Aunt Emma's Never Fail Pie Crust

3 c sifted flour
1 1/4 c Shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp vinegar

Cut shortening into flour and salt.
Combine egg, water, and vinegar in a separate bowl.
Pour liquid into flour mixture all at once. Blend with spoon until flour is all moistened.
It can be re-rolled without toughening. Will keep in refrigerator for two weeks or divide into balls enough for one pie and wrap in Saran wrap and freeze indefinitely.

Makes 2 crusts

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sable Breton Cookies

The name for the classic French version of the buttery-good shortbread cookie is "sable" with an accent mark over the e, which this blog site seems to be unable to provide.  Or I am incompetent. (Technicality unrelated to baking).

Dorie explains that the northwestern region of France known as Brittany is known for its fleur de sel and salted butters. We can't mimic the Breton butter here in the States so Dorie came up with a recipe where she calls for unsalted butter then adds salt in the recipe to perchance get close to that region's renowned butter cookie, le sable Breton.

This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table, page 465.

One thing you must remember about this type of cookie is the dough is always refrigerated for a lengthy period of time before you bake them (minimum 6 hours!). You have your choice of rolling the dough into a log and doing the slice-and-bake routine, or rolling the dough flat and cutting shapes. I chose the latter. That French rolling pin I bought is not going to live its life in the drawer!

Dorie calls for the usual ingredients: flour, baking powder, one stick of unsalted butter, sugar, fleur de sel or fine sea salt, and egg yolk. It is very firm. Shape it into a disc, wrap it well and leave it in the fridge. When ready to bake it's better to roll it thicker rather than going town to make it thin, like pie dough. Dorie recommends about 1/4" thick. Bake until firm but not brown.  I chose the traditional fluted cutter. While I was searching through my cutter stash I discovered I had two plain 2" cutters. One of my favorite bakers will be the recipient of one of these for the next time she is cutting cookies or biscuits in Philadelphia.

These didn't last long. Every time coffee was made the cookie stash got smaller.

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