart. Get your arms in there with a pastry cutter- remember this is love.

How can you celebrate a holiday if you can’t tell your family how sore you are from making pie dough?

On another note…..I was going to take my pastry cutter to Virginia for Thanksgiving but I think TSA might confiscate it as a weapon.

Thought Number Two: Vodka vs. Ice Water

What the whaaaaaaa? Yes, I can mix alcohol into any conversation. There are many recipes that use cold vodka instead of ice water to mix the crust.

My thought– Sigh, no vodka. I know, it breaks my heart to say so but I think vodka makes the crust too dry. Granted, I live in Colorado and we haven’t seen moisture in like 3,421 days…..so go with what works.

Thought Number Three: Plastic Wrap

Who promotes plastic wrap for anything? Yes……the evil of all globally minded citizens but trust me…..take that chilled ball of dough and roll it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Forget the flour- go straight to plastic wrap. The crust rolls out beautifully and slides right into the pie pan.

Cold butter, cold (ice) water, pastry cutter, plastic wrap and a sense of ‘hey y’all…… I’m making you a pie. It might not be the best pie but it’s a butter crusted pie. Because I love you.’

Love goes a long way….almost as long as butter.

And because I get ALL of my sources from The Google…..here is the recipe I use. Go forth with love and butter. One more note- I use salted butter and do not add the extra salt….. really…..unsalted butter should be banned from civilized society.

And Happy Thanksgiving Dear Tribe. I am grateful for you all.

ALL-BUTTER PIE CRUST

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (cold, cut into small cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup cold water (plus one ice cube)
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prepare the water/vinegar mixture. Drop an ice-cube into a measuring cup and fill the measuring cup up with water to the ½ cup mark. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and set aside.
  • Mix Flour and Butter. Combine the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and toss with a fork to mix evenly. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs.
  • Add Water. Pour the water mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, into the flour/butter mixture and toss with a fork until the dough is evenly moist. Add water slowly to get the right texture.
  • Gather the dough. Use your hands to quickly bring the dough together in the bowl. Do not over work the dough.
  • Divide and Chill. Divide the dough in half and flatten into disks. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Bake according to what your pie recipe calls for.

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