Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Sorry for the delay in this one...KWF reader Zoe had mentioned in her blog that she was going to try a medieval pie crust recipe. I was intrigued, and asked for a copy if it worked out. Here you go! (and Zoe, if you want me to plug your blog, let me know and I'll post a link)

Pasta Briciolata (traditional Italian pastry), as modified by Heather Mosey for a medieval Italian recipe.

This makes a top and bottom crust, or a thick bottom crust. It can be used with any sort of pie filling. The recipe calls for a 375° oven, but it works in a 350° oven as well.

¼ cup pastry flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 oz (one stick) sweet unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
Pinch of saffron, minced
4-5 tablespoons of cold water
Clean, damp towel

1. Sift the flour onto a board and shape into a mound. Cut the butter and arrange the slices over the flour. Let rest for ½ hour or until the butter softens.
2. Mix the butter and flour together using your hands.
3. Make a well and add the salt and saffron. Add 2 tablespoons of water, mix with a fork, and keep adding water until it is all absorbed.
4. Form the dough into a ball and knead gently for about 2 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If you are making a top and bottom crust, divide the dough into two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the balls in the towel and put them in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
5. Dust the board with flour. Unwrap the dough and knead it for one minute. Then, roll the dough into a circle (or circles, if you’re making a top/bottom crust pie).
6. Carefully transfer the bottom crust to a greased pie pan, fill it with yumminess, and add the top layer, if there is one.

I'm definitely curious to try this. I've never used saffron for something sweet, so I'm not sure what sort of filling to opt for. Suggestions?

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