by Esther Holden November 17, 2015
My mother Lois is sharing her go-to pastry dough recipe that can be used for pies, quiches and tarts. It’s a rich unsweetened pastry dough that has a little more body to it than a flaky pastry dough making it versatile and perfect for a variety of applications. On her last visit to Maine we baked pies, well she baked pies and I documented it hoping to learn a few things!
Baking creates memories whether you are baking with your child in the kitchen or baking something to celebrate a birthday, wedding or celebration. When I think of my Mom I think of her baking, us baking together when I was little and all of the sweet creations she’s made over the years for family, friends and co-workers. To many, it is probably no surprise that I have built a business focused around baking. Think about it…baking makes people happy, that’s a sweet business to be in, literally! When you are baking for yourself or someone else there is always a lot of joy.
Come fall it was pie season in our house. Not so much the eating of pie but the making and gifting of it. My mom would make pies for Thanksgiving but went beyond that. She would bake favorite flavors for family or to take to work for meetings. At Christmas time some of her colleagues would be gifted one of her pies. Mr. McKay, a sweet man who passed last year always looked forward to his Christmas pie. He use to joke with my Mom and say, “I am going to open a pie shop one day just so you can make pies all day”. There is something magic about baking and my mother’s pies and he understood that.
When she was here I watched her make her go-to pastry dough. She mentioned how depending on the time of year and the weather the amount of water needed for the dough to come together would vary. On the day we made all of these small pies she used much more water than normal. Keep that in mind when you try making the recipe. You need enough water to help the dough come together before you wrap it up and put it in the fridge to let it rest. We made a variety of apple pies and will share the recipe for the filling on our next post.
Go-to Pastry Dough Recipe, courtesy of Lois
Makes: one 9-inch pastry for a tart shell, follow the recipe twice if needing a double crust
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes for chilling
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
1 egg yolk (reserve the whites for brushing the crust 5 minutes before pie is done baking)
3 tablespoons iced water
Step 1: Sift flour and salt into bowl. Add the cold butter, cut into the flour with pastry knife (or two butter knives), then rib in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Step 2: Beat the egg with the 3 tablespoons of iced water in small bowl or coffee cup. Sprinkle the liquid over the flour one tablespoon at a time, mixing the liquid in with a fork. Repeat until all liquid is used. Dough should come together into a ball. If it doesn’t, the flour may be very dry, so add one more tablespoon of water to bring the pastry dough together. Try not to over mix.
Step 3: Form the dough into a ball with your hands. Flatten into a disc. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Repeat recipe for second time for two-crust pie.
Step 4: After the dough has chilled you can unwrap and roll out your dough for your pie, quiche or tart. For the crust to come out right bake in a hot oven. I bake most of my pies at 400 degrees and start checking them at 30 minutes and then every 10 minutes thereafter until they are done.
Note: A modern person can make this pastry recipe using a food processor. Just pulse the butter into the flour as Step 1, pulse in the liquid as Step 2. Step 3: Continue pulsing the mixture, adding an additional tablespoon of iced water, if necessary, until the dough forms a ball. “I am not a modern woman”, said my Mom as she made her dough by hand.
Helpful pie supplies that we carry:
Mini Cookie Cutters for making decorative pie crusts
I just remembered that I have 2 small discs of my mother’s go-to pastry dough still in the freezer from her last visit! I will have to get it out and bake something with it. Maybe a quiche is in order this week. I hope you give the recipe a try! If you do we’d love to see! If you are on Instagram tag your pie creations #BPSpielove so we can see! We'll share our favorites!
Esther & Shauna
On our next post we will share how to make the filling for these lovelies...
This post was written, styled and photographed by Esther of The Bakers Party Shop. If you share a photo from our post a link must be displayed back to this post and credit given to The Bakers Party Shop. All photos and content are copyright of The Bakers Party Shop & The Bakers Confections, All rights reserved 2015.
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