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Janine’s Quick and Easy French Pie Pastry (Pâte Brisée)

"The first time I tried to make pastry, it was a disaster," Karen Le Brillon said. "It was so hard that it was impossible to cut and shattered when enough pressure was applied. I apparently came up with a great recipe for flour-based cement! Undeterred, I eventually learned – thanks to my mother-in-law and this recipe." European recipes tend to list ingredients in weight, so you will need a kitchen scale.

Ingredients

10 oz (300 g) pastry flour

5 oz (150 g) butter in soft (room temperature) cubes

1/2 tsp (2 ml) sea salt (for quiche or other savoury dough)

1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar (for sweet pie dough)

1/3 cup (80 ml) water or warm milk

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C) Mix the flour and salt (or sugar) in a bowl.

Add the butter and mix it with the flour, using your fingers to “rub” the butter into smaller and smaller pieces. Within 2 to 3 minutes, your flour mixture should be the texture of large couscous. Add the water (or milk) and quickly stir and knead with your fingers, forming a ball.

Roll out the pastry directly on waxed paper and pop into your pie plate, pricking with a fork in a pretty pattern. Bake immediately. If you wait or refrigerate, the pastry has a tendency to harden.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden brown.

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