Thank you for the recipe. I will definately try it!This is from a book called Earth to Table. I've made it many, many times now, and used the crust for pies, quiches and pot pie toppings. For savoury pies, you can mix in a bit of fresh herb such as thyme or some cayenne pepper - pretty and delicious! Warning: it is VERY buttery.
For two crusts, easily cut in half for one:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I like unbleached)
2 tsp salt (I find this way too much so only do 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp granulated sugar (I use raw sugar, no problem)
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water (this will vary)
Now here's the trick - as already mentioned, everything must be as cold as possible. This is to maintain the texture of the fat, which results in a flaky crust. When I'm about to make this, I put the butter in the freezer while I do everything else, and all the utensils in the fridge, then I wash my hands in as cold water as possible. LOVE the idea posted above of putting a few ice cubes in the water!
Then, instead of going through the trouble of cutting up the butter with two knives or using a pastry blender - both of which can be time consuming, resulting in the butter starting to melt - you use a box grater and grate the butter through the larger holes. Then, you toss it by hand with the dry ingredients like a salad, so each shred of butter is now coated. Then gradually add the water and knead until it all comes together. Shape into two fat disks, wrap in plastic (I just put them in ziplocks and squeeze out the air) and chill for 30 mins, or even a day or two (very handy when entertaining to get this done in advance!). Then roll out (having it disk shape helps this) and away you go.
Just don't ask me how to shape the crust, because as I said I'm a disaster at that.
And for those who like to do pies sweet and savoury, this is a lovely, fun and very good book on the subject - The Book of Old Tarts.