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Walnut Piecrust

Walnut Piecrust
Chopped toasted walnuts enhance the flavor and texture of this piecrust, which is perfect for creating an apple pie or pumpkin pie (see related recipes at right).

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into
      1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, very finely chopped
  • 6 to 8 Tbs. ice water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbs. water

Directions:

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 15 to 20 pulses. Add the walnuts and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the 6 Tbs. ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Place 1 dough disk between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper and roll out into a 12-inch round about 3/16 inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish and press the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Place the piecrust in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line the piecrust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Brush the edges of the crust with the egg mixture. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment and weights and bake until the crust is light golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely. Fill the cooled crust as directed in your pie recipe.

If making a double-crust pie, roll out the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch round about 3/16 inch thick. Using a small, sharp knife or decorative cutters, cut slits or cut out shapes in the dough to allow steam to escape during baking. Drape the dough over the filled pie and press gently to eliminate any air pockets. Trim the overhanging dough to 1/2 inch. Tuck the top crust under the bottom edge and crimp to form a decorative edge. Brush the crust with the egg mixture.

Bake the pie as directed in your recipe. Makes enough dough for 1 double-crust pie or 2 single-crust pies.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.