Walnut pie crust tastes amazing with pecan pie filling. (Photo courtesy of MissHomemade.com)
1. Put walnut pieces in a blender or food processor. Add about half of the white sugar and finely grind this mixture.
2. Sift flour onto the work surface and add ground walnut/sugar mixture. Make a large well in the center of the ingredients. Using a rolling pin, pound the butter to soften it slightly.
3. Put the egg, remaining sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon into the well. Work ingredients with your fingertips until they are thoroughly mixed together. You may also do this in a bowl with a pastry cutter if you do not have a pastry scraper.
4. Draw in flour with a pastry scraper, then work the flour into the other ingredients with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Press into a ball. It should be quite soft, but if it is too sticky, add a little more flour.
5. Sprinkle work surface lightly (and sparingly) with flour. Blend the dough by pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand. Gather up the dough and continue to blend in this manner until it is very smooth and peels away from the work surface in one piece. This usually takes 1 to 2 minutes. Shape into a smooth ball, wrap tightly and chill until firm; approximately 1 hour.
6. When you’re ready to use your pie crust, brush a pie plate or tart pan with melted butter. Lightly (and sparingly) dust work surface with flour. Roll out ⅔ of the chilled dough into an 11-inch round circle. Re-wrap and return unrolled dough to the refrigerator.
7. Wrap dough around rolling pin and gently drape it over the pie plate (or tart pan). Lift dough with one hand and press it into the bottom of the pan with the other hand. Overlap dough slightly inside rim of pan, so extra dough is left at the edge.
8. To remove excess dough after placing it in a pie plate, roll a rolling pin over the top of the pan, pressing down to cut off the excess dough. Add the trimming to the reserved portion of the dough and return to the refrigerator.
9. Once your pie is filled, roll out remaining dough into a 10-inch round circle. At this point you may cut out a 2-inch round opening (a small glass works) in the center of the crust to allow steam to escape. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin; draping it over the filled crust.
10. With a small knife, trim the top round even with the filled pastry shell, using the pan as a guide. Press dough edges together with the tip of a fork to seal top and bottom of pastry shell.
11. Brush top of pie with water and sprinkle with sugar. Chill pie until firm; approximately 15 minutes. Heat the oven and bake that pie!