In the past I have had many failures when attempting to make a perfect pie crust. My homemade pie crust attempts often resulted in a dough that was too sticky, too dry, or full of cracks. Purchasing frozen pie crusts isn’t really my style and I love to eat pie, so I pressed forward and kept trying. A few years ago I finally learned how to make a great, no – perfect, All Butter Pie Crust.
If you’re trying to save time during the busy holiday season, you can make the crust recipe a day or two ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the pie. Just let it sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes before you roll it out.
Perfect Pie Crust Tips
Keep Things Cold
Refrigerate all of the ingredients for your pie crust before beginning your recipe. Pockets of cold butter within the crust are what make it so deliciously flaky. Use very cold, even frozen, butter and iced cold water in your pie crust recipes. You can also chill your flour prior to use.
Use a Food Processor
While a food processor isn’t necessary to make a Perfect All Butter Pie Crust, I love my food processor and I’m convinced that it is what lead to my eventual success. It works so beautifully this way because it makes it simple to get little bits of butter evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.
However, you can use a set of butter knives or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour if you don’t have a food processor to work with. Just make sure that the bits of butter are small and evenly distributed. The butter bits should be pea sized.
One of the reasons I like to use a food processor is that it keeps my very warm hands away from the pie crust dough. Heat will warm the ingredients and melt the bits of butter.
Work the dough until just moist and combined and don’t over handle. Over handling will lead to a tough pie crust dough.
Delicious Pie Recipes:
- Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Tart
- Cinnamon Pear Crostata with Almond Oat Crust
- Chocolate Pecan Tart
- Flat Cranberry Apple Pie
What are your tips for making a perfect pie crust?
Perfect All Butter Pie Crust
Yield: 2 standard pie crusts
Prep Time: 1 hour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) very cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Cube the butter into 1/2 inch pieces. Place them on a freezer-safe plate or cutting board and freeze until very firm, approximately 30 minutes.
Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the flour mixture to a food processor (10 to 12 cup size) along with the butter. Pulse the ingredients until the butter is cut into coarse crumbs.
Add the ice cold water 2 tablespoons at a time while pulsing the food processor until the mixture becomes a crumbly dough and forms together.
On an un-floured surface, turn the dough out and shape it into two circles (I use a kitchen scale to make sure they're evenly sized), approximately 6" in diameter, kneading as little as possible (pockets of butter are what keep the crust flaky and tender).
Dust both sides of each circle with a bit of flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator or freezer. Set it aside while you dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap one dough circle and roll with a rolling pin until the dough has formed a circle about 12" in diameter and slightly thicker than 1/8 inch.
When the dough is the proper size, wrap it gently around the rolling pin to transfer to the pie plate. Press the dough into the 9" pie plate and shape the edges according to your desired design.