Pastry for Single Crust Recipe

From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book.

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Pastry for Single Crust

From Dorothy McNett's recipes at www.dorothymcnett.com. Use this for pies, quiche, and tarts.

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
a few grindings of pepper, if desired
6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup cold water

In food processor with steel chopping blade in place (or use a hand held pastry blender) combine the flour, salt and seasoning. Blend well. Add the butter and process with quick off and on movements until mixture has the consistency of very coarse crumbs. (Or cut the flour in with the pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs.) Add the cold water and process only until dough begins to cling together. With hands form dough into a ball, but do not knead the dough. Roll out into a 10 inch circle on a lightly floured pastry cloth, using the flour duster to get the flour worked into the cloth and on the rolling pin, sprinkling more flour if needed as you gently roll the pastry into a circle. Carefully transfer to an 8 or 9 inch quiche pan or dish, being careful not to stretch the pastry.

THREE BAKING CHOICES FOR THE PASTRY:
1. Some recipes will have you baking the pastry shell completely before adding the filling. To do this, preheat oven to 400 degrees. After carefully lifting the pastry into the selected pie or quiche pan, pierce the crust all over with a fork to make steam vents. Trim edges and flute as desired. Line pastry with parchment paper and then scatter beans or pie weights over paper to hold the pastry in place while baking. Or, use pie weights that are on a chain and you will not need the parchment paper. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until light brown and crisp. Remove paper and weights. Sometimes you may want to put the pastry shell back into the hot oven after removing the weights to brown and crispen the bottom crust a bit more.

2. Some recipe will have you pouring the uncooked filling into the uncooked pastry shell. To do this, preheat oven as directed in recipe. After carefully lifting the pastry into the selected pan, trim edges and flute as desired. Do not pierce the bottom. Pour the filling in and bake as directed. This method often leaves the bottom crust soggy. I prefer method number 1.

3. Some of my recipes will have you partially baking the shell for a few minutes in the microwave oven before adding the filling and then finishing the baking in the preheated conventional oven. To do this, always choose a glass or ceramic baking dish. Carefully lift the pastry into the dish, trim and flute edges and then crumble up some waxed paper and place on crust to hold it in place, especially around the sides to keep the crust from slipping inward. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, or until the crust is "set" and not moist. It will not brown, it will just cook! Remove from microwave, remove the papers, add the filling and bake in conventional oven at 375 degrees until all is done, 30-45 minutes usually. This method gives you a great tasting bottom crust that is not soggy and you have less risk of overcooking the crust during the final stage of baking.

Recipe created 2008-04-15.

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