Faust Family Famous Recipes

Classic Pie or Tart Pastry - French version
by Martha Stewart and Diana Faust


It is not true that pie dough, in and of itself, is beyond most mortals, notwithstanding all those
prefabricated pastry crusts and mixes in stores suggesting otherwise. Pie making can be a truly
Zen experience and entirely possible to master.  Simply focus on your goal - - a flaky light satisfying crust - - as you work.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in food processor. Add butter; process until mixture resembles
coarse meal, about 8 to10 seconds. For hand method, place dry ingredients in large bowl. Add
butter; blend with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Repeat the words "flaky light
flaky light" as you blend.

2. Add ice water in a slow steady stream through feed tube of food processor with machine running, until dough holds together for no longer than 30 seconds. For hand method, mix dough with a wooden spoon, adding water until dough just holds together. Think "flaky light flaky light" as you drizzle. The texture should be somewhere between coarse sand and tiny pebbles.

3. Turn dough onto piece of plastic wrap. Press it into a flat circle, and wrap it in plastic; refrigerate
at least 1 hour. May be frozen, double-wrapped in plastic, for several months.

4. When the time comes to roll out the dough, stay calm. Work on a clean, cool surface; marble is
best, but a stainless countertop or a smooth cutting board is just fine. Use a rolling pin with a little
weight to it. Start from the center of the disk, using controlled, even strokes and pressure. Breathe
normally, and add the word circular to your pastry-making mantra - - flaky light circular. 


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Published 20 June 1996 -   This page added 18 November 1996   -  This page was last updated 12/28/16 04:35 PM