I can’t keep a pastry brush in the house because The Assistant devours them. I finally broke down and bought a cheapie pastry brush last week only to find her silently lifting it out of the dishwasher, carefully placed in her teeth like treasure. I shook my head at her and she spat it out and walked away, her tail hanging in defeat. But I knew that she would be back.
The Assistant has a butter problem. On occasion, ok, whenever I bake with butter, The Assistant (my dog, Sadie) transforms into a velociraptor. She starts inhaling air so deeply that she sounds like a humming shop vac. And whenever I turn my back on a stick of butter on the counter, she carefully lifts up on her hind legs and snatches it off the counter and disappears into her kennel to snarf it down.
So, when I made David Lebovitz’s butter pie dough, she just about lost it. David Lebovitz is a pastry genius. I grow chocolate mint in my garden just so I can make his recipe for mint ice cream. I’m currently reading through his book Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes. His brownie recipe, Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies, is one of the best brownies that I’ve ever eaten and I’m a connoisseur of brownies. I’m totally crushing on David Lebovitz, but I digress here.
Back to pie dough. I have found my favorite pie dough recipe thanks to David Lebovitz and his love of butter. I followed his directions and used my mixer fitted with a paddle to make the dough. And it surpassed my expectations. I made a custard pie and his butternut squash pie and I confidently shared them with friends and family. And The Assistant was a frantic velociraptor the whole time they baked. She hunted and paced and drooled. And after I tucked the completed pies into the fridge, she collapsed with her head on my lap and snored and farted while I watched television. Being a velociraptor is exhausting work.
from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and chilled
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
In your mixer bowl with the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the butter and mix until the butter chunks are ¼ inch big.
Pour in the 6 tablespoons of water all at once and mix until the dough just starts to come together into a coarse dough. Add two more tablespoons of water if needed.
Pour the dough out onto a cutting board and cut it in half. Press each piece into a one inch thick round disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to two days. They can also be frozen for up to two months.
I rolled out and shaped my pie shell crusts and froze them overnight. Then, following his directions, I prebaked my pie shells at 375 degrees for twenty minutes with a piece of foil and pie weights (beans) inside. I removed the foil and weights and baked for 10 more minutes. And they turned out perfectly.