deep-dish pastry shell

A generous amount of pastry dough.  Enough to line your springform pan …then fill it to create any number of sweet and savory quiches.  Like this one, perhaps.  Prepare and bake your crust ahead of time.  Once cooled, this can be covered and stored at room temperature overnight.  Or, if well-wrapped, can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Be sure to use very cold butter, so that it can be cut into small pieces.  Once it is incorporated with the flour, it should resemble coarse crumbs.

When the egg and water are added, you’ll pulse just until the dough comes together.

Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc and wrap tightly.  This must be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Transfer the chilled disc to a large, lightly floured surface …one that can accommodate the rolled out dough of 15-inches in diameter.

Note:  Once you have reached the step where the dough is rolled out into a circle, keep in mind that this dough can also be used as the base for a large rustic fruit tart.  Or a very deep-dish apple pie.  Hmmm …a future post or two, perhaps?

To protect the dough from breaking up or tearing, loosely wrap it around your rolling pin to aid in the transfer to your springform pan.  Once it is draped over the pan, shift it so that you have a little over a one-inch overhang.  Gently press it into the pan so that it fits snugly and adheres to all surfaces.

Trim the overhang to one inch and press it firmly against the outside of the pan.  This will help prevent shrinkage as it bakes.  Any excess dough can be used to patch cracks or tears inside the pan.  Don’t be too concerned if the edges are a bit rough or uneven …the excess dough will eventually be cut away when the pan’s outer ring is removed.

The entire shell is covered with a double layer of form-fitted foil during the initial baking to prevent over-browning.

Your deep-dish pastry shell is now ready and waiting to be filled with your delicious sweet and/or savory ingredients.

Fill it now or tomorrow.  Or freeze it for another day.

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deep-dish pastry shell

Servings 1 pastry shell

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour and salt.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Combine the egg and water in a small bowl; add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture just begins to clump together. 

  2. Transfer the mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap; fold the wrap over and press the crumbs until they hold together.  Shape into a circle.  Wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.

  3. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 15-inch circle.  Carefully roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to a 9x2 1/2-inch springform pan, pressing it into the sides.  Trim the overhanging pastry to 1 inch and press it firmly against the outside of the ring to help prevent it from shrinking.  Use the trimmings to fill any cracks.  Freeze the shell for 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.   Place the springform pan on a baking sheet.  Line the pastry shell with a double thickness of aluminum foil long enough to overhang the sides.  Bake about 20 minutes or until the edge of the dough is lightly browned.  Remove the foil and continue baking the pastry shell for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until lightly browned on the bottom.  Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the pastry cool before filling.

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