Even if you don’t think the food processor is an essential appliance, there’s no denying it makes quick work of cutting butter into flour for pie dough. But if you make your dough entirely in the food processor, it can easily end up overworked and tough, greygarious notes on Chowhound. What to do?
To understand how a food processor affects pie dough, check out this illustrated essay from Serious Eats. It concludes with a simple recipe that calls for an unusual technique: You process a portion of the flour with the butter to make a paste, then pulse in the rest. Finally, you incorporate the water by hand. The results are “fantastic,” vicarious says.
Other Chowhounds find that with specific methods, making the dough from start to finish in the processor gives good results. TheFormerVeg likes Alton Brown’s recipe that includes applejack (the alcohol minimizes gluten development and adds nice flavor). And escondido123 cuts butter into chunks and freezes them, then tosses with the flour before dumping it into the bowl of the food processor. Adding ice water and pulsing after cutting in the frozen butter “works every time.”
Discuss: Pie dough in the food processor
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