Say farewell to the season with Harvest Pie, Crisp and Crumble Day!

To help you get started, here are recipes for one basic tried-and-true recipe (no food processor needed) and two interesting pie crusts using the food processor, both from America’s Test Kitchens, the home of Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated magazines. Happy baking!

Betsy’s Plain-and-Simple All-purpose Pie Crust Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour (I always use unbleached; lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level with straight edged spatula; never tap flour-filled cup or you will get more flour than necessary in your crusts)

1 tsp. salt

1/3 cup (5 Tbs. + 1 tsp.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, chilled

1/3 cup vegetable shortening, cut into pieces, chilled

4-6 Tbs. ice water

In bowl, stir together flour and salt. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut butter and shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small pea-size pieces. Sprinkle water, 1 Tbs. at a time, over mixture and stir in with fork until dough comes together. Do not overwork or crust will be tough. Divide dough into 2 pieces; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Roll out as desired. Makes enough dough for 1 double crust or 2 single crusts.

Cook’s Illustrated Double-Crust Pie Dough (good for sweet pies)

Note: According to Cook’s, vodka makes this dough easier to roll out (it helps relax the gluten in the flour mixture) and imparts no flavor (because it evaporates when baked). This dough is a little moister than most and will need a bit more flour when rolling out.

2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour + up to ¼ cup extra for rolling out

2 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. salt

12 Tbs. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ¼” slices

½ cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces

¼ cup vodka, cold

¼ cup cold water

In food processor, place 1 ½ cups flour, sugar and salt; pulse 2 (1 second) times. Add butter and shortening; pulse until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps (will look like cottage cheese). Scrape bowl with spatula and redistribute dough evenly around blade. Add remaining 1 cup flour; quickly pulse 4-6 times until mixture is evenly distribute and mass of dough has been broken up. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, fold liquid into dough mixture, pressing down until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 pieces; shape each piece into 4” disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. Roll out as desired. Makes enough dough for 1 double crust or 2 single crusts.

Cook’s Country Sour Cream Pie Dough (good for savory pies)

1 egg

½ cup sour cream, chilled

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

12 Tbs. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces, chilled

In bowl, lightly beat egg; mix in sour cream; reserve. In food processor, place flour and salt; pulse until just mixed. Add butter; pulse until only pea-size pieces remain, about 10 pulses. Add half of sour cream mixture; pulse until combined, 5 pulses. Add remaining sour cream mixture; pulse until dough starts to form, about 10 pulses. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface; knead briefly until dough comes together. Divide dough into 2 pieces; shape each piece into 4” disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Roll out as desired. Makes enough dough for 1 double crust or 2 single crusts.

 

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