Taking on the challenge of eating locally has lead me to try things I haven’t done for years–like making a piecrust. I bought some stoneground farro flour from Lentz Spelt Farms and gave it a try. Luckily, Lily was here to give me a hand. She seemed to know just what to do so. It turned out surprisingly well, more like a graham cracker crust in texture and not as rustic as wholewheat.
To make a single crust and a little extra for a Lily-sized crust, measure out 11/2 cups of flour. Jerry Traunfeld in The Herbfarm Cookbook has a good basic recipe that I loosely followed. He is much more specific about some of the details of creating a perfect crust. I chose to improvise. Start by putting the flour in a food processor with 11/2 sticks of unsalted butter. The butter should be cold and cut into small cubes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pulse several times until the butter pieces are quite small.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and sprinkle with 5 to 6 tablespoons ice water. Use your hands and squeeze the dough into a ball. If it seems too dry, sprinkle in more water, a little at a time. Now comes the fun part. Dust your work surface and the rolling pin with flour. Starting in the middle, roll toward the outside, turning it over as you work and dusting with more flour to make sure it doesn’t stick to the surface.
Truthfully, mine did stick so I ending up re-forming the ball and starting over. The tricky part of using this flour is that it seems to lack some of the elasticity of all-purpose flour. On the other hand, it is pretty easy to work with, using your hands. When you have rolled it out and it is larger than your pan, gently fold in half and lift into the pan. You can pinch the edges for a more decorative crust.
You can see that I had to piece mine together in several places. Once the luscious quiche filling goes in the crust, all of its imperfections will simply disappear. More about that on Friday. The beauty of making this piecrust is that it can be almost completely local and then there is spending time with Lily….