This is the most foolproof pie crust recipe I've ever used! I make this pie crust in a food processor - it makes it amazingly easy and it always comes out perfect. Pie crust in under ten minutes is amazing. :D
If you don't have a food processor, you can always make this recipe using a pastry cutter to blend the butter/lard/shortening into the flour - it'll just take a little longer. Check out my bacon fat pie crust instructable for more information about making pie crust by hand.
This pie crust recipe is great for both sweet and savory pies! It's really flaky and has loads of flavor.
This recipe will net you two pie crusts - so enough for one double crust pie or two single crust pies. :)
Original recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, web link here.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups flour (measure this by spooning flour into the measuring cup and leveling off the top)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional - only add if you're making a sweet pie!)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chilled or frozen butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup shortening, lard, or tallow, frozen
- 6 tablespoons ice water
When I documented this, I used 1/2 cup frozen beef tallow and 1/2 cup Earth Balance frozen baking margarine.
Important notes about ingredients and tools:
- I always put my fats into the freezer at least 20 minutes before I start. This will help get them nice and cold! If the fats are not cold enough, the pie crust will turn out oily and heavy. You can even pre-measure the fats and just chuck them in the freezer for when you need them. :D
- You need either butter OR lard/tallow in here as far as I'm concerned. Vegetable shortening on its own just doesn't have enough flavor. I have successfully substituted the butter with Earth Balance sticks, though!
- If you're using a fat that does not come in stick form, pack it down into a 1/2 cup dry measure and chill. Use a paring knife to cut it into smaller pieces once chilled/frozen and a spoon to scoop it out.
- I'm using a 7 cup Cuisinart food processor - I think anything over 4 cups capacity should work here.
- If you're making this pie crust by hand, I recommend chilling your pastry cutter as well as the fats in the freezer.
Step 2: Combine the Flour, Salt and Sugar
Food processor: Combine the flour, salt, and sugar (if for a sweet pie) in the bowl of the food processor and pulse a couple times until well combined.
By hand: Combine the flour, salt, and sugar (if for a sweet pie) in a large bowl and mix well with a fork.
Step 3: Cut Up the Fat and Add It on Top
Cut your fats into 1/2 inch cubes or so, and place on top of the flour. Try to work as fast as possible to keep the fat from melting.
Food processor: Once the fat is in the bowl, pulse the flour/fat mix 8-10 times or until the fat is cut well into the flour. The mix should look crumbly and uniform. If you see any HUGE pieces of fat, pulse again.
By hand: Use the pastry cutter to press down on the fats and cut them into the flour. Keep scraping down the sides and pressing into the center - try to keep the fat and flour moving constantly for even results. Keep going until you have no large pieces of fat left and the mix is nice and crumbly.
Don't get tempted to use your hands here - chances are you'll warm up the fat too much!
Step 4: Add in the Water
Before you start, make sure you're using cold water from the tap with several ice cubes in it. :D
Food processor: Add in the six tablespoons of ice water one at a time, and do a super fast pulse after each one.
By hand: Add the six tablespoons of ice water at one time - use a rubber spatula to mix it all together.
When you're done, this mix should be clumping together and easy to handle. It'll be a little dry, but will press together and stay that way if you apply pressure with your hands.
Step 5: Prepping and Chilling the Pie Crust
Flour a clean work surface lightly and turn out the pie crust mix onto it. Form this gently into a log of sorts - try to eyeball it and make it as even in size as possible.
Cut the log into halves, roll the halves quickly into balls and then press them flat. Wrap each disc of crust in plastic wrap.
Chill the pie crust for at least 1 hour. You can make it up to three days ahead as well - just store it in the fridge!
Step 6: Rolling Out and Cooking the Pie Crust
This pie crust can be a little crumbly, so I suggest taking it out of the fridge about 10-15 minutes before you want to roll it out. If it's too cold, it will crack quite a bit around the edges as you roll it out.
I normally roll out the crust on a piece of wax paper with a little flour on it. I cover the crust with a sheet of plastic wrap to keep it from sticking to the pin. When it's the right size, I flip the whole thing over so the plastic wrap is on the bottom and the wax paper is on top. Carefully peel off the wax paper, and then use the plastic wrap to transfer the crust easily to the pie pan.
I normally do an egg wash on top of this crust, as well as sprinkling a little sugar on the top if it's a sweet pie I'm making. :)
This pie crust bakes really well at 375 F / 190 C OR 400 F / 205 C, but I'm sure it will work for recipes at different temperatures too. It's a good one! Let me know if you've made it in the comments below - I'd love to hear how it turns out!