Recipe courtesy of Prairie Ranch

Pecorino and Pepper Pie Crust

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes chilling and cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: One 10-inch pie crust
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Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup grated pecorino

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold cultured or European butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing pan

5 tablespoons cold water

2 pounds dried beans or pie weights 

Directions

Special equipment:
a 10-inch springform pan
  1. Combine the flour, pecorino, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse twice just to mix (see Cook's Note). Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the water and pulse until the dough comes together. Remove the lid and squeeze the mixture together. If the mixture is crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough holds together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently form it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with a butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  3. Roll out the dough to 1/3-inch thick and 14 to 16 inches in diameter. Gently lay the dough in the pan. Tuck the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the excess dough hanging over the top edge of the pan, leaving about 1/2 inch of dough (to allow for shrinkage during blind baking).
  4. Cut a piece of parchment paper larger than the springform pan. Lay the parchment over the crust and fill with the dried beans. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until it just begins to brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before filling.

Cook’s Note

Do not overmix the dough in the food processor: this releases gluten in the flour and makes a tougher crust. Blind baking helps prevent the dough from becoming soggy; blind baking at high temperatures causes the water in the butter to evaporate, creating steam, which results in a light, flaky crust. It also helps prevent shrinkage (when the crust droops down off of the lip of the pie plate). Cultured or European-style butter is made more slowly, so the cream has time to develop flavor. These butters have an 83- to 86-percent fat content, while non-cultured butters have around 81 percent.

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