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.
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
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.
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.
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.