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Easy, Homemade, Flaky, and Buttery Pie Crust

Easy, Homemade, Flaky, and Buttery Pie Crust  The name says it all, doesn’t it? You simply cannot beat the flavor and texture of a homemade pie crust, regardless of what kind of pie you are baking!

Homemade pie crust

Easy, Homemade, Flaky, and Buttery Pie Crust

Homemade pie crusts are often seen as difficult to perfect and not worth the effort when you can simply buy pre-made crusts, but mastering your pie crusts is easier than you think! 

My version features a rich, buttery, and flaky crust that comes together in a little time. Follow this recipe, and you won’t be able to go back to store-bought pie crusts again!

Pie Crust Everywhere

Obviously, there are so many pie crusts on the web that I almost don’t want to add mine to the list. But I know most people are still yet to settle on a favorite. So here goes my reliable and forgiving pie crust recipe. Who knows? This can soon become your favorite!

This pie crust can be made with or without a food processor; no matter how you choose to make it, the recipe is still easy, the dough is easy to roll out, and the crust is wonderfully flaky.

Double-Crust Pie Crust Recipe

This recipe makes two crusts, enough for a double-crust pie or two single-crust pies. If you need a single pie crust recipe, simply divide the recipe in two.

Making a Flaky Pie dough with a food processor

A well-made pie crust is firm and crisp; at the same time, it’s tender, light, and flaky.

  • Be sure the butter is really cold; preferably, freeze the butter for at least 15 minutes before cutting it into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, your fingers, or a food processor. Mix quickly, and don’t overmix. If the dough is overmixed, it will result in a soft, greasy paste, producing a dense shortbread-like texture pie crust.
  • The food processor is fast and efficient, that is why I like using it. However, care needs to be taken in order not to over-process the dough. 
  • It’s best to use 1 to 2 seconds pulses rather than leaving the food processor to run. Process the mixture until the butter chunks have been reduced into tiny pieces. At this point, you can start introducing the water gradually. 
  • Continue to pulse (1 to 2 seconds at a time) until the dough begins to come together with no dry patches remaining.

Pie crust without Food processor

It’s very easy to make the pie dough without a food processor.

  • Start by rubbing the cold butter between your fingers with the flour and salt until the mixture looks like sand with some bigger pea-size bits. 
  • Add the cold water (a tablespoon at a time) to hold the dough together until the dough begins to come together without any dry patches remaining.

The fat – Butter or Shortening?

The pie is made tender by the addition of fat. The addition of enough fat prevents gluten from developing and helps to create the flaky effect. 

The question from most people is whether to use butter or shortening? Now let’s talk about the two:

  1. Shortening: Vegetable shortening traps more air bubbles so it disperses easily in flour. It’s very easy to work with, and it has a tenderizing effect, which helps to tenderize the crust giving it a lighter texture. Despite all these good qualities, shortening lacks flavor, so it is often used alongside butter when called for in recipes.
  2. Butter: Butter contains 80 percent fat and 20 percent water, so as the crust bakes, the water is converted into steam which will help the crust to turn out flaky with a rich buttery flavor. I will always choose butter over shortening. However, if you like the best of both worlds, you can use a combination of butter and shortening.

The Liquid-Water

The water helps to bind the dough. You need just enough water to bind the dough and make the water ice cold!. If too much water is added, it will cause the gluten to develop, and this will, in turn, result in a chewy bread-like texture. Also, too little water will prevent the dough from holding together. 

Blind Baking

Blind baking simply means partially, or completely, baking the pie crust before adding the fillingThe baked crust and then be re-baked with an uncooked filling or fill it up with cooked filling and serve.

Blind baking helps the crust to stay firm because the moisture in some filling can make the crust soggy before it has time to bake.

How to Blind Bake

  • To blind bake, fit the rolled-out pastry inside the pie pan and crimp the edges.
  • Cover the crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This will allow the dough to relax, which will help prevent it from shrinking in the oven. If you don’t have enough time to place the dough in the refrigerator, simply roll the pie a little wider than the pan to give allowance for shrinkage.
  • Prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork allows steam to escape and prevent air pockets from forming on the bottom of the crust.
  • Line the crust with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill it up with pie weights or dried beans.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for at least 20 minutes to par-bake. Remove the weight and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes if you want to fully cook the pie.
  • Leave to cool to room temperature before filling.

How long to make Easy, Homemade, Flaky, and Buttery Pie Crust?

This recipe takes around 1 hour to complete.

How is pie crust made?

It can be a little weird to think of how pie crust is created if you’ve never made it! In the end, it’s just like other baking—sugar, butter, flour, and liquid.

Can pie crust be frozen?

Yes, and this is still better than the store-bought crust, though it will certainly be best if used soon after making it! It will be good for up to one month after freezing.

When to pre-bake pie crust?

If a recipe calls for pre-baked crusts, you need only allow enough time to make the crust and give it time to cool on the counter before baking it the rest of the way with the filling.

Why pie crust cracks or crumbles?

The most common issue you’ll find with pie crust is cracking or crumbling. This is, unsurprisingly, due to dryness. Simply adding a little water (specifically ice-cold water) will help the cohesiveness of the pie crust.

Notes:

  1. If the dough is getting warm, it’s best to chill it for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.
  2. If the dough stays longer than 30 minutes, allow it to warm up a bit at room temperature for about 10 or until it rolls easily.
  3. Be sure to add the cold water a little at a time. If there are dry spots, add a bit more water until the dough holds together without crumbling.
  4. All butter crusts tend to shrink during baking. To reduce this tendency, after placing the pie dough inside the baking dish, and keep it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before baking.
Homemade pie crust

Easy, Homemade, Flaky and Buttery Pie Crust

Easy, Homemade, Flaky and Buttery Pie Crust — The name says it all, doesn’t it? You simply cannot beat the flavor and texture of a homemade pie crust, regardless of what kind of pie you are baking!
5 from 2 votes
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Servings: 2 Pies
Calories: 1031kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 150 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes – 2 sticks
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons ice water as needed

Instructions

  • Put the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor, pulse together until the butter chunks have been reduced into tiny pieces with lots of pea-size chunks.
  • Gradually add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. The dough should hold together without crumbling.
  • Turn the contents of the mixer bowl onto a sheet of Saran Wrap; gather the dough into a ball, and divide it in half.
  • Use the heel of your hand to form the dough into a flattened disk and roll it out into a circle with a rolling pin.
  • Use immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Notes

  1. If the dough is getting warm, it’s best to chill it for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.
  2. If the dough stays longer than 30 minutes, allow it to warm up a bit at room temperature for about 10 or until it rolls easily.
  3. Be sure to add the cold water a little at a time. If there are dry spots, add a bit more water until the dough holds together without crumbling.
  4. All butter crusts tend to shrink during baking. To reduce this tendency, after placing the pie dough inside the baking dish, and keep it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 1031kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 91g | Saturated Fat: 58g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 596mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2799IU | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg

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