Basics · In the Kitchen

Basic Pie Crust (Sweet & Savoury)

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I never understand why people buy pie crusts from the freezer aisle in their grocery store. Never have I had one that was flaky and crisp and isn’t that what everyone wants in their pie crust? Plus it’s incredibly easy to make from scratch. I promise! Here’s what you’ll need:

Single Crust

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 4 tbsp ice cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • (1/4 cup granulated sugar for a sweet pie)

Double Crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 8 tbsp ice cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • (1/2 cup granulated sugar for a sweet pie)

Here are the steps:

  1. Stir together the flour, salt (and sugar ).
  2. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives. The goal is to keep the butter as cold as possible so it doesn’t cream into the flower and stays in little butter lumps. Push your pastry blender into the butter and turn 90 degrees, and repeat until the butter is about pea sized, and clean off your pastry blender when needed. If push comes to shove and you don’t have knives or pastry blender, you can use your fingers but work quickly and refrigerate the mixture before proceeding to the next steps.
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  3. Spoon in the cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough starts coming together. Start off mixing with a fork, and finish off with your hands. The amount of water I gave is approximate and depends on humidity, climate, and altitude so that’s why you go 1 tbsp at a time so as to not go over.When you get to the point where it’s mostly coming together but still a bit dry, work the dough with your hands. The left photo below shows what the dough looks like when it only has half the amount of water, the right photo is with all necessary water.
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  4. Once dough comes together, roll and flatten into a disc. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the butter cool back down, and for the dough to be easier to roll.
  5. At this point you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days, if you’re planning for say a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
  6. When ready, take the dough out of the fridge and roll to desired size and thickness as according to your recipe.

Tips**

  • If you want a McDonalds like pie crust, make sure you brush the tops of the pie crust with egg wash and sprinkle some coarse (raw cane) sugar.
  • Try not to re-roll the crust too much because with each re-roll, you’ll need more flour to keep it from sticking and by re-rolling, you’ll cream the butter into the dough. The whole point of keeping the dough cold is so that the butter stays in little clumps and can bake and create little butter steam pockets and puff up! This gives you those desired flaky crusts
  • USE BUTTER! Not margarine or shortening, use butter for the amazing buttery flaky taste!
  • To make sure your pie dough is rolled out to the right size, use your rolling pin as a guide. If the pie plate is smaller than the pin like shown below, make sure your rolled dough is at least the length of the rolling pin. This accounts for the sides of the pie plate.
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