A homemade pie crust is an essential recipe to conquer for the at-home baker and can be used many dishes far beyond those sweet in nature. But, first, let’s cover the basics to ensure smooth and easy sailing along the way.
HOW TO MAKE A GOOD PIE CRUST
A good pie crust requires two essential key elements: (1) Don’t overwork the dough, (2) use only ice-cold fats, and (3) allow the dough to chill completely before rolling.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PIE CRUST
To make a homemade pie crust, you could work solely by hand, enlisting the use of a pastry blender, or allow the food processor to do the brunt of the work for you. One requires a touch more elbow grease and the other a little more clean up. Your call. If you using the pastry blender method, I would suggest investing in a pastry blender that has thick, sturdy blades and this will cut back on your workload significantly.
As mentioned above, perfect pie crust begins with cold fats, finely diced so that they may easily be worked into the flour mixture. Rising agents are not required for pastry doughs, so the dry ingredient mix is fairly simple: Flour, salt, and sugar (but, only if making a sweet dish). Once the dry ingredients are mixed, you would cut in the fats via the pastry blender or the blade of the food processor. Water is stirred in to bind it all together, and a brief bit of kneading may be required to bring the dough completely together.
ALLOW THE DOUGH TO CHILL
Allowing the dough to chill is also of great importance, and this will make it much easier to work with. Part of what makes this crust so scrumptious is the fats to dry ingredients ratio. I know, the word “fats” doesn’t make us want to jump for joy! But as they say, everything in moderation. I’ve found that a higher ratio of fats in a pie crust makes it easier to roll out, however, only if it is properly chilled! Therefore, you must chill this dough for at least 2 hours. Otherwise, it will be sticky, and difficult to work with.
This is an easy pie crust recipe, that is guaranteed to yield delicious results. Please, enjoy!
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes
- 8 tablespoons cold shortening cut into tiny cubes
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar omit for savory dishes
- 1/2 cup of ice-cold water
Place butter and shortening cubes in the freezer temporarily to harden.
Add flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse until evenly incorporated. Add the butter and shortening cubes, a few pieces at a time with the motor running, until all fats are incorporated and pea-sized clumps begin to form. Slowly drizzle in a ½ cup of water, pulsing all the while.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and knead until the mixture comes together. Alternatively, use a pastry blender and a large mixing bowl to cut in the fats, and sturdy wooden spoon to stir in the water.
Cut the dough ball in half using a knife or a pastry cutter, and form into two flattened round disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until chilled through, at least 2 hours.
Dough will be sticky if not properly chilled. Makes two 12” dough rounds.
Use this crust for: