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Sweet Pie or Tart Dough

20120811-160350.jpg

What you need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons of ice cold water

What you do:
1. Place the sugar, salt and flour in a large mixing bowl.
2. Using a pastry blender, a fork or a food processor cut or rub the butter cubes into the flour mixture.
3. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture.
4. Stir and fluff the flour mixture with a fork until shaggy clumps form.
5. Pick up the large clumps and squeeze to test for moisture. If clumps hold together transfer to a work space and knead it together. If the the butter seems too soft and not cold anymore, refrigerate. If the butter is still cold but it isn’t holding together add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it holds together.
6. Once it holds together knead 4 or 5 times.
7. Flatten the dough to a 6-inch disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes until you roll it out for your pie(s). This will make 1 9- to 10-inch crust or 6 tarts or hand pies.

Chef Katie Torres, from her Sur La Table class on Fresh French Pastry Desserts.

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