Tips & Tricks

A couple of quick notes about the video clip: We (The Professor – he does earn his keep around here!) shot this while I was making Keller’s Chicken Pot Pie recipe for a large group so I used a non-traditional pie plate (a cast iron braising pan). Obviously, the pie plate you use will look different from mine whether you use metal, glass or any other vessel that works for pie – which is just about anything, aye? You will also see that I make my crust in a food processor but if you don’t have one, you can still make a great crust by hand. In fact, Keller prefers putting the dough together by hand, but I think I’m too lazy! And no, your eyes aren’t playing tricks, that is one of our cats (Hoops) sneaking about the kitchen . . .

If you’re not successful the first time, don’t give up – keep at it until you get the technique down!

Either way, give it a go – this recipe is really, really, REALLY good!

Thomas Keller, ‘ad-hoc, at home’

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2-1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
About 5 tablespoons ice water

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the butter and toss to coat with flour. With your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, tossing and incorporating any pieces of butter that have settled at the bottom of the bowl, until the butter pieces are no larger than a pea. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the water over the top and, using a fork, mix dough until it just holds together when pinched; add the remaining Tablespoon of water if the dough is very dry. Knead the dough until it is completely smooth and the butter is incorporated.

Divide the dough in half, with one piece slightly larger than the other (the larger piece will be for the bottom crust). Shape each half into a 1-inch -thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or for up to a day. (If the dough does not rest, it will shrink as it bakes.)

If the dough is too hard to roll, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes or pound it a few times with a rolling pin. Lightly flour the surface and a rolling pin. Lightly dust the top of the larger disk of dough with flour and roll it out to a 13 – to 14-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick: roll outward from the center, rotating the dough frequently and adding a little flour to the work surface or dough as needed to prevent sticking. Fold the dough in half (or roll onto rolling pin) and transfer to a 9- to 10 -inch pie plate, gently easing the dough into the corners and up the sides.

Roll out the second piece of dough in the same manner into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate both doughs for 15 minutes before proceeding with your recipe.