1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground shortbread cookies
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes. Add flour and ground shortbread cookies to the mixture and blend for 3-4 seconds until fully incorporated. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-10-inch pie, tart, or springform pan. Bake the crust at 350° F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely, and fill with your favorite pie, tart, or cheesecake filling, and bake according to your recipe instructions. Crust can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Makes: One 9-inch single crust.
FREEZING BAKED AND UN-BAKED PASTRY
Prepare regular pastry or crumb crust. Fit into pie pans. Generously prick pastry that will be baked unfilled. Stack pie pans with a double layer of freezer paper between them.
Or, store flat rounds of pastry on foil-covered cardboard separated by two layers of freezer paper. Overwrap with freezer bags or heavy-duty aluminum foil, seal and freeze. Bake when pie shell is still frozen at 475 degrees F until light brown. Or, fill and bake as per recipe. Length of freezer storage: 6 to 8 weeks.
Prepare and bake pastry as usual. Cool, package and freeze. Thaw in wrapping at room temperature. Length of freezer storage: 2 to 3 months.
Defrost unbaked pastry in refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before handling.
Date: September 16, 2002