The Secret to Amazingly Flaky Piecrust!
Posted on September 2, 2012
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/2 cup grounded almonds. (You can replace it with almond flour)
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water
A day before you plan to make the piecrust, cut butter into ½ inch cubes and put in the freezer.
Bake almonds at 350 degrees about 10-15 minutes, until until toasted.
In a food processor, combine flour, almond flour, salt, and sugar.
Pulse until you get an even consistency.
Add frozen butter and pulse for 6 to 8 times. The mixture should look like a coarse meal with pieces of butter the size of a pea. In a bowl, add water and ice.
Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready! If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.
Have a clean surface to work on and flour it so the pie dough doesn’t stick. Remove dough from machine and mold the mixture into 4 disks.
It’s important that you don’t over over-knead the dough otherwise it’s going to get tough. Sprinkle the disks with flour and wrap in plastic. You may refrigerate the dough for up to two days. But you should refrigerate the dough for at least one hour before rolling.
After an hour in the refrigerator, remove the disk and place it in a clean, floured surface.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin that was lightly floured to 1/8 of an inch think. Make sure the dough is not sticking to the table or rolling pin! You can use a bit of extra flour if it is sticking. Roll out the dough depending on the baking pans you are using.
In this case, I’m making 2-inch mini tarts, so I’m rolling large squares of dough. I’m using a 2-inch pastry ring to cut the circles for the bottom of the tart. Press lightly on the dough with the pastry ring.
Twist the ring and you will a clearly shaped circle of dough.
Repeat the process until you fill all the molds in the baking pan.
For the sides, I’m using a ruler to cut strips.
Then press the circle to attach it to the base.
After you are done, wrap the baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
I made custom sized mini pie weights by wrapping beans in aluminum foil, but you can also buy them. Then, tenderly fork the bottom of the shells and bake with weights for 15 minutes at 350. Remove weights and bake for 10-15 more minutes until the shells are golden brown.
I made the filling of the pie shells according to this recipe by Tartlette.
- Too much water will make the crust tough.
- The less you handle the dough the better because you will destroy the pea-sized butter chunks, which make the dough flaky!
- If possible, refrigerate all the items that come in contact with the dough. This will insure that the butter chunks don’t melt. For example, rolling pin or the bowl of the food processor.
They are visually stunning and deliciously alluring, perfect to bring to a dinner party with your friends or to make as a dessert for a romantic dinner with your partner!
Enjoy your beautiful mini tarts!