Pie Crust Spirals (demi-palmiers)

Pie Dough:

Grate into food processor bowl
   zest of one lemon.
Set aside.

Chill with ice
   juice of one lemon
   enough water to make a total of 7 ounces.
Set aside

In the bowl of the food processor (with the lemon zest), add
   3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
   1 cup cake flour.
Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and add
   1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
   3/8 pound (1 1/2 sticks) margarine.
Pulse until the chunks of butter are the size of peas.
Add to the food processor
   1/4 cup sugar
   2 pinches of salt.
   the chilled water/lemon-juice
Pulse until it begins to come together. There should not be much loose flour but the mixture will not be smooth.

Turn dough over onto a pastry board. With the heel of the hand, smear the dough across the board to spread out the butter. Collect in a plastic bag, divide into two equal balls, and (for easier working) chill.

Filling:

In the bowl of the food processor, combine
   2 cups walnuts
   1/4 cup white sugar
   1/4 cup brown sugar
   1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Process until the nuts have a sand-like texture.

Assembling and baking:

Dust one of the chilled dough balls with
   sugar
and roll it out into into a rough rectangle, dusting with more sugar as necessary. It should be thin but not so thin that you can't lift it off the board a bit. Sprinkle evenly over the dough rectangle a thin layer of
   the filling mixture.
Roll up the rectangle into a long thin cylinder. Slide into a plastic bag and chill. Repeat with the other dough ball. You may save any leftover nut mixture for future cookies. (Also good on hot cereal).
The next step will be easier if you allow the rolled cylinders to chill a bit.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the chilled cylinders into 1/4 inch slices and place them right up against each other on a silpat plastic cookie sheet or parchment sheet placed on a baking rack. You will probably need two sheets. Slide into oven. Bake 20--30 minutes, interchanging the racks and reversing them front-to-back midway to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven when the cookies are partly brown.

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with Demerara or other brown sugar. With a pastry flame thrower, caramelize the sugar. Or set them under a hot broiler, rotating frequently, until the sugar caramelizes. Be careful not to burn them in the broiler. Allow to cool before removing from the sheets.

© 2003 Richard Waldinger