Buttermilk Pie Dough by Madeline Chen

by Judy Kim

Buttermilk Pie Dough Judy Kim

Buttermilk Pie Dough

Yield: Two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies or one double-crust pie

This is an easy and forgiving recipe for a tender and flaky crust. I also developed it to make more dough than your average double crust pie recipe. Which is very handy if you’re making a lattice or decorative pie.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, additional for rolling

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoon sugar

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted European style butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled

1/2 cup chilled buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large deep mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar. Bring pre-cut butter to room temperature for a few minutes and add all at once into flour mixture. Toss until each piece of butter is coated. Using your hands, break butter into the flour by pressing it between your index finger and thumbs while using a slow snapping or sliding motion. It will create large flattened shards of butter covered in flour. Rotate through all the pieces of butter until they have all been fully flattened out and well coated. There should not be any large pieces of butter left and the mixture should look shaggy at this stage.

  2. Using your hands, level the flour mixture and create a slight well in the center. For even distribution use a pour spout liquid measure to drizzle small amounts of chilled buttermilk all over the center of the flour. Using your hands toss mixture from the side to the top in order to keep liquid away from your hands and from touching the bowl; buttermilk should be incorporated rather than all over your hands or creating wet spots on the bowl. Wait until buttermilk is fully absorbed before each addition. Keep mixing with your hands and eventually squeeze the mixture together in your fist to test the consistency, it should just stick together.

  3. Spread a light dusting of bench flour on a clean surface and knead the dough 5 to 7 turns until it forms a ball. The dough will be slightly wet so add flour as needed to prevent sticking. Don’t be afraid to knead the dough until it’s smooth and all the loose bits are incorporated. Lightly coat the dough all over with flour. Cut the dough in two pieces, about 1/3 and 2/3 ratio. Place cut side down onto plastic wrap; tightly wrap and form the smaller piece into a flattened round about 1-inch thick, ideal for the base of your pie. Form the larger piece into a flattened rectangle also 1-inch thick. Sometimes I even cut the dough into equal 1/3 pieces, it’s often easier to work with smaller pieces and keep other pieces in the refrigerator. Chill for one hour to rest, at minimum 20 minutes. Bring dough to room temperature for a few minutes before rolling. I like to soften the edges of the dough while it’s still wrapped before rolling to prevent cracking.

  4. Dust surface and rolling pin with bench flour. This dough is well hydrated, so no need to be worried about adding bench flour, use when needed. Roll smaller round into a circle between 1/8 to ¼-inch thickness. Roll from the center outwards and lighten pressure of the rolling pin before you reach the edge, this keeps the thickness even. Slightly turn pastry after each roll to prevent sticking and add bench flour when needed. When the pastry begins to flatten out, concentrate the rolling pin movement in an upward and circular motion mimicking the curve of the dough, again lightening pressure before reaching the edge, this helps keep it round. When dough is larger than the size of your pie dish, gently fold into quarters and place inside the pie dish. Ensure it is well centered and nestled into the corners without stretching to prevent shrinkage while baking. Using your dominant hand, take the flat part of your upper index finger and gently press the dough into the base corners of the pie dish, while the other hand gently lifts each edge of dough to ensure it is not being stretched.

  5. For a classic crimp, trim dough ½-inch past the rim, reserving leftover pieces of dough. Fold under and crimp using the thumb of your dominant hand while pushing into the index finger and thumb of your other hand forming a subtle v-shape. Place pie dish and dough trimmings on rimmed sheet pan, and chill in refrigerator while you roll your second piece of dough into a rectangle. Use dough to make a dough crust, long strips for a lattice or use pie cutters to create embellishment pieces. Leftover trimmings from the base crust can be rolled out to be used with a pie cutter.

 

Pro Tip: Make a double batch of pie dough and label the plastic wrap (I prefer this brand as it is the stickiest and has a convenient slide for cutting) with the date for future use. You'll make your next pie in half the time. Keep dough tightly wrapped up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Rustic Pie Dough by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Rustic Pie Dough

Yield: Two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies or one double-crust pie

This is a no-fuss dough recipe made without a food processor or pastry cutter. Living proof that pastry can be made on a hot Summer day but still be delicious and flaky. I made this on a trip to Charleston, SC in August, so you can imagine the high humidity in an already hot kitchen. Needless to say, it was not an ideal situation for baking. Since I was in the South, the use of lard just seemed apropos and I paired it with my favorite high butterfat European butter. Most likely the reason this rustic thrown together dough tastes so delicate despite the thrown together process.

I would suggest using this pastry for simple galettes or tarts. If you're looking for pastry to make a decorative pie, use my Vodka Pie Crust or Vodka Pâte Brisée Pie Crust


INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, additional for rolling

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen Salt

12 tablespoons unsalted European style butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, I use Vermont Creamery European Cultured Butter with 86% butterfat

1/4 cup lard (or shortening)

1/4 cup cold water

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine flour and sea salt. Add butter and break butter into the flour by pressing the butter between your index finger and thumbs using a slow snapping motion. It will create large chards of butter. Rotate through all the pieces of butter until they have all been flattened out and coated in flour to avoid clumps. Add the lard and continue to mix with your hands. Work quickly to prevent the butter from melting from the warmth of your hands. The mixture should look slightly lumpy.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time and combine until the dough comes together. I used 1/4 cup of cold water. Chilled water using ice cubes is the most ideal, but cold filtered tap water is fine.

  3. Spread a thin dusting of bench flour and knead the dough just until it forms a ball. Avoid using too much bench flour and over kneading or the pastry will get tough. Cut the dough in half and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and form into a round or rectangle, based on your final desired shape. Chill in the fridge until ready for use. Bring to room temperature for a few minutes before rolling.

Note: European butter is different than regular butter, it has a high level of butterfat and will soften very easily. I typically keep this butter in the freezer until I'm ready to use it. At minimum keep it in the fridge. 

Pro Tip: Make a double batch of pie dough and label the plastic wrap with the date for a future use. You'll make your next pie in half the time. Freeze dough up to 3 months.

Rustic Pear Galette by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Rustic Pear Galette

Yield: 1 (10-inch) Galette, 6 - 8 servings

This is a rustic dessert perfect for any occasion, especially because it's easy to make and looks super impressive. I made this last minute for a photoshoot and only had about 90 minutes to make it. I kept the ingredients and steps simple. It's perfect for the holidays when there's never enough time to prepare for a last minute dinner party. If you have pre-prepared pie dough in the freezer, that's a big time saver. You can easily substitute the pears for any seasonal fruit, although I'm partial to these Starkrimson pears. If vibrant fruit isn't available, finish the baked galette with a dusting of powdered sugar for a pretty presentation.

INGREDIENTS

Single crust pie dough, such as Buttermilk Pie Dough

1 /2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

3-4 Starkrimson or red Anjou pears

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt or flaky sea salt crushed by hand

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and frozen

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the pie crust recipe, which can be made in advance. Line 10-inch tart pan with parchment paper, leave over hang (see photo for reference) to make it easier to remove later. Set aside.

  2. Before rolling, let the pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Gently fold into quarters and transfer onto parchment lined tart pan. Gently push the pastry into the corners of the tart pan. Trim pastry with scissors or a sharp paring knife, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold excess pastry backwards into the tart pan and press into the sides, it will make a nice imprint from the crimped edge. Chill tart pan in freezer or refrigerator.

  3. Place oven rack in the middle fitted with a Baking Steel or a pizza stone and preheat oven to 375°F. I like that it ensures a crispy bottom.

  4. Prepare pears by cutting around the core into four pieces. Cut vertically parallel to the core and continue around all sides. Carefully slice the pears thinly about 1/4-inch. I recommend a mandoline, used with a protective cut resistant glove, or cut by hand. Keep the slices in groups.

  5. Dust bottom of prepared pastry evenly with cinnamon. (I like using OXO’s Bakers Dusting Wand because it gives great control). I prefer dusting the bottom so you don't cover up the beautiful color of the pears. Arrange pear slices in slightly fanned out groups by keeping one of the pointy ends slightly together (see photo for reference). Alternate directions of the pears until the tart pan is filled. Use more pears for a denser filling. Sprinkle sea salt and sugar evenly all over the pears. Finish with pieces of frozen butter.

  6. Place the tart pan on rimmed half sheet pan and bake directly on the Baking Steel. Bake until golden brown, for about 1 hour. Rotate midway if needed for even browning.

  7. Transfer to a cooling rack. After cooled, lift the pastry out of the pan by holding the parchment. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Apple Tart with Ruffled Edges by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


APPLE TART WITH RUFFLED EDGES

Yield: 1 (10-inch) Tart, 6 - 8 servings

An apple tart that looks like it took hours to make but without the fuss. The fluttery pastry gives a nice texture and a decorative touch. The technique is simply to stretch the dough. But don't worry, if the edge gets torn and tattered, it will look even more charming. 

INGREDIENTS

Single crust pie dough, such as Buttermilk Pie Dough

3-4 apples with a thin skin, such as Macoun 

1 lemon zested

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt crushed by hand, divided

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and frozen

Confectioners sugar for finishing

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the Buttermilk Pie Dough recipe, which can be made in advance. Line 10-inch tart pan with parchment paper, set aside.

  2. Before rolling, let the pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Lightly fold dough into quarters and transfer onto parchment lined tart pan. Gently push the pastry into the corners of the tart pan. Trim pastry with scissors or a sharp paring knife, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

  3. Place oven rack in middle with Baking Steel or a pizza stone and preheat oven to 375°F.

  4. Prepare apples by cutting around the core into four pieces, discard the core. Using the mandoline, carefully slice the apples thinly about 1/4-inch. Keep the slices in groups.

  5. Zest lemon evenly over the pastry along and sprinkle with cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Place groupings of apple slices, slightly fanned out on top of the pastry. See photo for reference. Alternate directions of the apples until the tart pan is filled. Sprinkle sugar and remaining salt evenly all over the apples and top with pieces of cold butter.

  6. Gently pinch and stretch the pastry all around the rim, giving the pastry a ruffled edge.

  7. Place the tart pan directly on the Baking Steel. Bake until apples are softened and pastry is golden brown, about 1 hour.

  8. Place on cooling rack. After completely cool, remove from tart pan and dust with confectioners sugar. Serve with créme frâiche, whipped cream or ice cream.