Sweet Pastry Dough
I like to use this as an all-purpose tart and pie dough. It works equally well both when you want to bake the raw dough with a filling in it and also as a fully baked empty crust for a creamy or mousselike filling. Though the dough is very low in fat, a bit of sugar helps to tenderize it. Also the presence of the baking powder does several things: First, the leavening action makes the dough fairly light and prevents toughness. Second, baking powder helps the dough to bake through on the bottom, thus avoiding a soggy, underbaked bottom crust, the greatest nightmare of pie and tart baking. Best of all, this dough takes about 5 minutes to make, from when you begin to measure the flour to wrapping it in plastic. The food processor does all the work.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Taste and Texturebuttery, light, sweet
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 6 pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse 3 or 4 times to mix.
Add the butter and pulse about 10 or 12 times to mix the butter in finely.
Add the egg and water and pulse repeatedly until the dough forms a ball.
Invert the bowl to a lightly floured work surface and carefully remove the blade.
Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic.
Refrigerate the dough for several hours or up to 3 days. You may also roll out the dough immediately; it will be a little soft but entirely capable of being rolled.
Before you use the refrigerated dough, unwrap it and place it on a floured work surface. Gently knead the dough to render it malleable, then form it into a disk again before rolling.
2006 Nick Malgieri and David Joachim