Making pie crust, or pâte brisée, from scratch is easy as pie. Seriously. It’s not rocket science. Ok, some store bought pies may be good but once you make your own, you never look back. It’s all about crust - a good crust makes a pie perfect! All you need is to arm yourself with a foolproof pie crust recipe and you will do wonders. I do encourage you to try your hands at making your own pie crust. You will say at the end, “Goodness gracious, this was easy as pie!.” Once you’ve mastered the technique, we will move on to making a pie together. I have a recipe already. Stay tuned.
Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)
Adapted from “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”
Makes enough for two 9- or 10-inch (23- or 25-cm) single-crust pies or one 9- or 10-inch (23- or 25-cm) double crust pie
Martha Stewart’s all butter crust recipe is great perfect for sweet and savory pies and tarts! I’ve only adjusted the amount of salt and woven my own directions and observations into the recipe. The original recipes lets you decide if you want to make your dough in a food processor or use your hands for it. I choose hands. First, because my food processor is not fancy and big, second, my hands take less time and effort to wash. Third, I like to feel the dough at all times. There is nothing wrong with eliminating a third party, food processor, in making your perfect pie crust. Feel free to join me. Here it comes. One crucial moment - it’s all about butter - make sure it is cold!
2+ 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2+1/4 sticks; 1 cup = 8 ounces / 225 g) COLD (very cold! if your butter is not cold, the recipe won’t work) unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch (1.9 cm) pieces
7 to 9 tablespoons ice water
Combine the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt by hand.
Cut in butter: Add butter and quickly cut in with a pastry blender or your fingertips. The mixture should have pieces ranging from coarse crumbs to the size of small peas.
Add water: Drizzle 7 tablespoons of ice cold water over flour mixture, and mix with a fork until dough just holds together when pinched. If it doesn’t hold together, drizzle a little more water (take care not to overdo with water!) and mix. The mixture should retain a crumbly texture at this point. It should not be sticky.
Shape and chill dough: Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Knead once or twice to incorporate loose bits. Divide in half. Pat each half into a thick disk, then place on a piece of plastic wrap and gather wrap to flatten disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or overnight). Dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw in refrigerator overnight before using.
I love love mushrooms. I am a mushroom lover in the family. Kid are not big fans. Sadly, albeit my numerous experiments and attempts to fancy up kid-friendly mushroom dishes a.k.a disguise mushrooms to the point that that kids wouldn’t notice, my efforts have not paid off so far - kids still frown upon anything mushroom. Things are a bit different with M though. He wasn’t a big fan either. Until I converted him. With the help of sautéed mushrooms. But make no mistake - this is not your usual kind of sautéed mushrooms.This recipe, my friends, will convert even a hard-core mushroom hater as it is absolutely beyond delicious and unusual. In fact, so far this is the best recipe for sautéed mushrooms I have ever tried! It comes from one of my favorite chefs, Michael Chiarello.
So what is so unusual about this recipe? First, it is that when mushrooms are tossed into the heated pan with oil, they do not release their juice and to not become soggy as I’ve seen in many recipes. Trick? You layer the mushrooms in a single layer in the pan and do not stir until one side is caramelized! In this case, the juices are trapped inside and the mushrooms do not steam. You can go ahead and toss them once the caramelization is complete - no worries, no juice or minimal juice will be released.
Then you toss the mushrooms with garlic, thyme, lemon juice, wine and parsley, oh my! The delectable flavors will blend and the inviting aroma will ooze. A hard-core mushroom hater, if you have one in the family (maybe not kids yet) will run into the kitchen saying, “Something smells good!” Bingo. He/she is officially a mushroom lover. Enjoy!