How to Make a Pie Crust for the Holiday Season

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About: Hey y'all! My name is Lydia and I'm a total foodie/organize/clean/lifestyle freak! I want to share my passion for these things with everyone out there!

Hey guys! We all need easy and basic recipes in the kitchen and pie crust is always a staple in my opinion. Of course you can always go to the store and buy one but you can just as easily make one and I want to show you how. My recipe is easy and will yield two 9" pie crusts. This is a simple and quick addition to any kitchen and should prove to be very useful this holiday season. Follow the step by step guide below or watch the video tutorial to make your own simple pie crust!

Step 1: Ingredients & Tools

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ C All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ t Salt
  • 1 C Unsalted Butter (frozen and cut into cubes)
  • ½ C Ice Water

Tools

Step 2: Add Flour to Food Processor

In a food processor add in four and salt and pulse until combine.

Step 3: Add Butter and Mix

Add in frozen butter and mix until it resembles coarse meal.

Step 4: Add Water (Slowly)

Add in the iced water one tablespoon at a time and until mixture forms into a ball. It is a bit redundant and takes a few minutes, but if you add too much water it will shrink the pie crust too much. You just want to add enough water until it comes together into a ball and it you will have the perfect pie crust.

Step 5: Divide the Dough

Divide the dough into two pieces (this recipe makes (2) 9 inch pie crusts)

Step 6: Wrap and Flatten

Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and press gently to form a flat disk. At this point the pie crust is finished, you can place the pie crust in the freezer for later use or refrigerate for at least an hour before use.

Step 7: Form

When you're ready to use the pie crust simply roll it out and add it to a pie tin. Crimp the edges for a perfect pie crust look.

Step 8: Video Tutorial

If you prefer a video tutorial you can watch it here!

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    15 Discussions

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    FlorinJ

    1 day ago

    A simple recipe I use: three parts flour, two parts butter, one part sugar (by weight), plus one whole egg for each 100g (that's about one large egg for every cup of flower), plus an additional egg yolk for each whole egg. For improved flavor, the seeds of half a vanilla pod can be added for each two cups of flour, plus some grated lemon zest. Spare the egg white of the egg yolk, you'll need it.

    Ideally, knead everything very fast, and start preparation with all ingredients freshly taken out of the fridge. Then, after kneading, put the dough back into the fridge for half an hour or so, before rolling.

    While in the initial phase of kneading, you might fear that all the dough will remain stuck on your hands. Just go ahead with the kneading, after a few minutes the dough becomes almost completely non-sticky (except to the working surface - use a silicone mat or a well waxed wooden surface - beeswax-waxed, I mean; never used a granite or marble surface for kneading, can't tell how these behave). As soon as the dough no longer sticks to your hands, it's ready for refrigerating - it doesn't do it good to over-knead it, it will become somewhat sticky again during rolling if over-kneaded.

    300g flour (that's about 2 cups) plus the corresponding other ingredients will yield a crust of about the same size - 22 cm, which is slightly less than 9" (about 8 3/4").

    What's important: baking. Roll large enough disks, put them in the pie tin, make holes with a fork as depicted above - and then there's a difference. Cut a round piece of baking paper, as large as the pie crust without the margins, spread it on top of the un-backed crust, and put something heavy on it - I use pebbles, but dry beans are also usable. Bake it for 10 minutes or so, on medium heat, until it starts to color on the edges, take it out, lift the paper with the pebbles/beans and put it away. Use a brush to paint the whole surface thoroughly with the beaten (not foamy, just liquid) spared egg white, bake it a few more minutes, until the whole surface is lightly colored - not brown! Without the weight on top of the crust during the initial baking, the crust would swelll and become completely uneven, in spite of the fork holes - the butter melts during the initial baking, making the whole dough extremely soft, and as soon as it fluffs up just a bit the holes shut close, and the expanding air and released humidity between the dough and the bottom of the tin has nowhere to go. The egg white on the bottom somewhat helps with the crust not becoming soggy after the filling is added. A better help, however, is to use really-really heavy cream in the next step - one that's really fat, instead of being thickened with various thickening agents. (Don't worry about cholesterol, fat from milk is good cholesterol, and you won't eat a whole pie alone anyway.)

    Filling: very easy too. And completely eyeballed quantities. Some double or triple cream, mixed with the seeds of the other half of the vanilla pod you possibly added to the crust, one more egg and some sugar to taste (any kind of sugar - that's what to taste is supposed to mean), beaten up until there's no more sugar. I usually also add the meat of 1-2 passion fruits plus the juice of half a lemon, for flavor. Don't use a high speed mixer, do it by hand, or else you risk turning the cream into butter. Plus, you want the mixture to stay runny, not become foamy. Some really-really ripe fruit - halved apricots, seedless grapes, sliced apples, whatever - uniformly spread in a thin layer (but not very thin - 1/2" or somewhat more than 1 cm is quite OK) of the crust, the cream mixture spread on top until the fruit is almost submerged, looking like small islands, in case of grapes or halved apricots, then baked on medium heat until the cream curdles and turns slightly yellow.

    3 replies

    Hi Florin, Wow! Thank you for that very descriptive information!!! I love the idea of baking it and using the thick heavy cream..I will give your tips a shot on the next time around and see how it all turns out! Really appreciate you taking the time to give me all this information. Thanks a lot! Happy Holidays!

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    FlorinJModernFarmhouseKitchen

    Reply 19 hours ago

    :-) Noting to thank for. Medic told me to loose weight (which I mostly did), so for a little while longer no baking for me. For the time being, I'll take any occasion to remember a tasty recipe - you know, like window shopping when you're out of money and don't have much else to do :-D

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    ModernFarmhouseKitchenFlorinJ

    Reply 17 hours ago

    Well congrats on loosing the weight that's great! Yeah baking too many goodies can be dangerous haha... I don't blame you for window-shopping though :-)

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    ToolboxGuy

    Tip 2 days ago

    To keep your apples from browning so quickly, a bit of lemon juice will help prevent it.

    1 reply
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    davis50001

    Question 2 days ago on Step 8

    Hi Lydia, Good job on your instructable! Have you tried leaf lard for making pie crust? If you have do you have a recipe? I read online it makes the perfect crust, but haven't found a recipe. Thanks for your time............Larry

    1 more answer

    I have not tried that, to be honest I haven't heard of using leaf lard in pie, I will have to look into that I'm sure it would add some great texture to the crust...I'll look into it and see what I can find then get back to you. Thanks!

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    Kink Jarfold

    9 days ago on Step 8

    Once again, Lydia, and excellent Instructable. I usually bake a few apple pies for the holidays. my secret crust is Pillsbury Double Deep Pie Crusts. I fill one with the ingredients and plop the second on top, fork hole it, and brush with egg white. --Kink--

    3 replies

    Thanks Kink. This will knock the socks of of Pillsbury :-) Not to bad though I guess it will only take you about 5 mins of prep time that way haha. Let's see the instructable, or better yet youtube tutorial, I'm waiting for you on youtube I know you can do it :-)

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    Kink JarfoldKink Jarfold

    Reply 2 days ago

    Let me just say this about your Punkin (sic) Pie recipe: Wow!. So light. I gave Wifey a forkful with a dollup of Reddi Wip®. She told me it was awful and that I shouldn't eat it and to leave it all for her and she'd force herself to finish it so it wouldn't go to waste. --Kink--

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    Phil B

    9 days ago

    Some years ago I was working out of our house and my wife was gone during the day. Thanksgiving guests were coming in a few days. My wife asked if I could make some pies. I had never made pie crust, but we had an old basic Betty Crocker cookbook for kids. I very precisely measured everything. I even sifted the flour by hand.
    Our guests arrived and everyone took a piece of pie after the meal. My wife took a bite of hers before I was ready for mine. She got a strange look on her face. I wondered if I had used baking soda instead of baking powder or salt in place of sugar. Later I learned my crust was better than any she had ever made in her years in the kitchen. It also helped a lot that Butter Flavored Crisco had just come onto the market and I used it.

    2 replies
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    Wow what an awesome story :-) Yeah I live by what I call the 90/90 rule, I can make anything 90% better and 90% cheaper than ordering out or premade. And I really believe this applies to anyone who is willing to take the chance and do some homemade cooking/baking and overcome the fear, as your story has proven :-) Thank you for sharing and Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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    Thank you. I have never called it the 90/90 rule, but, have lived by something very similar. I now have 357 posted Instructsbles, most of which describe solving what could have been an expensive problem, but I found a way to resolve it simply and inexpensively. Within the last three weeks our fairly new microwave stopped heating, even though it ran. With a lot of help from videos at YouTube, I did home tests on the major components, and all seemed to indicate no defects. As I assembled things again, I used a pair of pliers to crimp and tighten the slip on spade connectors a little. Now it runs and heats just fine. I doubt any repairman was going to tweak connections very patiently, but would have thrown a new part or two at it, and then replaced it with a new one on a later visit. (Before you tear into your microwave, be aware there is a large capacitor inside that needs to be discharged or it can kill.) A blessed Thanksgiving to you.