The pie crust is the key ingredient in all pies and this particular pie crust has the right to be. This crust is light, buttery and flakes apart (in a good way!), yet soft at the same time. The flavor is like that of pastry in a great bakery.
Find the complete pie dough recipe and many more in the beautifully illustrated and designed book, A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies. The pie recipes are sorted by season!
What You’ll Need:
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, chilled and sliced
- 3/4 cup ice water
- Combine the flour and salt in a medium to large bowl. If you choose too small a bowl you will have to deal with flour escaping over the edge of it. It will help keep the butter cold if you have chilled this bowl by throwing it in the freezer or even the refrigerator for 15 minutes before you start making the dough.
- Take your butter, which you have kept in the refrigerator up until this very moment, and toss it into the flour mixture. You can put in 2 whole sticks but having the butter cut into pats or chunks will make it easier to mix in.
- Use a Pastry Blender (or a couple of knives if you have not invested in this crucial piece of pie equipment) to cut the butter into the flour mixture. It is important to keep a few things in mind during this part: A. Don’t let the butter get too warm. If in doubt, throw the whole bowl into the refrigerator for a couple of mins. B. Your goal is not to create a smooth, homogenous mixture but to have lots of very small bits of butter throughout the flour.
- Pour most of the ice water into the bowl and fold it into the dough. You might not need all the water or you might need a little extra. You want to make sure that you do not make a dough that is too wet or over-mix it. You really need to mix in enough water so that you can make a ball that mostly sticks together. It is good if the dough seems a little dry and crumbly.
- Once you have a ball of dough that is mostly sticking together you should wrap it up in plastic wrap and throw it in your refrigerator to chill it.
Pie dough recipes are all very similar. The ratio may vary a little but they all use fat, flour, salt and water. Butter creates a tasty and flaky crust but is not as easy to work with as shortening or lard. Many recipes call for a combination of butter and shortening or lard, but the chefs in the PieforLunch kitchen have have never found the effort to make an all butter crust to be that challenging.
Working with the dough
You want to give you dough enough time in the refridgerator