How To Make Pie Crust From Scratch

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Tips For Getting Pie Dough Into A Pie Pan

How to Make Pie Crust From Scratch

Transferring dough from the counter to your pie plate can be tricky. Lifting that big round directly from the work surface to the plate puts you at risk for tearing. Use one of these two methods instead. These tips for careful positioning once you get the dough to the pie plate apply to store-bought pie dough, too.

Get A Crunchy Bottom Crust

Weve already covered how blind baking helps prevent a soggy crust. You can also ensure a crispy bottom with a few other methods:

Bake your pie directly on the bottom of the oven.

Bake it on a pizza stone.

Depending on the filling, make a streusel to crumble over the bottom of the crust before filling to give the dough an extra layer of protection against a wet filling. This works for fruit fillings like apple that will mingle well with an additional crumbly layer.

To Make Homemade Pie Crust You Will Need:

  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • unsalted butter
  • ice cold water.

Then, into the bowl of your food process, fitted with the blade attachment, add 2-1/4 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Secure the lid and pulse to incorporate.

Next add in the 2 sticks of ice cold butter.

Ice cold butter and water is key to the flaky crust. For this, I recommend cutting the butter, place it onto a plate and freeze it for 20 minutes before adding it into the food processor.

Then pulse it a few times until coarse and crumbly.

Continue to pulse while adding enough of the ice cold water until it resembles coarse wet sand. Usually its about 6 to 8 tablespoons. However it could be less or more depending on the humidity level and other factors.

Place dough crumbles onto a piece of parchment paper and form it into a disc.

Form the two pieces of dough into balls and use the palm of your hand to flatten into discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and pop them into the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes to rest before rolling it out.

Roll the dough out to fit a 9-inch pie plate with a one inch overhang. Then roll it back onto the rolling pin.

Drape and unroll the homemade pie crust onto your pie plate. Next, adjust the dough and trim any extra dough.

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Tips For Making Pie Crust

  • Let the dough rest. I never advise making dough the same day you plan to bake it. Its essential for the dough to hydrate properly so it needs an overnight rest. If you absolutely need to, you can make the dough and bake it all in the same day, but you must let it rest at least 2 hours before you roll it out. Dough that is made the same day its rolled out and baked can be more difficult to handle and possibly deform in the oven because the butter hasnt chilled enough and the gluten hasnt had time to relax. It will still taste good, though.
  • Weigh your ingredients! An electronic kitchen scale is not a huge investment. You can get one for around $25. I cant recommend enough that if you want to get good at baking, get a scale.
  • Use high-quality butter and flour. Both of these ingredients can vary wildly in quality. Poor quality butter is going to have a high water content. Low-quality flour can vary in the protein structure and that can effect your final pie crust. In the end, Id still choose a homemade pie crust made with cheap butter and flour over anything store-bought, but if you are looking for a really amazing pie crust buying quality ingredients will help.
  • The bigger the butter chunks, the flakier your pie will be. If you love the look of super flaky dough, that almost looks like puff pastry, leave at least some of your butter chunks as big as possible. The biggest pieces of butter can be about the size of a marble.
  • How Long To Bake Chicken Pot Pie

    Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

    All of the ingredients inside the pot pie are already cooked, so the only thing we are concerned with at this point is the pie crust.

    The crust should be fully baked with 45-50 minutes. If the top crust should start to look golden brown before the time is up, simply cover the edges with either a pie shield or with aluminum foil and continue cooking for the allotted amount of time.

    There is nothing like a made-from-scratch chicken pot pie. Especially one enveloped in a buttery, flaky, homemade pie crust, decked out with perfectly cooked chicken and vegetables, all smothered in a to-die-for chicken gravy. Please, enjoy!

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    How To Make Flaky Pie Crust

    I am very worried, friends. Worried that the fear of pie crusts may be keeping a great many of you from making your own pies at home. Is this true? Does this sound like you? Do debates over butter vs. lard or tender vs. flaky make you want to run and hide? Well, take a deep breath and grab your notebook today were going to go over how to make a pie from start to finish, one step at a time.

    Use A Tapered Rolling Pin

    While a ball-bearing-based heavy-duty cylindrical rolling pin might fit in a Norman Rockwell painting, the slender, slightly tapered French-style rolling pin offers far more control when rolling dough, is easier to clean and store, and is usually cheaper.

    And that’s basically all I know about pie crust.

    Vicky Wasik

    For a more traditional dough that’s extra flaky but a little less beginner-friendly, check out our old-fashioned flaky pie dough.

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    How To Make Pie Crust From Scratch

    Posted by Erika | Jan 19, 2021

    Learning how to make homemade pie crust from scratch is easy with this step-by-step guide. With helpful photos, tips and recipes, this tutorial will show you how to turn a few simple ingredients into a delicious, flaky crust!

    The secret to a great slice of pie is all in the crust! A buttery, flaky crust that holds its shape is key to pie perfection, and this step-by-step guide on how to make a pie crust will help show you how quick and easy it is to do!

    The best thing about this easy pie crust recipe is that it uses staple ingredients you probably have on hand already: flour, salt, fat and water. Thats it! With these basic ingredients, you can make a buttery, flaky crust you can use with pretty much any filling.

    Not only will we walk you through this easy homemade pie crust recipe, but well also share a few basic tips and tricks to help ensure you get great results every time. Weve also included a few of our favorite go-to pie recipes, perfect for trying out your new homemade pie crust!

    Making The Dough By Food Processor Or By Hand

    How to make Pie Crust from Scratch

    The folks at Cooks Illustrated insist on using a food processor for this method. We sort of agree It makes making the flour and butter paste easy.

    Use the food processor to make the paste then add the remaining flour. Pulse a few times then transfer everything to a bowl and add water until the dough comes together. .

    Using the food processor eliminates variability. If you have one, use it.

    With all that said, we hate cleaning dishes and since a food processor means 5 parts to clean we tried this method by hand.

    It worked.

    We used a pastry cutter to cut the butter into part of the flour and made it as close to a paste as possible. The flour was moistened by the butter and the mixture looked like fresh breadcrumbs it was not powdery from flour. Then, we cut in the remaining flour and added water until the dough came together.

    The dough made by hand was just as easy to roll out and turned out just as flaky. In fact, the photo above is actually from dough made by hand, not the food processor.

    So, if you dont have a food processor or are like us and hate the extra dishes, give making it by hand a go.

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    The Best Homemade Pie Crust For All Kinds Of Pies

    I have said many times on this site that pie making isnt my favorite Up until about 5 years ago I wasnt even truly confident in making pie crust from scratch. I would sub in a graham cracker crust wherever I couldnot that theres anything wrong with that, but the two arent always interchangeable. So I would stress about making them, or I would buy pre-made crustswhich are fine in a pinch, but they just arent the same as homemade.

    Then one day I decided to end the drama. Its a pie crust, which is really only a few ingredients and few easy steps. I dove into different pie crust recipes and tinkered around with the best way to make what I felt would be the perfect pie crust. And guess what? Turns out making homemade pie crust isnt as hard as I used to think it was. In fact, it is downright EASY if you have the right pie crust recipe.

    So today Im breaking it down for you. If I can do it, you can too.

    So After All That Talk Did It Work

    Yes. It really did. Our pie crust was tender with long thin layers of dough, making it perfectly flaky.

    We love this method for two reasons:

  • Its consistent. By adding part of the flour to the butter first, combing them into a paste then adding the remaining flour, the recipe determines how much flour is being used for the formation of gluten. The dough is the same, every time.
  • That butter and flour paste really helps when it comes to working with the dough. Since its more pliable, the dough is easily rolled out.
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    Time Tested And Easy Pie Crust

    Ive tested this perfect pie crust recipe so many times over the years and know this recipe works with most pie fillings and can be made by hand fairly quickly. It always provides a flaky crust with lots of flavor that is sturdy enough for heavy pie fillings.

    In other words, this is the perfect pie crust and the only recipe youll ever really need.

    Heres how I make it.

    The Secret To Great Homemade Pie Crust

    How to Make Pie Crust from Scratch

    A little extra sugar and one egg yolk can make your pie crusts sing.

    Here’s the culinary theory behind it all: These two hacks are going to bridge a gap between pâte brisée and pâte sablée . You are adding just enough sugar and egg to get the benefit of workability in your dough, without the more intense sweetness or crisp bake of a full sablé dough, which doesn’t work particularly well for double crust pies.

    Related: How to Match Your Pie With the Right Crust

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    How To Make A Double Pie Crust

    • Roll up the 1/3 remainder of the dough, and repeat the steps of rolling out the dough starting with putting flour on the counter.
    • Placed the rolled dough on top of the filling, and then press down the two crust edges together, making ridges with your thumbs.
    • Dip a fork or a pastry bush into milk and dab it on the top layer of the crust a few times. Sprinkle sugar or cinnamon-sugar on top of the milk.
    • Cut a few vent holes and your pie ready to bake!

    The Importance Of Venting

    It might seem like a pretty decoration, but adding slits, a hole, or a lattice design creates ventilation. As the filling heats up, it creates steam. You need a way for it to escape. The vent concentrates the fillings flavor and consistency and prevents sogginess.

    An open weave is excellent for juicier fruit fillings like blueberries. But if you like a more liquidy texture like for cherry or apple pies, add several shallow cuts or a large circle about 1-inch in diameter in the center.

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    Top Tips For Ingredients

    Flour: For a tender crust, choose a low-protein flour. Pastry flour, with a protein content of about 8-10%, ranks between all-purpose flour and cake flour. All-purpose flour works just fine for pie crusts, while cake flour might lack enough protein to form a workable, elastic dough.

    • Depending upon your tastes and the recipe, you can substitute nut flours or whole wheat pastry flour for part of the mixture.
    • If you’re a novice crust-maker, start with a plain all-purpose or pastry flour dough.

    Fat: Flaky pie crusts can be made from a variety of fats: butter, lard, shortening, duck fat, vegetable oil, or nut oils.

    • Crusts made with all butter are very flavorful, though they are generally not quite as flaky as crusts made with shortening or lard.
    • Vegetable shortening pie doughs are easier to work with and hold their shape better than all-butter crusts, but the flavor won’t be as rich.
    • Lard produces the flakiest crust, but processed lard can have a chemical aftertaste. Some butchers or farmers’ market stands might sell fresh rendered lard.
    • Some of the best pie crusts are made with a combination of fats: half butter, for flavor, and half shortening or lard, for flakiness.
    • Fans of crispier crusts use melted butter or oil for the fat, resulting in a mealier dough that bakes up as a fine-textured, crisp crust.

    Liquid: Ice water, fruit juices, egg yolks, sour cream, milk or cream add different flavors and textures to your pie crust.

    How To Roll Out A Pie Crust & Make It Look Pretty

    How to Make Pumpkin Pie Crust From Scratch

    Rolling out a pie crust is pretty simple. Here are a few tips that I recommend for making a pie crust that doesnt fall apart when you roll it out:

  • Allow your dough to chill for at least an hour before rolling it out. I always recommend this step because it gives the gluten in the flour a chance to relax before you start stretching it out more. My goal is always a flaky crust and I find this step helps!
  • Make sure your surface is lightly floured AND keep a few tablespoons of flour on hand to add more when you need it! As you roll out your dough, lightly flour the rolling pin as well as the rolling surface, to prevent sticking on the top! You can turn the dough as you roll to prevent sticking. There is nothing worse than getting everything rolled out perfectly only to have it stick to the counter!
  • Roll your dough to about 1/8 1/4 inch thick. It honestly doesnt have to be exact, BUT I have made the mistake so many times rolling my crust too thin, which doesnt create a very stable base for your pie. But also make sure its not too thick, because you want it to bake through all the way. This recipe makes the perfect amount for 2 circles of dough.
  • Along with the thickness of the dough, you want to roll it out to measure 2- inches wider in diameter than a standard pie plate, OR 4 inches wider if you are using a deep dish pie plate. You need to make sure you have enough excess hangin over the edge to be able to crimp the crusts edge!
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