This is a pie dough recipe for a homemade, all-butter pie crust that is made with flour, butter, water, salt, and sugar. Learn everything you'll need to make the perfect pie crust on the first try.
COLD ingredients: Keep all ingredients very cold, especially the butter and the water. This will prevent the butter from melting into the flour while making the pie dough.
Keep the butter in large pieces as you make the crust for a flaky crust. For a mealy crust, work the butter a little more into the flour.
Handle the pie dough as little as possible. Working it too much will make a tough pie crust because of all the gluten that will form.
Measure the ingredients correctly: The best way to measure the ingredients is to weigh them. If you do not have a scale, use a 240 g (check to make sure your cup isn't a 250-gram cup) cup to fluff the flour first, then gently spoon the flour into the cup, overfilling it. Level off with a butter knife
If you have a heavy hand, go with 2 1/4 cups instead of 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Do not skip the chilling time after making the crust. it's needed to chill the butter and relax the gluten.
Add dry ingredients: In a large bowl combine 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Whisk or toss with hands to combine.
Sprinkle the cold cubed butter over the flour and toss with your hands to coat the butter in flour. Flatten each piece of butter quickly with the palms of your index and thumb. Do not keep the butter in your hands for too long.
With your fingers continue to toss everything together to break some of the butter pieces into smaller pieces.
You can also take a couple handfuls of dough and rub them between the palms of your hands (in a sliding motion) to create smaller pieces of butter.
You want to have a good mix of big chunks, half walnut size and smaller pea sized pieces.
TIP: For flakier crust, you'll want more large chunks of butter. On the other hand, if you're planning to make some intricate designs with the pie crust, you'll want more of the smaller pieces of butter.
Add water: make a well in the middle of the flour/butter mixture and add all but 2 tablespoons of ice water. Use your fingers to toss the flour and water together quickly and continue doing so until everything is evenly moistened.
Do not knead; this will lead to a tough crust.
Press a handful of dough in your hand, and if it clumps together, do not add any more water. If the dough is still crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and toss the dough together until it's evenly incorporated after each addition before checking if it clumps, and/or adding more water.
Do not overwork the dough; the pie crust will come out tough and heavy. Use only tossing and pressing together motions to mix everything, not kneading or bending of the dough.
Bring the pie crust dough together: turn over the dough onto a clean working surface and press with both hands into a mount. Keep pressing and smooshing it together until a dough comes together. If the dough stays crumbly, add just a bit more water, or wet your fingertips and moisten the dryer areas.
If a small area of the dough stays dry and doesn't want to clump up, instead of adding water to the whole dough, sprinkle a tiny amount of water just on that dry patch and then press it back into the rest of the dough.
Divide and refrigerate: Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces and form a 6-inch round disk with each. Wrap the pie crust disks with plasticc.
Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or up to 2 days. The flour will be hydrated by the liquid; the gluten will relax and create a dough that is easy to roll out.
Work with 1 pie crust at a time. Keep the other one in the fridge.
Remove it from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes to make it easier to roll out, or go around the disk with your hands to make it more malleable.
If left out for too long, the dough will stick much more when rolling it out. In that case, pop it back in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then resume.
Flour it: dust a clean working surface lightly with flour. Set the dough disk in the center and move it around a bit to coat the bottom of the dough with flour. Now flip the disk and repeat by moving the dough in the flour to cover the bottom again.
Roll the pie dough: Now place the rolling pin in the middle of the dough and press gently as you roll it back and forth, rotating the dough to keep the shape round and the bottom from sticking.
Add more flour if needed, but don't add too much.
If the edges break or crumble, use your fingers to smooth them back into an evenly rounded circle.
If your pie dish is 9 inches round, you'll want to roll your dough to about 12 inches. If you have a 12-inch skillet lid, it's perfect for measuring and cutting a perfect circle before transferring to the pie plate. If not it's okay.
Roll it to be slightly larger than the pie dish. You'll want about 1 inch of overhang when the pie dough is placed inside the plate, so keep that in mind.
Set the rolling pin at the far end of the pie crust. Wrap the end of the pie crust around the rolling pin and gently roll it towards yourself. Now, place the pie plate behind the rolling pin with the rolled dough.
Gently lift the rolling pin with the dough and unroll the dough directly over the plate, centering the dough over the pie dish.
Press the dough into the plate by pressing with your fingers, especially into the corners of the dish.
Fold the overhang of the pie crust under itself creating a neat edge. Press it into the edge of the pie dish (this is one of the tricks to keep the crust from shrinking down the side as it bakes).
Form a v shape with the thumb and index finger of one hand and use the side of the tip of the index finger of the other hand.
Press the dough with your index finger towards the inside of V-shaped fingers. Press the dough not only towards both sets of fingers, but also down into the pie plate. This will prevent it from sliding down as the pie bakes.
Go around the edge of the pie plate and repeat the pattern to create a beautiful fluted edge.
Refrigerate the pie (covered, if for more than 20-30 min) while you make the filling and preheat the oven.
Tips for baking:
To prevent a soggy bottom crust, preheat the oven with the pizza stone. Then, bake it directly on the pizza stone. The direct heat from the stone will create a beautifully crispy/flaky bottom crust.
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