I confess that, as I was growing up, the homey idea of that American-style piece of pie, always appealed to me. The context was always the same. A home baked pie, cooked with love, and served in generous wedges with lashings of cream or a huge scoop of ice cream. Plump with fruit in a golden handmade pie crust…it really is comfort food at its best.
But it is surprising how many people shy away from making their own pastry from scratch. It’s true, it can get hard to handle, particularly if you are heavy handed with it, but my recipe for this food processor shortcrust takes a lot of the hard work out of the making.
A few tips to keep in mind:
- Used chilled butter, cut into cubes.
- Use the pulse setting on the food processor to blend briefly and in short bursts, stopping when the dough just starts to come together.
- Only lightly knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
- Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten slightly, then refrigerate for just 10 minutes – longer will result in a very hard dough that is hard to roll.
- Try not to stretch the pastry as you are rolling it or lining the tin. Rather, think that you are placing it into position.
- Don’t worry about any rips or holes in the pastry – just patch them up and they will be hardly noticeable when baked.
- Prick the pastry base with a fork to encourage steam to escape so it doesn’t puff up.
- A few slits cut in the top of the pie will serve as steam vents too.
- When baking, give the pie some cooking time on the base of the oven to crisp underneath.
My recipe for my Deep Dish Apple and Blueberry Pie is below. It certainly is a very satisfying thing to bake and share, particularly when it is freshly baked. Do give it time to cool for a few hours though, so the juices have time to thicken.