To be more than just a great home cook, I had decided to become a “student” of food. I will be studying and practicing the classics so I can twist them into my own. Some home cooks like Julie Powell, poured over Julia Child’s book the “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” in her blog-to-movie “Julie and Julia.” I, like Julie, for these next few months, we will delving into the classic essentials: learning the 5 sauces, perfecting the roast chicken, and mastering the pie crust.
For my first experiment, I decided to play around with homemade pie crust. What I love about pie crust is that it is super versatile and can be used in a bunch of savory and sweet dishes AND makes a great dish for any party since it always looks impressive.
For this recipe, I used the pie crust in a galette format. A galette is essentially a free form pie that is more rustic in nature, but still pretty. The fillings are piled in the center and the edges of the pie crust are crimped and pinched to keep the contents in, almost like a pizza.
In order to get the flakiest pie crust ever, you need super cold water and super cold butter. In my extensive research of how to get an even flakier crust, many people recommended lard. Since that’s difficult to find at the grocery store, I opted for vegetable shortening instead, and the results were great. As an added tip, similar to butter, make sure that the vegetable shortening is super cold when you cut it into the flour. This will allow the butter and shortening to explode when placed in the hot oven, making “flakiness.” For the filling, I used a mix of blood oranges and cara cara oranges. If you haven’t had a cara cara orange, it’s similar to a navel orange but has a pinkier flesh that is just beautiful. Anyways, the galette turned out great! The crust was buttery and flaky and the oranges provided a great balance of sweetness and sourness to the tart. I hope you enjoy!
- 12 tbs of very cold unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup of very cold vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
- 1 tbs of sugar
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- ½ cup of ice water
- 2 blood oranges, peeled and cut into ¼” rounds
- 2 cara cara oranges, peeled and cut into ¼” rounds
- 2 tbs of sugar
- 2 tbs of cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbs of orange zest
- 1 tbs of lime juice
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs of turbinado raw sugar
- Dice the butter and shortening into the size of dice.
- Place back in the refrigerator.
- In a large food processor fitted with the steel blade, add flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to combine.
- Add in butter and shortening and pulse around 10 times to combine until the flour turns into the size of peas.
- While continuing to pulse, add the cold water down the feed tube and pulse around 5 more times until the dough starts to form into a ball.
- Dump the dough out into a floured surface and wrap in plastic wrap into a ball shape. Store for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- For the filling:
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together sugar, corn starch, zest, and pinch of salt. Add the orange slices and the lime juice and carefully combine, making sure the sugar and corn starch get absorbed.
- On a floured parchment paper, roll out half of the crust, into a ¼” thickness round.
- Carefully layer in ½ of the orange filling leaving around 1” edge of the crust.
- Carefully fold crust over the edges of the orange and crimp as you go.
- Brush the exposed dough with egg wash and sprinkle with half of the turbinado sugar.
- Repeat steps 10-13 to create another galette. Place both on a sheet pan and cook for 30-35 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden.