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Bacon and bourbon pie crust

Time 20 minutes
Yields Makes crust for 1 (9-inch) standard pie shell
Bacon and bourbon pie crust
1

To make the dough using a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the bacon grease and pulse until incorporated (the dough will look like moist sand). Add the butter and pulse just until the butter is reduced to small, pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle the bourbon and water over the mixture, and pulse once or twice until incorporated. Remove the crumbly mixture to a large bowl and gently press the mixture together with a large spoon, rubber spatula or the palm of your hand just until it comes together to form a dough. Mold the dough into a disc roughly 6 inches in diameter. Cover the disc tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

2

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a round roughly 13 inches in diameter. Place in a 9-inch baking dish, crimping the edges as desired. Freeze the formed shell for 20 to 30 minutes before filling and baking.

Variations:
To make the dough by hand: Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the bacon grease and incorporate using a pastry cutter or fork (the dough will look like moist sand). Cut in the butter just until it is reduced to small, pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle the bourbon and water over the mixture, and stir together just until incorporated. Gently press the crumbly mixture together with a large spoon, rubber spatula or the palm of your hand just until it comes together to form a dough. Mold the dough into a disc roughly 6 inches in diameter. Cover the disc tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to give the dough sufficient time to relax; otherwise, it may toughen and shrink while baking. If using shortening instead of the bacon grease, increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon (to 3/4 teaspoon). For a nice sheen, brush the crust with egg white before baking.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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