Kelly's Perfect Food Processor Pie Dough

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KELLY'S PERFECT FOOD PROCESSOR PIE DOUGH by Sarah Phillips and Kelly CA © 2008 Sarah Phillips
Makes a double or single crust variation for a 9-inch standard or 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie
Pie and photos by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips
Recipes made with this pie dough: Fruit Pie Minis - Apple, Blueberry and Pear

Food styling and photos by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

When making a pie, one must always start with the crust. I used to HATE making pie because making crust by hand was always such a nightmare for me. It would either turn into a crumbly dry mess or a sticky mass, that stuck to my rolling pin and cooked up leaden....the very opposite of flaky. When I learned how to make pie crust with the food processor, it was like a revelation. I now LOVE to make pie, and, with this tried and true recipe, my pie crusts come out perfect, every time. YAY, PIE!!!

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, use if pie filling goes well with cinnamon)

1/4- 1/2 cup ice water; make with water and ice cubes

1. Cut butter into cubes and place in a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill.

2. A. Place dry ingredients into the bowl of your food processor, fitted with the metal blade.

KELLY SAYS: Before placing the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, I like to sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon (if using). I always do this to make sure there are no lumps in the flour and I find it also helps to mix the ingredients together.

B. Add the well-chilled butter cubes on top of the dry ingredients, in the food processor.

C. PULSE the butter and flour mixture together till the butter is no longer in large chunks. You should be able to still see small chunks of butter in the mixture. This helps form the flaky texture you are looking for in your pie crust.

3. Add the water to the dry ingredients.
KELLY SAYS: This is where you must proceed with caution. Too little water and your dough will be crumbly and impossible to roll out. Too much water and your crust will be sticky to roll and tough, when baked. You must use a gentle hand with pie dough and proceed slowly!

A. START with 1/4 cup of water, adding it to the flour mixture, through the feed tube in the food processor, while pulsing the machine until the dough starts clumping together. DO NOT just turn the processor on - use the PULSE button.

B. Open the processor to check the condition of the dough. It should still be a bit crumbly, but it should start to clump together. To test the dough, squeeze it between your fingertips and it should just stick together. If it does, the dough is done - do NOT add any more water.

KELLY SAYS: If the dough is too dry, add more water, a few drops at a time, up to a teaspoon, and hit the pulse button for a second. Open the food processor and check the dough after each addition. Most of the time, I find that 1/4 cup water total is plenty. Of course, the moisture content of flour can vary, and you MAY have to add more than 1/4 cup, but do so, about 1 teaspoon at a time.
If the dough is too wet, add a teaspoon of flour at a time, and pulse the food processor to combine.

4. A. Empty the food processor contents out onto your work surface and gather the dough into two evenly-sized mounds. Flatten the disks, and make them as round as possible, so it is easier to roll them out, when the time comes.

B. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator, to chill.

KELLY SAYS: It is important that your pie dough is well chilled before you go to roll it out.

The pie dough can be made 2 to 3 days in advance and refrigerated or frozen for up to a month. Thaw in refrigerator before use.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8- 1/4 cup ice water; make with water and ice cubes

See tutorial for making a single crust: Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie

Pie and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

Pie and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

Double crust used:
Painted Apple Pie Pops

Food styling and photos by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

Two Savory Galettes!

Potato and Caramelized Onion Galette by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

Tomato and Cheese Galette by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

Or, delicious and savory Chicken Pot Pie!

Chicken pot pie and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

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Pie and photos by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips

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Pie and photos by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips