In several of my posts, you may have noticed I’ve referred to my favorite pie crust recipe.
I have come to depend on this wonderful little dough recipe, as it has yet to disappoint me. Seriously. So, I figured I should devote an entire post to this dough because, well, it’s just that good.
Now, you know I’m definitely not a baker. But, I do bake my own pie crusts. Why? Because this is pretty much a “never fail” and is totally worth the little bit of extra work.
I like to use an all-butter crust for my pies. Not only does this make your pie crust simple and easy to make, but I think it just tastes so darn good. Plus, I’m really not a big fan of shortening.
This recipe makes a flaky, tender crust that compliments anything you throw in it. I use this recipe for both sweet and savory pies. Check out my posts on blueberry crumble pie, sweet cherry pie and chicken pot pie for some awesome fillings, if you’d like.
I usually use my food processor for combining the butter and the dough, but it’s not essential. Feel free to use some elbow grease and combine by hand.
My Favorite Pie Crust Recipe
recipe yields enough for a bottom and top pie crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar
8-10 tbsp. ice water, plus more if needed
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place on a baking sheet in the freezer for at least 20 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
Combine flour, kosher salt and sugar in a food processor (or a large bowl if mixing by hand). Pulse food processor a few times to mix. Slowly add the frozen butter, pulsing just as much as necessary to break the butter pieces into pea-size lumps. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between, until dough sticks to itself when pinched.
Remove flour mixture from the food processor and place onto a clean, dry, flat surface. Gently shape into 2 disks. If the dough is too crumbly and refuses to cooperate, add more water, tablespoon by tablespoon, as needed. I always need more water, just FYI. The goal is to use as little water as possible to make it stay together. You will be able to see little specs of butter within the dough. These bits of butter, as they melt in the oven, will help make the crust flaky and delicious.
Sprinkle each disk lightly with flour and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 20 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
Remove one disk from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes to make it easier to roll out. Using a well-floured rolling pin on a lightly-floured surface, roll out dough to form an approximate 12-inch circle. Be sure to continue to flip the dough over and lightly flour each side so as not to have the rolled-out dough stick to the surface.
Place the rolled-out dough onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it meets the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Using the back of a knife, trim the dough around the top edge of the pie dish, leaving about a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch overlap.
If just filling your pie without pre-baking the bottom crust, do this now. (If pre-baking, instructions follow).
To make the top to the pie, remove the second disk from the refrigerator. Roll out the second disk of dough, just as before. Gently place the top crust over the pie dish. Pinch top and bottom of dough crusts firmly together. Trim excess dough again with the back of a knife, leaving a 1/2-inch overlap. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. To seal the crust, you can either crimp the edges using your thumb and forefinger or press with a fork. Make 2-3 1-inch slits on the top of the pie with a sharp knife to allow for steam to escape during baking.
*Depending on your recipe, you may need to pre-bake your crust prior to filling it. If pre-baking, follow these instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour a 9-inch pie plate and then set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Place the dough in the pie plate and trim off excess and then crimp the edges. Use a fork to poke holes around the sides and bottom of the crust and chill until firm, about 20 min.
Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper and fill it with dried or baking beans. Bake until the crimped edges are firm, about 10-15 min. Remove the parchment paper and beans and bake until the bottom is firm, about another 10-15 min.
Fill the crust with the pie filling, spreading evenly. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake depending on your oven and the filling’s recipe. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.