Pate Brisee Pie Crust

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Leave it up to the French to come up with something so delicious, rich, and buttery. This classic pastry works well for both sweet and savory pies and tarts. I like to pair it with fillings that are tart, such as rhubarb, lemon, or dark chocolate. Try it the next time you make a chicken potpie or quiche, the flavor of this crust enhances any filling.

2 1//2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1//3 to 1//2cup ice cold water

            Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with a hand-held pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal with small peas. It is important to work quickly to make this dough so the butter and shortening remain cold.

            Pour the water around the edges of the bowl with the flour-butter mixture, while working it into the mixture with a fork just until the dough comes together when you squeeze it in the palm of your hands.  Do not over mix. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.

            Lightly dust your hands and work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and press together. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and form each piece into a flat round disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days.

            Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerated and place on a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too hard let it sit 5-10 minutes before rolling. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough to form a circle about 12-inches, about 1//8- inch thick.  Fold the dough in half or gently roll it up onto the rolling pin and lift to put in the 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough lightly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

            Trim the edges of the dough with a pair of kitchen shears, leaving about 1/2-inche of dough draping over the side. Turn the extra dough under itself. Crimp the edge of the pie or flatten it with the tines of a fork. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in the freezer at least 1 hour before baking. At this point the crust can be frozen up to 2 months. 





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