If you know me, you know I will not have any shortening in my kitchen. I’m not too fond of the stuff. An all-butter pie crust is the way to go in my book. Knowing how to make delicious, basic pie dough is a good baking skill to master. This recipe is easy and can be made ahead of time. Follow a few tips, and it’s as flakey as a pie crust should be. Don’t be scared. It’s just pie.
This dough freezes beautifully, you can always have one or two on hand. Pie dough can be swapped in for puff pastry in many situations as well. So easy, so tasty.
chilly tips for flaky pie crust
- Freeze the butter
- Use ice water
- Weigh your ingredients
- If the dough is getting warm, put it back in the fridge
- Chill, chill, chill
What’s with the butter?
Freezing the butter then coating it in flour makes it much easier to grate. And grating the butter saves the time of pinching it with your fingers. It get the butter the perfect size. It’s a great trick!
And yes, I strongly dislike Crisco (ew) but if you want to use good lard, I wouldn’t be mad at that. In fact, go for it!
Stacking the dough will help get those flakey layers. It’s almost like making puff pastry. Do your best to not overwork the dough, or it may become tough. Mix until just combined and holds together.
Rolling the pie dough onto the rolling pin makes it easier to slide it onto the pie plate. Just be gentle, and it’ll be fine. If you tear the dough, no fear, just get it a little wet and pinch it together. Remember, it’s just pie.
Placing parchment on the dough, then loading the pan with dry beans ( or pie weights. You will need 2-3 pounds to be sure the beans or weight comes almost to the top) will keep the par-baked crust from puffing up and shrinking. Just keep them in a few jars on the back of a shelf until you need them. I’ve had mine for over 20 years. Not kidding
Go all butter, or go home. It’s all about the flavor, and if you follow a few tips, your pie crust will be super flaky, too! Just keep everything cold. You’ll do great!
- 1 1/2 cups (170g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (12g) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, frozen for 15–30 minutes
- 4–6 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Coat the frozen stick of butter in the flour (to make it easier to handle) and grate the butter directly into the flour mixture, fluffing occasionally with your fingertips.
- Toss the grated butter with the flour (like tossing a salad) until well coated, and break up any larger clumps if they form. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add three tablespoons of ice water and toss with the flour and butter in the bowl.
- Add more ice water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough begins to come together. As it comes together, fold it over a few times to ensure it’s all incorporated. The dough should hold together without noticeable cracks, but it should not be wet or tacky to the touch.
- Cut the dough in quarters and stack one on top of the next. Then flatten to form the dough a disk about 1″ thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using and up to 2 days. The dough can also be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months, then thawed overnight in the refrigerator before use.
- To par-bake the dough: Let the rested dough sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough two inches larger than your pie dish (recommend no larger than 9″ pie dish for this dough). Turn as you roll to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Add bits of flour as needed.
- Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and slide it onto the pie pan. Do not stretch the dough, but gently lift it into the corners. Trim to 1 inch from the edge of the pie plate and fold under the overhang. Crimp or decorate as you like. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour before par-baking.
- Take a fork and prick the dough all over. This keeps it from puffing up. Then, crumple a sheet of parchment paper and place it on the dough. Pour 2-3 pounds of pie weights or dry beans on the parchment. This also ensures the dough won’t puff up while par-baking.
- Place in a preheated 400° oven and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and beans or pie weights and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
This recipe can be doubled.
* The amount of water depends on how ‘thirsty’ your flour is.
Keywords: pie crust, all butter pie crust, easy pie crust
What to do with your pie crust
- Make a quiche that little bit of sugar doesn’t make the dough sweet, sugar is there to help the structure of the dough
- Make Pumpkin Hand Pies
- Add some cinnamon sugar to the extra scraps and bake with the pie, it’s a chefs treat! You can even use a cooking cutter and make cute, tasty cookie treat. Have fun with it.