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September 23, 2008

Pie Crust (Pate Brisee)

Pate brisee, a French-style pastry crust, sounds fancy but is easier to make than you might think.

Lauren Ulm

Makes two crusts

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup vegan stick margarine, cubed and chilled (e.g., Earth Balance)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Pâté brisée is a French-style pie crust that can be used for sweet or savory pies and tarts.

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and 1 teaspoon sugar until well mixed. Add the butter, using pulses until you no longer see chunks of butter in the dough. It should look like damp sand trying to clump together, but it will feel dry. Pulses do a better job of breaking up the butter than just letting the machine run.

Slowly add the ice water (it's important for the water to be as cold as possible) a tablespoon at a time while pulsing the dough until it is evenly distributed and begins to look crumbly. You may not need to use all the water. The dough should barely hold together. Be careful not to let it get too sticky, or you'll need to start over.

Remove the dough from the food processor and knead it for a minute or two until it begins to smooth out. Do not knead the dough longer than this; you just want it to come together and smooth out a little bit.

Divide the dough in half, flatten the halves into discs, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. You can also freeze the dough at this point for later use.

Nutrition

All figures are for the entire recipe (two crusts).

Calories: 2,752
Fat: 178 g
Carbs: 241 g
Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 32 g
Sodium: 4,251 mg

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