Pie crust in the food processor?
FINALLY I can do it...but do I use my kitchenaids dough blade, or the chopping blade?
Typical food processor crust recipes call for gradually adding water to the whirred flour/fat until a ball forms, or begins to. Cooks Illustrated says this overworks the dough and suggests transferring the blended flour/fat to a bowl, sprinkling with ice water and tossing with forks until evenly moist. it's more work, but I tried it and agree that it yields a more tender, flaky crust.
I thought that was a good tip, too.
IIRC, CI processes the butter with only part of the flour, transfers that to a bowl, and then the rest of the flour is added. The second addition of flour coats the fat particles with another flour layer and helps create flakiness.
However, I've had great success with underprocessing the dough. If it comes together into a ball, it's overprocessed. Just process until you can pinch the dough together.
Dump that on a floured board, gather that into a disk, chill, and then roll out. Works well.
I tried it this weekend. It came out rather well, perhaps slightly too flaky.
I used a combo of mostly butter and shortening (non hydrogenated from WHole Foods) for the fats. Flour, pinch of salt, ice water, little bit of shredded hard English cheese, cracked black pepper.
It was a savory crust for an heirloom tomato tart.
I mostly used the processor, right up to after adding the water. I added the little bit of cheese and pepper with the slight kneading. Chilled for a few hours, rolled out, put in tart pan, chilled again, pre baked till brown.
I wonder how to just lessen the crumbliness, just a bit.
There is a French term for this that I can't quite recall at the moment, but what you should do is to take the pie dough out of the food processor and put it on a clean board. Then you take the heel of your hand and push the dough away from you quickly. You will need about four pushes to get all the dough. What this does is disperses the butter a little more evenly and amalgamates all the ingredients. Then pat into a disk and chill as usual. See how that works, but I think it will solve your problem!
Melissa from the new food netwok show, "10 dollar meals" (or something to that effect), showed how to make a pie crust in the FoodProcesser on her new show. The crust looked good and I remember she got raves from some of the judges about her doughs and crusts.