Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pie Crust - Black Pepper and Herb

Ok, this is my first attempt at making a savory pie crust. I think it turned out pretty good. The crust was buttery and flaky with a nice savory flavor. My friend Molly uses half butter and half shortening, I think I'll try that next time. Just be sure that both are very cold!

This crust is great for pot pies and quiches.

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp s/p (each)
1 tsp fresh Thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh Rosemary - chopped
1 cup Water with Ice Cubes
1 cup Butter - cut into cubes, covered & placed in the freezer

Preheat oven to 400°.

Whisk the first four ingredients together.

Add the cold butter. Use a pastry cutter, or two forks to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it's the size of peas.

Bring the dough together with half of the water. Add more water, one Tbsp at a time, as needed till the clumps of dough, gently kneaded together with your hands, form a ball. Start this in the bowl, then move to a floured working surface. Don't over work the dough. You don't want the little clumps of butter to melt, so work quickly!

Divide the ball into two equal halves and form them into balls. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

This recipe makes two crusts. You can use one now as a top crust and freeze the other for up to a month. The dough will also stay fresh in the fridge for a day.

You can also use half of the dough for a bottom crust and the other half for the top. If you do this you need to 'blind bake' the bottom crust. Blind baking is simply half baking the crust so that it doesn't absorb too much liquid and get soggy.

To blind bake, you roll out half of the dough into a circle (on a floured surface, with a floured pin and hands). Roll it to about a 1/4 inch. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to fit in the pie pan a go over the edges.

To easily pick the dough up and transfer it to the pie pan, lay the rolling pin on top of the rolled out dough, on the far side away from you. Then gently roll the dough up and over the rolling pin, towards you. Then, move it over to the pie pan and roll the dough off of the pin onto the pie pan. Place a towel on the countertop and lightly drop the pan down onto the towel a couple of times to help the dough settle snugly in.

Cut the extra dough off and crimp the edges (I'm not very good at that yet, guess I need to make more pies). Use a fork to pierce the bottom of the dough a few times, not too many. This will help prevent bubbles.

Cover the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Be sure the paper/foil covers the edge of the crust. Fill the pie pan with dried beans, or pie weights. (If you use beans, save them to use next time you blind bake a crust, but don't cook them to eat!)

Bake in preheated oven for 10 -15 minutes, or till the crust is lightly browned.

Take the pie pan out of the oven.

Remove the pie weights from the pan using the paper/foil to carefully lift them all out at the same time. Let the crust cool for a few minutes.*

Spoon your savory filling into the pan, over the bottom crust.

Roll the second half of crust out.** Use the rolling pin technique to move the crust over the filled pan. Cut the extra pieces off the edges. Cut a few slits (from the middle out) with a sharp knife in the dough to so the filling doesn't overflow and then crimp the edges.

Brush a little egg wash over the top crust. I like to fold a small strip of foil around the edge of the crust. Otherwise, I think it gets too dark by the time the pie is done.

Turn oven down to 350° and bake your pie until it the top crust is golden brown and flaky. The filling should be bubbling out of the slits a bit.

Wait a couple of minutes before cutting into the pie, so that it can cool of and set up a bit. Then serve and enjoy!

*At this time, you can brush a little egg wash (egg and water) on the crust. Then, bake the crust for another minute or two to set the egg. Let the crust cool again. This forms a little barrier between the filling and the crust.

**If you have any leftover dough rolled out, you can cut little leafs, flowers, birds or...anything you want. Use the egg wash as glue to stick the shapes on top of the crust.


  1. This pie crust looks delicious! I love the idea of cutting the herbs into the crust! Beautiful savory pie!

  2. Pot pies are such great one dish meals...I love them! This crust is definitely going on my "to try" list!