Magpie Flaky Piecrust
This is the ultra-flaky crust from Holly Ricciardi’s book Magpie.
This recipe can be used for:
2 (9-inch / 23-cm) single-crust pies,
1 (9-inch / 23-cm) double-crust or lattice-top pie,
8 (4 x 2-inch / 10 x 5-cm) potpies,
12 (2 x 1-inch / 5 x 3-cm) mini pies,
1 (9 x 3-inch / 23 x 8-cm) quiche, or 8 (4-inch / 10-cm) hand pies (plus trimmings)
We have featured it in her Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with Pretzel Crunch and Macaroni & Cheese Potpies.
Reprinted with permission from Magpie© 2015 by Holly Ricciardi, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
- 312 grams / 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 28 grams / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 grams / 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 170 grams / ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes and frozen
- 60 grams / ¼ cup vegetable shortening, preferably in baking stick form, frozen, cut into ¼-inch pieces, and put back in the freezer
- 130 grams / ½ cup + 1 tablespoon ice-cold water
- MIX: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse the machine 3 times to blend. Scatter the frozen butter cubes over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine 5 to 7 times, holding each pulse for 5 full seconds, to cut all of the butter into pea-size pieces. Scatter the pieces of frozen shortening over the flour-and-butter mixture. Pulse the machine 4 more 1-second pulses to blend the shortening with the flour. The mix¬ture will resemble coarse cornmeal, but will be a bit more floury and rid¬dled with pale butter bits (no pure-white shortening should be visible).
- Turn the mixture out into a large mixing bowl, and make a small well in the center.
- If you find a few butter clumps that are closer to marble size than pea size (about ¼ inch in diameter), carefully pick them out and give them a quick smoosh with your fingers. Pour the cold water into the well (fig. 2, next page). Use a curved bowl scraper to lightly scoop the flour mixture up and over the water, covering the water to help get the absorption started. Continue mixing by scraping the flour up from the sides and bottom of the bowl into the center, rotating the bowl as you mix (fig. 4), and occa¬sionally pausing to clean off the scraper with your finger or the side of the bowl, until the mixture begins to gather into clumps but is still very crum¬bly (fig. 5). (If you are working in very dry conditions and the ingredients remain very floury and refuse to clump together at this stage, add another tablespoon of ice-cold water.)
- Lightly gather the clumps with your fingers and use your palm to fold over and press the dough a few times (figs. 6–7; don’t knead!—just give the dough a few quick squishes), until it just begins to come together into a single large mass. It will be a raggedy wad (fig. 8), moist but not damp, that barely holds together; this is exactly as it should be—all it needs is a good night’s rest in the fridge.
- For single- and double-crust pies, mini pies, potpies, or hand pies: Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, gently shape each portion into a flat disk 1½ to 2 inches thick, and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. For quiche, leave the dough in one piece, flatten it into a single large disk 1½ to 2 inches thick (fig. 9), and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- CHILL: No ifs, ands, or buts, the dough must have its beauty sleep. That means 8 hours in the refrigerator at the very least. Extra rest is just fine; feel free to let the wrapped dough sit in the fridge for up to 3 days before rolling. (The dough may discolor slightly. No worries. This is merely oxidization and will not affect the flavor or appearance of your finished piecrust.)
- Note: At this stage, the wrapped dough can be put in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.
- Divide each disk of chilled dough into four equal portions; flatten each portion into a disk, then roll out into eight 7-inch circles that are ¼ inch thick. Set the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill 30 minutes before panning.
- Fit each chilled 7-inch circle of dough into a 4½ x 2-inch (11 x 5-cm) spring¬form pan, pleating here and there as needed to fit and pressing lightly to snug the dough up against the bottom and sides of the pan. If there is any overhanging dough, simply fold it in, making sure the top edge is even all around.
- Chill the panned dough in the freezer until firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut eight 8-inch squares of aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Line the shells with the foil squares, gently smoothing and pleating the foil into place up close against the bottom and sides of each crust and leaving the corners of the foil standing straight up. Fill each shell to the rim of the crust with beans, stirring with a finger to settle the beans and topping up as needed.
- Set the pans on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Slide the sheet into the oven and bake the shells 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.
- Set the sheet on a wire rack and let the shells cool all the way to room temperature before carefully gathering the corners of each foil square together to lift out the beans.
WHY PREBAKE? Prebaking—also known as blind baking—is used for two types of pies: those with no-bake fillings (such as mousse), and those with fillings that do get baked but at low temperatures that aren’t sufficient to fully bake the crust (lemon curd, for example, and all Magpie quiches). Weights are needed to hold the panned shell in place and prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes. The Magpie way: Line with parchment or foil and fill to the brim with dried beans.