I have always made pretty good pie dough and have used several different recipes such as my No Fail Pie Crust or one my friend Kathy gave me that used vinegar and an egg that always was a hit too. But still and all not EVERY pie crust tastes the same when I make them and it can be very frustrating; so yesterday I did a little experiment with some pie dough.
I used my mini Cuisinart (that I bought at Costco) and made three separate batches of pie dough. One with all butter and some sugar that I saw Ina make, one with all butter flavored Crisco and half the amount of sugar, and the last one with butter flavored Crisco and no sugar added.
I used the same amount of water and salt in all three and mixed them in my mini Cuisinart. I then refrigerated them all for 30 minutes, then rolled them out on parchment and cut them into 3 inch circles with my biscuit cutter. I cooked them at 400 for 10 minutes and took them out of the oven.
After I allowed them to cool I tasted them all and found that I personally like the all butter flavor Crisco the best. They were all delicious but I find that the ones with butter aren't as flaky as the ones with all shortening; but this is all just a personnel preference.
Which leads me to my recipe for an Apple Crostata :)
Here's what you need:
1 single pie crust, store bought or the recipe that follows
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco,cold and cut into cubes
1/4 cup ice water
4-6 baking apples (depending on size) I used Envy which have a very short availability but Fuji, Gala, or Granny Smith will work fine too; thinly sliced, sprinkled with juice of 1/2 of a lemon
3/4 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of apples)
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 cup flour, unbleached
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold cut into cubes
1 Tbs. water
turbinado sugar (raw)
In a food processor or bowl mix the flour and salt, add the shortening cubes and pulse the processor until it forms small pea sized pieces.
Turn the processor on and pour in the water all at once and mix until it just comes together.
Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and bring it together with your hands into a round disc.
Cut in half and place into two pieces of plastic wrap and cover. Chill for 30 minutes.
This can also be made by hand with a pastry blender and a bowl.
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
After the dough has chilled place it on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and roll out from the center to the outside making a circle about 12 inch in diameter.
Using the rolling pin, roll the dough back onto the rolling pin lightly and unroll it on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Peel and slice the apples and place in a bowl. Pour the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg on the apples and stir to coat.
In the bowl of your food processor or a bowl mix the flour and sugar then add the butter and process until a fine crumble or using a pastry blender or your fingers until it resembles a fine crumble.
Pour on top of the apples and spread to cover them all.
Press the sides of the dough up over the apples and folding around on itself go around the whole Crostata. Mix egg with water and brush on the side of the dough then sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.
If the apples are juicy (and most are) there will be some spillage of juice out the sides, hence the parchment.
Cool as long as you can take it then slice and serve with ice cream, fresh whipping cream or just as it is.
Here's the handy printable - Apple Crostata