For a dinner party or special weekend treat, there's just nothing like pie. And for most people, there's nothing like chocolate. Put the two together and you get a "wow" moment.
Tender, flaky and decadent describes this chocolate pie crust recipe. It is easy to make and equally tasty with several kinds of pie fillings.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water (ice cold)
- In a food processor, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt until blended. Add the butter and shortening and pulse on/off until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 5 seconds. Add the egg yolk and water and process with on/off turning until the dough forms a ball. To mix by hand: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter and shortening with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and stir with a fork until the mixture begins to clump together.
- Press the dough into a ball, then flatten into a 1-inch round disc, about 1/4-inch thick or so. (If you're not using it immediately, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze up to three months.)
- Roll out the dough, always rolling from the center away from you, not back and forth.
- Lightly oil the pie pan to help prevent sticking. Glass or dark metal pans make crispier crusts. Shiny pans make pale crusts.
- Press the dough into a 9-inch pie pan, trim the excess from the sides and pinch to form a decorative edge.
- If your pie recipe calls for a pre-baked pie crust, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork several times to release steam and prevent the crust from bubbling. Bake at 425 F until the pastry is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. If the pie is to be filled and then baked, do not prick the bottom of the crust because the filling will leak out while baking.
Notes and Tips
• Mixing the flour and fat is key when making pie dough. The idea is to coat the fat particles with the flour so they retain moisture, not to break down the fat so it is completely incorporated into the flour. Recipes will likely say to mix the flour with the fat until it resembles coarse crumbs. For this reason, it is important not to over mix the dough.
• The heat in the oven releases the moisture in the fat, which causes steam. The steam leavens the dough, causing it to expand and become flaky.