Several pie crust recipes - an all butter pie crust, or pate brisee, an all butter crust with almonds, combining butter and shortening crust, and how to pre-bake or blind-bake a pie crust.
One of the secrets to a
flaky pie crust is to work with very cold butter. Cut the butter into
cubes and freeze, at least 15 minutes, best over an hour or even
overnight. The minute I even think I might want to make a pie, the first
thing I do is cut some butter into cubes and put it in the freezer.
Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
All Butter Crust for Sweet and Savory Pies (Pâte Brisée)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 Tbsp ice water
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor;
pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture
resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1
Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If
you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready.
If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and pulse
again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.
Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. If
you want an extra flaky crust, shmoosh the dough mixture into the table
top with the heel of the palm of your hand a few times. This will help
flatten the butter into layers between the flour which will help the
resulting crust be flaky. You can easily skip this step if you want.
Gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Work the dough just
enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see
little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of
butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a
little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and
refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
3 Remove one crust
disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes
in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll
out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle;
about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the
dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few
sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking.
Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down
so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of
kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the
4 Add filling to the pie.
5 Roll out second disk of
dough, as before. Gently place onto the top of the filling
in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim
excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the
edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom
piece of dough, pressing together. Flute edges using thumb and
forefinger or press with a fork. Score the top of the pie with four
2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape.