Everyone needs a go-to pie dough recipe and I have finally found mine! I’m pretty picky when it comes to pie crust. It has to be flaky and have a yummy buttery flavor – this recipe fits the bill! The best part? It’s easy and it freezes beautifully, so you’ll always have some on hand for when you get the hankering for a pie.
Back when I first started baking, I used to avoid pies. I’m not really sure why, but I think it’s because I always had difficulty with the dough and could never quite get it right. Well, I’ve learned a lot along the way and I’ve got a few tips that will have you making perfect pie crust too!
When you think about it, homemade pie dough is really simple. It’s nothing more than flour, fat, salt, sugar, and water – items I always have on hand. A lot of recipes you’ll find out there use shortening or a butter/shortening combo. I personally like all butter crusts because there’s no artificial “stuff” going in like with shortening, and butter just tastes better.
The first very important thing to know when making pie dough is that your butter has to be cold. Now, when I say cold I mean frozen – refrigerated butter just won’t do here. I like to cube it up and then pop it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This is what is going to guarantee that you end up with a perfectly flaky crust.
While your butter is chilling, you can gather the rest of your ingredients. This really only takes a minute, though! Mix together flour, sugar, and salt and have your ice water at the ready. Next, you’ll “cut in” the butter using a pastry cutter – if you don’t have one you can use a potato masher or your hands.
You will know it’s time to add the water when the dough starts resemble coarse crumbs. The butter should be evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture so that it will create steam pockets as the dough bakes – resulting in a flaky crust!
Now it’s time to add the water. I usually end up using ½ cup of water total, but it may be more or less depending on the humidity. Start by adding a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. You don’t want to knead pie dough too much, so just a few times to form a smooth ball. Wrap it in plastic and let is rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, you can cut it into 2 pieces – this will be enough for a double crust pie. If you only need one crust, wrap the other and freeze it!
Now, you’re ready to roll it out and use it. Roll it out to about 12 inches and place it into your pie dish. You can press it in and make a decorative edge if you like – you can see from photo that I won’t be winning any pie contests. I’m just not good at the decorative edge! It still tastes good even if it’s not the prettiest 😉
I hope you’ll give this a try – once you do you’ll never want to buy the frozen stuff again. I like to double the recipe and have extra for the freezer – it’s so nice to pull out homemade dough when you’re ready to make a pie!
Perfect All Butter Pie Crust
Making your own pie crust is so easy and so worth it. I like to double the recipe so I have extra to freeze – then you always have a crust at the ready!
| Yield 2 Crusts | Prep Time: 15 Min | Inactive Prep Time: 1 Hr | Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Min |
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, cold*
2 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
½ Cup (+/-) Ice Water*
At least 30 minutes before you plan on making your pie crust cut the 2 sticks of butter into small cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl and pop them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
When you’re ready to prepare the crust start by whisking together the flour, salt, and sugar. Remove your butter cubes from the freezer and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter*, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. This part will take a few minutes, but it’s worth as this is what creates a nice flaky crust.
Once you have the butter worked in you’ll start adding in the water. I start with a ¼ cup and go up from there – it usually takes at least ½ cup, but depending on the humidity it can take more of less. Slowly add the water a little at a time and mix with a fork – if the dough starts coming together that you can form a dough ball then you have added enough water, if it’s very crumbly you’ll need to add more water.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a disk and you’re ready to use! I prefer to let my dough sit for 10 minutes to warm up – this way it’s easier to roll out. Roll out your pie dough to the necessary size for your pan. Place the dough into your pan, trimming any excess. Pop the pan into the freezer for 20 minutes to allow the dough to become very cold.
Now you’re ready to fill with your favorite filling!
*Cold butter is extremely important for a flaky pie crust. I always pop mine in the freezer after I cube it – 30 minutes is plenty, but overnight will work too.
*The ice water is also important again for the same reason as the cold butter. You want to keep everything cold in order to have the best possible pie crust.
*If you don’t have a pastry cutter you can use a potato masher or even your fingers. Your fingers will warm the butter, but it’s ok because its going to be chilled again. You could also use a food processor or stand mixer if you prefer.