This is part three of a five part series on different ways I use my food processor. This series is a part of my month long "5 Days With My Appliances" series..
Ah crust! It's something meant to add to the flavor and texture experience of a dish. A food processor is a great tool to have on hand when one is ready to create a crust. Now I am not strictly talking about pie crusts here. The first thing I ever used my food processor for was in making a crust for a ham. I was following Alton Brown's City Ham recipe, which calls for using ginger snap cookies in the crust. The cookies need to be crushed first. That job is so much easier with a food processor. I did it before by just crushing the cookies with a meat mallet. But that takes a while and the texture of the crushes pieces is not as fine as that with the food processor. I found it much easier to apply the ginger snaps that I crushed in my food processor. This same idea of crushing ginger snaps, can also be used for a pie crust. Alton Brown's pumpkin pie called for a ginger snap crust. You can also pulveritze graham crackers to make a crust.
Now let's talk about traditional pie crusts. You can make a traditional pie crust, completely by hand, but if you don't like getting your hands dirty, the food processor is a good choice. Start with combining your flour and salt. The nice thing about the food processor is now you can hit pulse a few times and your salt will be well distributed throughout the flour. Then it's about adding fat (lard makes a flaky pie crust) and pulsing that to combine. Then all you have left is adding small amount of water until you have a workable dough.
Another option is making an herb paste to put on crust of a roast. This involves taking your favorite fresh herbs, adding a little olive oil, maybe even some fresh garlic, and giving it all a whirl, until you have a paste. This would be great on a pork loin roast or an eye of round roast, or nearly anything you want to roast. The herb paste will give your roast a great tasting outer crust.
When it comes to making and creating great crusts, whether it be sweet or savory, a food processor just might be your best friend!