The light, flaky texture of this pie crust/tart recipe is due to a high quality oil that I use. Omitting the heavy butter and/or hydrogenated fats, I make my pastry with sunflower or safflower oil. Use this healthy pastry for sweet pies and fruit tarts, or savory quiches and vegetable tarts.

Prep time: 30 to 45 minutes
Makes: Pastry for One 2-Crusted Pie or Tart

2-2/3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sunflower or safflower oil
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Three 2-inch wide aluminum foil strips (to place over pastry edges during baking)

1. In a 4-quart mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the oil and, with a pastry cutter, mix until flour and oil combine to form pea-sized clusters. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time; mix until dough amalgamates and sides of bowl are clean. If needed, add 1 more tablespoon water.

2. Gather dough with hands; separate into two equal balls. Cover each dough ball in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare a fruit filling of your choice and set aside.

4. Transfer one dough ball from the freezer to the refrigerator. Unwrap the second dough ball and, on a flat, floured surface, flatten it to a 5-inch circle.

5. Place the pastry dough circle in between two lightly-floured, 15-inch long waxed paper sheets.

6. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry from the center and outwards. After two to three rolling motions, peel off the top waxed paper sheet and lightly flour the pastry dough. Replace the waxed paper sheet over the pastry dough.

7. With one hand over the top sheet and the other underneath the bottom sheet, quickly flip the dough over. Remove the second waxed paper sheet and lightly flour the pastry dough. Cover it with the waxed paper sheet again.

8. Continue rolling and flouring the pastry dough until it is 3 inches larger than the diameter of the pie plate edges. To measure this, lightly hold the pie plate upside down over the rolled-out pastry.

9. Remove the top waxed paper sheet from the rolled-out pastry pastry dough. With one hand underneath the bottom waxed paper sheet and the
other hand over the pastry surface, make a quick flip onto the pie plate.

10. Gently and slowly peel off the remaining waxed paper sheet from the pastry dough. Carefully fit the pastry dough into pie plate edges. Using a fork, poke random holes in the pastry dough; set aside.

11. Repeat above rolling instructions with the second pastry dough. After rolling it out, keep the pastry dough inside paper sheets and set aside.

12. In the meantime, gently transfer the fruit filling onto the rolled-out pastry dough set in pie plate. Carefully flip second pastry dough over filling; peel off the waxed paper sheet.

13. Trim the pastry to a one-inch overhang. Turn and tuck the pastry edges underneath. With fingers, crimp or pinch the edges, creating fluted shapes. Cover fluted pastry edges with aluminum foil strips.

14. Follow baking instructions for the pie recipe you are making.

*Note: To make a one-crust pie, make a half-recipe by using “half” the ingredients.

Text and Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real