The best pie crust, in my humble (pie) opinion, is this all-butter pie crust which I have tweaked over the years. It has a great flavour, is flaky and doesn’t leave the roof of your mouth feeling greasy as shortening based crusts tend to do. Plus, I just don’t like shortening. 😛
Gabi’s Best Pie Crust
- 2-1/2 cups unbleached All Purpose wheat flour
- 1 cup cold, cold butter, salted or unsalted as you have on hand and cut into small bits
- large pinch of salt if using unsalted butter, smaller if using salted
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, can omit if making a savoury pie
- 1/2 cup of iced water (a bit more or less as humidity requires)
That’s it. If using a food processor, place the flour, salt and sugar into the work bowl fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse until only a few pea sized bits of butter coated with the flour mixture remain. It should look like coarse sand or cornmeal. Place a few ice cubes into a 1 cup liquid measuring cup and add cold water, let sit for a minute then remove the ice cubes and pour off all but 1/2 cup of the water. Add to the processor whilst pulsing, add just enough for the dough to become a bit moist and start to clump together. Remove the top of the processor bowl and dump the bowl onto a square of cling film (plastic wrap) on your counter or work surface. Use the cling film to gather the crumbly, shaggy dough together into a uniform shape so you can divide it in half. Cut in half with a bench knife or something not too sharp, taking care to not cut through the cling film. Put half of the dough onto another square of cling film and gently shape each half into a disk on its own piece of cling film. Wrap securely and chill until ready to use- or at least a half hour. Can be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated or frozen for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling out, if frozen. Roll while chilled out, let it sit for no more than 5 minutes out of the fridge before rolling, to about an 1/8″ inch (3mm) thickness. Makes enough for 1 double crust or two single crust pies. This recipe can be doubled easily.
If you don’t have a food processor, or just prefer to make it by hand, mix the flour, salt and sugar together, then cut or rub in the butter to the flour mixture using cold hands or two table knives. Add the iced water bit by bit until the dough starts to come together and proceed as above.
You can line a pie plate simply or decorate with a lattice, cut out leaves or a crimp. Rick made the beautiful lattice pictured first for his Thanksgiving Apple Pie this year. I love a man who can make a beautiful pie, don’t you?
This crust likes an initial blast of heat and then a reduction depending on the filling or whether it is being baked “blind”, something like 400F to start for 10 minutes and then reduced to 350F to 325F for the duration of a filled pie. I like to paint the top or rim with an egg wash of a beaten egg mixed with some cream to make it golden and shiny.
Next time I post I’ll give you the recipes for my new favourite Pecan Pie and Pumpkin and Apple Pies as well so we’ll all be set for the upcoming Holidaze!