By Kathleen Kanen
Ground nuts and a touch of whole-wheat pastry flour give this pastry dough recipe a healthier edge. It also has less fat than traditional pastry, yet there’s enough to make it satisfyingly tender. As with any pastry, handle the pie dough gently (so it doesn’t get tough) and don’t skip chilling it for 30 minutes. That helps the gluten relax and makes a more tender crust. Use the chilling time to peel the fruit and assemble the filling. This dough is terrific for seasonal fruit-filled pies, such as our Apple Pie with Chinese Five Spice and Hazelnut Crumb Topping in fall or our Kathleen’s Fresh Peach Pie in summer.
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup finely ground toasted walnuts or almonds
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup trans-fat-free vegetable shortening, chilled
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Combine the first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 times. Add butter and shortening, and pulse 4 times, or just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork just until moistened. Gently gather pastry dough into a ball. Divide dough in half and press each portion into a 4-inch circle. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
Remove 1 portion of pastry dough from refrigerator. Place dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until plastic can be removed. Repeat with remaining dough portion.
Remove top sheet of plastic from 1 dough portion. Place pastry dough, plastic side up, in a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate (not deep dish) coated with cooking spray. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap, allowing ends of dough to extend over sides of pie plate.
Bake according to recipe.
Prep Time: 1 hour (includes chilling time)
Makes 2 2 (9-inch) pie crusts