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Pie doughs are usually either flaky or mealy. Mealy dough is more compact and crisper, while flaky dough is, well, flakier. Both are tender. Mealy crusts are preferred for wet fillings, especially if you're going to fill the pie without partially baking the crust beforehand (blind baking). For mealy crusts, mix the fat longer so that the mixture looks like a course cornmeal before the liquid is added.
Flaky crusts can be used for wet fillings, but should be blind baked first. If you're doing a cream pie, bake the crust first then coat it with chocolate or cocoa butter to help prevent sogginess. You get flakiness by mixing the fat for less time, leaving it in bigger chunks. This creates layers of fat when the dough is rolled out, and a flaky texture in the finished product. Just keep in mind that this type of dough needs a little more hydration.
15oz pastry (or all purpose flour)
.75 oz sugar
1.5 tsp salt
11 oz butter, cold and cut into cubes/chunks
4.5 oz cold water
Mix the flour, sugar and salt to evenly distribute everything. Cut in the cold butter with a fork, your finger, a pastry knife or the paddle attachment on a mixer. mix until you get the desired size chunks of butter. Add the cold water just until incorporated. Rest the dough in the fridge for at least four hours to allow for proper hydration of the flour. Then you can roll out as usual.
Filed under: Methods
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