The Apple of My Pie

With the holidays comes a lot of baking. I baked four pies for Thanksgiving which gave me the opportunity to perfect my pie crust. So here is the recipe that works best for spiced pies like apple and pumpkin. This recipe uses spiced rum in place of water. The alcohol evaporates faster leaving you with a flakier crust and the spiced rum adds a nice flavor.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup of iced spice rum
You will need to double this to make two pie crust for pies with a top crust.

Start by placing the butter in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. While the butter is freezing place the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Take out the butter and cut it into cubes and place in the food processor and pulse about 8 times or until the butter is cut into pea sized pieces. If you do not have a food processor you can cut the butter into pea sized pieces by hand and use a mixer to mix the dough. Next you will add the spiced rum to the the mixture a tablespoon at a time, pulsing between each tablespoon added, until the dough just sticks together when pinched.  Remove the dough from machine and place it on a clean surface. Carefully shape into a discs. It is very important that you do not over-knead the dough. You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough, this is help make a flaky crust. Sprinkle the disc with a little flour on all sides. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. This allows the dough to rest and is definitely necessary, DO NOT skip this step. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes so that it is pliable for roling. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle. As you roll out the dough, move it around a lot to ensure it does not stick to the surface. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Gently fold the dough in half or roll over pin and place it on a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough. You will have a delicious and flaky pie crust.  (Sometimes I add some cinnamon or nutmeg to my crust to add a little more spice, just depends on the pie you are making)

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