Dessert: Pate Brisee (Butter Crust)
1 ¼ cup (plus some more for rolling)
½ tsp (make it 1 ½ tsp if you want a sweet recipe)
8 tbsp, cooled, cut into ½ inch pieces
- Put the first three ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- First add half of the unsalted butter and pulse 6-8 times, then add the rest of the butter, and blend again. In the end you should get a mixture resembling coarse meal, with butter cubes of the sizes of peas.
- Pour two tbsp of ice water (without the ice) in the bowl of the food processor, and pulse 2-3 times. Then pour in more water (slowly, 1 tbsp at a time), and keep pulsing after each addition until the dough begins to stick together.
- Check the readiness of the mixture in the following way: if you take some of the dough and it holds together the dough is ready; if not pour in a bit of water again and pulse. Avoid adding too much water, as it will make the crust too tough.
- Take the mixture out of the food processor and put it on a clean and smooth surface.
- In case you want the crust to be flakier use the French technique called "fraisage". Press down the dough with your palm shmooshing it into the table several times – this process will help the crust be extra flaky.
- Press the crumby mixture together with your hands, and form a disc. Don’t knead it too much, as the crust will be too tough then.
- When you work with the dough check if the little pieces of butter are seen in it. When the crust starts to cook these butter bits will help the dough separate into several layers.
- Sprinkle the disc of dough with flour on every side. Wrap the dough in food wrap and store it in the fridge for 1 hour at least. (You can also put your dough in the freezer at this point, and keep it there for several months until you need it. Don’t forget to defrost in in a fridge for 5-8 hours before you start cooking).
- When the dough is ready for rolling take it out of the fridge and put on a clean floured surface. Wait for 5-10 minutes before rolling to take the chill off the dough, as in this way it will be much easier to roll it out.
- Sprinkle the disk with some flour. Make a 12 inch circle of the dough rolling it with a rolling pin (the circle should be around 1/8 of an inch thick).
- While rolling out the dough keep checking if it is sticking to the surface below. In case it is sprinkle the surface with flour to prevent it.
- Put the dough on a pie dish lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Unfold it gently pressing down to line the dish with the dough.
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