Tonight I made a couple of quick batches of pie crust. One is my usual KAF flaky pie crust dough and the other is the pâte sablée from Mastering the Art of French Cooking:
(ingredients copied from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, instructions paraphrased)
For a 9- to 10-inch shell
2 cups (7 ounces) sifted all-purpose flour
3 to 7 Tb granulated sugar
¹/₈ tsp double-action baking powder
7 Tb fat: 5 Tb chilled butter and 2 Tb chilled vegetable shortening
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water
½ tsp vanilla extract
In the book, she wants you to do this all by hand, but once food processors became widely available, she had you make the dough in the food processor. I still make flaky pie crust by hand, but I like the food processor for this. So:
Fit the work bowl with the metal blade. Add the dry ingredients to the work bowl and pulse to combine. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the fat is reduced to pea-sized lumps. Add the egg, water, and vanilla and pulse to combine. At this point, the dough should look like coarse, lumpy cornmeal.
Turn the dough into a bowl and press it together; it’ll hold together just fine. Chill the dough for several hours (I’m chilling this overnight).
Julia warns that the more sugar you use, the harder the dough will be to work with. I normally use the 3 tablespoons, but tonight I was feeling adventuresome and used 3½ tablespoons.
Tomorrow morning I’m using these in an apple pie and a fruit tart that we’re taking to a pre-marathon brunch.
Julia Child, Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle: Pâte Sablée. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962, pp 633-634.