Forget cake. Once everyone tastes this crust, you will be responsible for making a pie for every party. Birthdays, graduations--are you ready?
Absolutely perfect pie crust The secret to this winner? Your fridge. "The cold is pastry's best friend," says Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Baking Bible and the genius who developed this recipe we've adapted. It does mean that you can't just bang out this dough. Build in time to let it chill as specified and we promise success. Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed 2 1/3 cups plus 1 Tbsp bleached all-purpose flour, spooned into cup and leveled off 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder 1/2 cup cream cheese, cold 3 Tbsp heavy cream 1 Tbsp cider vinegar THE STEPS 1. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Tightly wrap in plastic and place in freezer until frozen, at least 30 minutes. Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a gallon-size zip-top bag and freeze at least 30 minutes. 2. Add flour mixture and cream cheese to a food processor. Pulse until it resembles coarse meal, about 20 seconds. Add butter; pulse until pea-size clumps form. Add heavy cream and vinegar and continue pulsing until smaller-size pieces form. 3. Spoon half of mixture into a plastic bag. While holding the bag steady with one hand, alternate using the heel and knuckles of your other hand to knead mixture until it just comes together. Remove dough from bag and place on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Knead until dough feels slightly stretchy when pulled. Repeat with remaining mixture and a clean bag. Fold plastic over each piece of dough and shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Chill until firm, at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. 4. Set a disk of dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured plastic wrap. With a flour-dusted rolling pin, work from the center outward to roll dough into a 1/8-inch disk, about 12 inches in diameter. Lift dough from plastic from time to time and add flour to rolling pin, surface, and dough as necessary to prevent sticking. 5. Loosen dough from plastic wrap and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Gently ease dough into place; stretching it will cause dough to shrink during baking. Trim edges with kitchen scissors. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. Now, fill your pie-we used a mixture of apples and cranberries (see below)-then roll out dough for top crust as explained in step 4. 6 Lightly moisten the border of the bottom crust with water. Place dough over top of pie and trim so there's half an inch of overhang. Tuck the overhang under bottom crust and gently press all around the edge of where filling meets dough to seal. Crimp border using your forefinger and thumb or a fork. Using a knife, make small slits into the top of the crust to let pie steam while baking. Cover loosely with plastic; chill 1 hour before baking. Apple-cranberry pie filling Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time; 40 minutes 6 large apples (we used a mix of Granny Smith and Gala), peeled, cut into %-inch slices (about 3 lb) 8 oz fresh or frozen cranberries 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 cup sugar 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 pie crusts, rolled out (per instructions, above) 1. Heat oven to 425[degrees]F. In a large bowl, toss together apples, cranberries, lemon juice, sugar, flour, and cinnamon; set aside. 2. Fit 1 pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, per instructions in step 5. Add filling, then top with other pie crust. Trim and crimp edges, cut vents in top crust, and let pie chill, as described in step 6. 3. Place on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips) and bake 10 minutes, then lower heat to 375[degrees]F and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before serving. Enough filling for a 9-inch pie.