We are quickly approaching pie season! And every pie is as only as good as its crust so today I’m sharing my favorite easy, no fail Homemade Pie Crust Recipe with step by step photos, tips and tricks so even if you have never made homemade pie crust before, yours will turn out beautifully buttery, tender, flaky and delicious! And if you have never made pie crust before, let me assure you it really is “easy as (eating) pie!”
Hello Fall and Hello Pies! In less than a month, everyone will be gathering around/drooling over a Thanksgiving spread of pies. What a beautiful site. I love that many pie recipes can be made ahead of time so pie making can truly be stress free, if you have the right pie crust recipe in your back pocket. There are different schools of thought as to use all butter or all shortening in pie crust recipe. All butter crusts are delicious but they are not as flaky as those made with shortening. Shortening crusts, on the other hand, have wonderful texture but lack in flavor BUT when you use BOTH butter and shortening you have both flavor and texture – AKA the perfect pie crust in your back pocket!
So let’s get started!
How to Make Perfect Pie Crust Every Time
First, place shortening in the refrigerator and fill a glass with ice water and refrigerate. Next, chop your butter into 1/4“ pieces and refrigerate.
It is important that our shortening, butter and water are very cold because keeping the fat cold until it enters the oven is what ensures a flaky crust as opposed to a crunchy one. According to Baking Illustrated, as the fat pellets melt during baking, steam is produced which creates pockets in the dough resulting in flaky layers – so we need our fat to not melt before the oven.
Next, place flour, sugar and salt in food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix (or mix by hand in a large bowl).
Add COLD shortening and COLD butter. Pulse 8-10 times, until the mixture like coarse crumbs and the butter is about the size of peas, with a few larger pieces scattered throughout. (If mixing by hand, cut in butter with two forks or a pastry cutter.)
Measure out ¼ cup ice water from your chilled water and pour the ice water down the feed tube while it’s running then pulse until the dough is moistened and sticks together. (If mixing by hand, us a spatula to fold the water into the dough)
Dump dough out onto parchment paper and press together until it sticks together into a ball, adding an additional teaspoon water at a time (up to one tablespoon) if dough will not come together. You want the dough to be moist but not wet. You only want to use additional water if the dough is not coming together because extra water means a less tender dough. You also want to work the dough AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE or you will get a crumbly rather than flaky dough.
Press dough into an even disc, about 8” around (it does not need to be perfect). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 2 days (best if overnight).
Line a counter with parchment paper, at least 16” wide. We want to use parchment as opposed to a floured surface because adding flour to the surface will be absorbed by the dough and too much four will cause the dough to be tough.
Add dough to the center of your parchment and place another piece of parchment on top. Roll dough out onto parchment paper, rolling from the center to the edge, to form a 12” circle (for a 9” crust).
Remove top piece of parchment. Place your dominant hand under the dough and hold the pie plate with your other hand on top. Quickly flip the pie plate over in order to place the dough into the pie pan, parchment side up.
Before removing parchment, press dough evenly into the pie pan – its much easier to do this before removing the parchment because it keeps your hands from sticking. Remove parchment and smooth dough up the sides of pie pan. Cut off any overhanging dough around the edges.
Finally, flute the edges or create whatever edge design you prefer. Cover the pie with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes. This refrigeration helps firm up the dough and prevent the dough from shrinking when baked.
When ready to bake, I cover the edges for about 30 minutes of the baking time because pie edges bake more quickly than the rest of the pie and can burn easily.
Proceed to bake according to your recipe directions.
Then proceed to eat flaky, tender buttery crusted pie!
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