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Flaky Pie Crust

I’ve been searching for the real, American, flaky pie crust for years, and I finally found it.

Flours vary from country to country, some absorbing more liquid, some absorbing less. It’s rare that I’ll find a flour-based recipe that tallies exactly with my Israeli flour, whose wheat, by the way, is largely imported from the USA. It must have something to do with how much the grain has dried out in transit, or the ambient humidity as the wheat is milled. But this recipe worked well immediately, without translation.

You can run this whole thing through the food processor, but I prefer the admittedly more laborious method of mixing it with a fork. When you flake the fat through the flour with the fork’s tines, you create a flakier crust. Also, I hate washing the food processor, but the important issue here is flakiness.

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The only tricky part is adding the liquid to the flour mixture. Add it by tablespoons until the dough forms a moist (not wet) ball. Since I usually bake this crust with margarine, and margarine’s water content varies from brand to brand, I add the liquid by tablespoons. I also test the dough after each liquid addition, by rolling a little bit into a ball. When it sticks together smoothly, I stop adding liquid.

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This makes two crusts. You can double the ingredients to make four crusts, except for the egg/vinegar/water mixture. There will be some egg mix left over no matter how many crusts you make. The important thing is to keep the proportions of that mixture the same. If you added a little too much liquid, don’t worry. Just dust your work surface with plenty of flour, and it will balance out.

The dough should be chilled at least 15 minutes before you roll it out. A couple of hours is better, if you have the time. It freezes well (thaw out overnight in the fridge), and keeps in the fridge up to three days.

 

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