Mary Ellen's pie crust
Sweet Dough for Pies and Tarts
1 cup all-purpose bleached flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl and stir well to mix. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and add to dry ingredients. Toss once or twice to coat pieces of butter. Using your hands or a pastry blender, rub the butter into the dry ingredients by breaking it into tiny pieces, continuously pinching and squeezing it into the dry ingredients. Be careful to keep the mixture uniform by occasionally reaching down to the bottom of the bowl and mixing all the ingredients evenly together. Continue rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible. Beat the egg in a small bowl and pour over the flour and butter mixture. Stir in with a fork, continuing to stir until the dough begins to hold together, but still appears somewhat dry. Scatter flour on the work surface and scrape the dough onto it. Press and knead the dough quickly 3 or 4 times, until it is smooth.
Press the dough into a disk. Sandwich the disk of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and press it into a 6-inch disk. Refrigerate the dough until firm, or until you are ready to use it, at least 1 hour.
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