What Youll Need To Make Pie Crust
Some pie crust recipes call for all butter some call for all shortening, lard or oil and some call for a combination of fats. I like to use a blend of butter and shortening. The butter lends delicious flavor and flakiness, while the shortening makes the dough easy to work with and also helps it hold its shape. Its important that the butter and shortening are both very cold.
As for the dry ingredients, in addition to all-purpose flour and salt, I like to add a bit of baking powder to my homemade pie crust. It helps the crust expand into the pan, rather than shrink and slip down the sides as it bakes .
How To Store Pie Crust
The dough can be kept wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge for up to three days. It can also be frozen, wrapped in plastic and stored in a freezer safe bag for up to three months.
Back in Canada when we celebrated Thanksgiving and my Mom would make her huge turkey and all the trimmings.
I would make the pie! Yup I was known for my pies even all those years ago. Dont you love a good pie?
How Pie Crust Really Works
A few years ago, I developed a pie dough recipe while working at Cook’s Illustrated. The one trick that got majorly hyped up about it was the inclusion of vodka in place of some of the water in the recipe. It was a pretty neat trick, if I do say so myself, and it solved one of the major problems people have with making pie dough.
But there’s a good chunk of that article that seemed to have gotten glossed over by pretty much everyone, and I believe that it’s a far cooler part than the headline-friendly vodka trick, and it has to do with the basic structure of dough.
You see, it turns out that when it comes to pie dough, our existing model has it wrong. In fact, it’s not the fat that’s coating pockets of dry flour. It’s the reverse. It’s the flour that’s coating pockets of pure fat. With this model, things make much more sense. You can easily and intuitively see how fat gets coated with flour , and with this model, when you add water, you are indeed moistening dry flour so that it can form sheets of gluten.
But there’s a third element at play here that is often ignored: the flour-fat paste that forms at the interface between the pure fat and the dry flour. With this paste, what you’re getting is essentially single particles of flour that are completely coated in fat. Since they can’t absorb any water, they end up behaving in much the same way as pure fat.
To summarize, here’s what we’ve got as we’re forming a pie dough:
J. Kenji López-Alt
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Homemade Buttery Flaky Pie Crust
Today Im going to teach you everything you need to know about making the perfect buttery flaky pie crust. This is the one and only pie crust recipe I use. Its been passed down through generations. Stands the test of time. Old-fashioned, yet never out of style. Wins my heart every single time.
There is nothing more satisfying than making a pie completely from scratch. From the golden crust to the juicy filling and everything in between. Pies are so damn tasty for one reason: theyre time consuming. This shouldnt scare you! It should intrigue you. Because if you can bake an exceptional homemade pie, congratulations. Youre a talented baker.
Let me help you get there.
As the base holding all of the pies contents, pie crusts flavor is in every single bite. Start with a solid crust and youre that much closer to pie-fection. !! Today were going to explore my pie crust recipe, preparation tips, how-tos, and troubleshooting.
Pie Crust Recipe Ingredients Youll Need
- Butter: Dont attempt to use margarine, shortening or lard here, it wont work the same in this recipe.
- All-purpose flour: I recommend using unbleached flour. Bleached flour has a more pronounced flavor that would stand out here where so much flour is used without many other flavors to mask it.
- Salt: Just standard table salt is needed. If you like less salty crust use 1/4 tsp if you prefer the standard slightly overly salty crust use 1/2 tsp. I prefer right in the middle.
- Sugar: This will encourage browning and help tenderize the crust. Plus it adds a hint sweetness of course.
- Ice water: Just fill a bowl with a fair amount of ice then add some water , rest a while or stir stir stir for a minute. Use the amount listed from the recipe below, youll have lots leftover.
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Easy To Make Pie Crust
One thing I hear again and again is that people buy pie dough or pre-made crusts because pie dough is TOO HARD TO MAKE. I beg to differ, a homemade pie crust can be easy, especially if you have a food processor.
The secret to quick and easy pie dough?? A food processor! This is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I love the Cuisinart I had a Ninja and I killed it so Im a huge fan of the Cuisinart.
If you dont have a food processor you can STILL make a homemade pie crust. The tool you need is called a pastry blender and if you dont have a food processor, this tool will help make pie dough easier!
If you dont have time or money the old-fashioned method of cutting the butter into the flour with two knives is CHEAP and works perfectly!
How To Make Homemade Pie Crust From Scratch
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Super Easy Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
My grandma knew how to make the best pies every year for Thanksgiving. Aside from the absolutely divine fillings, the crusts she made were always tender and flaky! Every year we would look forward to going to my Grandmas for Thanksgiving. She was the BEST cook. She raised 8 kids and had a home-cooked meal on the table for them each night. Everything she made was from scratch. Growing up, I remember staying a few weeks in the summer with her and she was always baking bread or a batch of peanut butter cookies. As soon as the warm bread came out of the oven she would slice it up and we would eat an entire loaf. You can find that recipe here and join in on the deliciousness!
But really, the best part about Thanksgiving was her pies. You couldnt wait to finish the meal to have a slice of her cherry pie. In all honesty, I have yet to try a better pie. She would make them all herself and you couldnt get enough! Her crusts were tender and perfect. In my opinion the best! Sometimes making any kind of dough from scratch can seem intimidating, but today I am going to show you how easy it is! The crust comes together in just a matter of minutes and you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand. Trust me, its going to enhance any pie you make! If any recipe is a staple, its this one! Ive included a printable graphic to have on hand for all of your baking needs. Lets keep the tradition going!
Perfect Pie Crust Tip : Keep Everything Cold
Not only should the butter be cold, the water that you use should also be coldactually ICE WATER is best! I measure out my water for the recipe and pop in a few ice cubes to make sure its as cold as possible.
You can even chill your bowl if you want!
You can even use frozen butter if youre in a warm climate. This is a great trick and works perfectly, because if you are trying to make an all butter pie crust in a humid or warm place the butter can soften up pretty quickly, so just pop it in the freezer 30-ish minutes before youre going to make your crust.
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How To Make A Lattice Pie Crust:
1. Start by rolling out the first dough disk and line your pie dish with it. Keep the second dough disk refrigerated until you are ready to make your lattice top.
2. Lightly flour your work surface (I use re-used the parchment paper as a work surface because the dough peels off easily. Now roll out the dough for your lattice top. For a 9 pie dish, roll it out to about 12 in Diameter. This one doesnt have to be quite as wide as the bottom layer, but you want enough to go over your pie dishes rim.
3. Cut the dough evenly into 1/2 wide strips. A pizza cutter makes this job way easier and more precise. I ended up with about 15 decent strips.
4. Spoon the filling into your prepared pie shell. This was a peach pie. .
5. Loosely lay out 7 strips of dough, parallel to each other, with about 1/2 space in between each, over the top of the pie. Note: choose your strips based on the diameter needed. Dont put your longest strips on the outer edges and keep in mind youll also need long strips when making the perpendicular lattice strips.
6. Fold back every other strip. Place one long strip of dough down the center, perpendicular to the rest. Unfold the dough strips over this new strip. Next fold back the strips which are now running under the new strip and lay down a second strip of dough, keeping the spacing the same between the strips. Now unfold the strips again. Repeat step 5 until both sides of the pie are completed.
A Festive Menu Fit For Friends And Familyyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
Hearty snacks, seasonal sides, flavorful main dishes and tantalizing desserts all complement one another perfectly for holiday celebrations among loved ones. This year, when planning your menu, be sure to consider recipes that keep family and friends content from the moment they hang up their coats to the goodbye hugs.
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What Type Of Flour Should You Use In Pie Crust
I recommend using a high quality all purpose flour. I love Bobs Red Mill Unbleached All Purpose Flour, but honestly, you can use whatever all purpose flour you have on hand and it will work!
You might ask why I dont use pastry flour in my pie dough. I mean, I get the question because essentially a pie crust is a type of pastry. And when I tested pie crust with pastry flour, there is no denying that the crust was delicious and very tender, as pastry four has less protein than all purpose, BUT it didnt hold up as a crust as well as the crust made with all purpose flour. If you are looking for a flaky, yet sturdy crust for your pie, I definitely recommend all purpose flour.
How To Roll Out Pie Crustfor Mini Pies Or Butter Tart Shells
This is very important: Your first step is to take out your pre-made frozen dough the night before.
When you are ready to roll out your dough, use generous amount of flour on your surface and rolling pin.
Place the dough on floured surface. Cover the dough with more flour.
Using your rolling pin, gently roll it from the center out, turning the dough with your hands as you go.
Roll the pie crust out to 1/8 thickness.
This doesnt need to be perfect. You are making mini pies or butter tarts shells.
Then use cookie cutter, large, round size. I used 3 and 1/2 inch or 9 cm.
Cut out 12 circles from the pie crust. Re-roll any scrap pieces of pie.
- using cookie cutter cut mini pies
- Easy Mini Pie Crust or butter tart shells
- Easy Mini Pie Crust or butter tart shells
Place each pie circle into the cavity of a standard 12-count muffin pan.
Please, be sure to gently press the pie dough down and around the sides.
Transfer the muffin pan into the freezer for about 2 hours.
Remove from freezer, cover with plastic wrap then aluminum foil and return to the freezer.
And you just made mini pie crust or butter tart shells for your future recipe.
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Why Your Pie Crust Shrinks
You are not alone here! This is a really common problem and, luckily, the solution is simple. The answer is too much WATER! Adding too much water to your pastry will cause your pastry to shrink. Think about it! When water heats up it evaporates. So in terms of pastry, that means when you go into the oven, the heat makes the water in the crust evaporate, which in turn causes it to shrink. Makes sense now, right?
The solution is to just add the minimum amount of water that you need to pull your dough together into a ball. If it seems like it might be a tad dry dont freak out and lash in water. A fun fact about pastry is that it expresses water once it rests, so it will actually get wetter as it sits in the fridge for its resting period.