So as you guys know…baking is NOT my strong suit. You can imagine my shock when I got the call to rep Ms. Ashwell in this pie competition. I had to come correct and in a major way. This pie crust was the perfect crust for the occasion. It’s basically for dummies aka ME!!
It seems like a lot but just bare with me, because this is gonna be one big a$# post.
There are lots of steps to this pie but it is actually really really simple.
Let’s start with the pie crust….
Pecorino and Pepper Pie Crust
Makes a 1-10 inch pie crust
2 1/2 All purpose flour
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ sticks cold cultured or European butter, cut into ½ inch cubes, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
5 to 8 tablespoons cold water
2 pound dried beans or pie weights
In a food processor, add flour, cheese, salt, and pepper. Pulse twice just to mix. Add butter and pulse until resembles a coarse meal. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water to mixture and pulse until dough comes together. Remove lid and squeeze mixture together. If mixture is crumbly add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. When dough holds together, remove carafe from base and dump onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently form dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes upto 2 days.
Preheat 425 degrees.
Grease a 10 inch spring form pan with a butter. Line the bottom of pan with parchment. Roll out dough to a thickness of 1/3 inch, about 14 to 16 inches in diameter. Gently lay rolled dough into pan. Tuck dough to form into the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the excess dough hang over the top edge of the pan. Trim any excess leaving about ½ inch all the way around. This will allow for shrinkage during blind baking.
Cut a piece of parchment larger than the spring form pan. Lay parchment over crust and fill with dried beans, about 2 pounds. Blind bake for 15 to 20 minutes, just until begins to brown. Remove and let cool to room temperature before filling.
Do not overmix dough in food processor. Releases gluten in flour and makes a tougher crust
Blind baking helps prevents dough from becoming soggy
Blind baking at high temperatures causes the water in the butter to evaporate, creating steam, which creates a light and flaky crust. It also helps prevent shrinkage (when the crust droops down off of the lip of the pie plate)
Cultured or European-style butter is made more slowly, so the cream has time to develop in flavor. They have a 83-86% fat content, non-cultured butters is around 81%.
Here are some step by step pics to make life easy… First the flour…
Then the pecorino…
Then the Kosher salt & black pepper…
Pulse till resembles this crumble…
Give it a squeeze…
Flour the surface…
Pour it out…
Saran wrap it up and chill!
Butter up that pan…
Roll it out and over…
And weight it down with dried beans.