Three-Grain Butter Pie Pastry

 

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One of my all-time favorite pastry doughs!  This is from a master pie maker, better known for his pie making skills.  Ken Haedrich has written numerous articles and cookbooks.  My favorites are the savory baking recipes, the soup and salad cookbook that he has…but, of course, the most popular are the pie cookbooks, the breakfast cookbooks, and there is even one written about maple syrup.   That is, if you ever have an abundance of maple syrup. (He is from New Hampshire.)

To make this dough, you will need:

  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stoneground
  • ½ cup rolled oats (not instant) or oat flour
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (omit if you are making a savory pie)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (I  use kosher, generally)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (if making a savory pie, optional)
  • 14 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces (almost 2 sticks)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 ½ to  4 ½ tablespoons ice-cold water

 

  1. Put the cornmeal and rolled oats into a blender or food processor and pulse the machine on and off until the oat flakes are reduced to small flecks; a few remaining larger pieces are fine.  If you are using oat flour, skip this step.
  2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse, damp meal, with the largest pieces about the size of split peas.
  3. Beat the egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of the cold water.  Sprinkle this liquid over the dry mixture, working the mixture with a fork; push on it with the tines to help pack it.  If the mixture is still dry, add another tablespoon of water, this time packing the dough with your hands.  Pack it with some authority-you will be surprised at how it coheres when you do. (These are Ken’s exact words; and he is right.)  Stop adding cold water when the dough pulls together in a dampish but not tacky-wet ball.
  4. Divide the dough in half, then flatten each half into a disk about ½ inch thick; flatten it with your palm, right onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

Freezing:  This pastry can be frozen, over-wrapped in foil, for up to one month.  Thaw it in the fridge and let it sit briefly at room temperature before rolling it.

Note:  These are Ken’s directions virtually verbatim.   He is the master!! There is no way I can improve on them, only give credit where credit is due.  I highly suggest his cookbooks.  Many are out of print, but are available on alibris.  My one addition is to add a little black pepper, because I will be using this dough to make a kale “spinach” pie (no spinach), and the black pepper will look and taste really nice!

 

Pulsing the oatmeal into a slightly finer, yet still coarse, meal.

Pulsing the oatmeal into a slightly finer, yet still coarse, meal.

 

Combining the oats, cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper.

Combining the oats, cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper.

 

Cutting the butter into small chunks.

Cutting the butter into small chunks.

 

Working the butter into the flour until it resembles little peas.  You should still be able to see chunks of butter.

Working the butter into the flour until it resembles little peas. You should still be able to see chunks of butter.

 

Sprinkling the egg  yolk and water combo over the dough.

Sprinkling the egg yolk and water combo over the dough.

 

Forcing the dough to be friendly.  We all come together! :)

Forcing the dough to be friendly. We all come together! 🙂

When  you dump it out, you will always still see little strays.  Just press them in.  It is a drier, coarser dough. When you roll it out and press it into your pie p late or tart pan, you can just press those stray bits into the dough again.

When you dump it out, you will always still see little strays. Just press them in. It is a drier, coarser dough. When you roll it out and press it into your pie p late or tart pan, you can just press those stray bits into the dough again.

 

Divide the dough into two halves.

Divide the dough into two halves.    See how one is breaking apart?  This is how the “resting” time helps.  It gives the dough a chance to cohere on it’s own, without our hot little hands overworking the dough.

 

Wrap each half in plastic  and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the dough to rest.

Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the dough to rest.

This will make two (2) 9-inch shells.

I usually use this dough for a spinach (or kale) or some other such savory combo tart or quiche.  As such, I usually do not blind bake my quiche or tart doughs.  Why?  I don’t know.  When I started baking many million moons ago, whatever book I learned to cook from (primarily The Joy of Cooking), and from my Aunt Carol (I remember us making quiche one summer at her house), we did not blind bake the dough, and lo and behold, no leaky crust.  It’s your pie, your choice. I usually make sure to press and seal all apparent cracks in the dough before pouring in the filling, and that seems to do the trick.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Three-Grain Butter Pie Pastry

  1. Pingback: Kale “No-Spinach” Pie | icookforleftovers

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