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October 19, 2011

The Easy Way To Make The Perfect Pie Crust

I've never been able to make a good pie crust... until now. I finally had one turn out correctly, tender and flaky, and just right. The secret? I used a food processor! I never would have thought it, but a food processor works wonders when it comes to pie crust. It does all the work for you, all you have to do is add the ingredients, turn the machine on, chill the dough, and there you have it, the perfect pie crust.

Easy Pie Crust

It's easy!

Pie crust is one of those things that intimidates a lot of people.
But you don't have to be afraid any more. Using a food processor takes all the work out of it, and helps you make a buttery and tender crust, that far surpasses any store-bought crust out there. Of course there are a few techniques you'll need to follow, but it's easy, I promise.


Easy Homemade Pie Crust

Use Cold Ingredients.

Besides using a food processor, another tip to ensure a successful pie crust is using cold ingredients. The butter needs to be right out of the refrigerator cold, and the water ice cold. Why? Because those still-intact pieces of cold butter will melt and steam and burst while the crust is baking, creating little air pockets that yield the flakiness we all like in our pie crust. That doesn’t happen if all of your butter has already melted into the dough before it even makes it to the oven.

Easy and Perfect Pie Crust


Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 - 4 tablespoons ice water

Directions

In a food processor, pulse flour and salt several times to combine.
Add butter and pulse several times, JUST until the butter is processed into pea-sized pieces. Do not over-process.
Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse just until dough begins to clump together, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add the additional ice water as necessary, a tablespoon at a time. Small butter pieces should still be visible in the dough. Again, do not over-process.
Remove dough from bowl and form into a disc about one inch thick. (Work quickly and handle the dough as little as possible with your hands. You don't want to melt any of that butter from the heat of your hands). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Unwrap the dough and place on a large piece of floured waxed paper. Allow it to warm up for a couple of minutes, to soften a bit and make rolling it out easier. Don't wait more than 2 - 3 minutes, you want the dough to stay cold. Roll dough into a round shape with a floured rolling pin, at least one inch bigger around then your pie pan. If the edges start to split, just pinch them together with your fingers.
Using the wax paper, lift and wrap dough around the rolling pin, removing the paper.
Carefully unroll dough over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate.
Fold overhang under itself and pinch between thumb and forefinger to flute the dough around the rim, or crimp with a fork.

Makes 1 - 9 inch pie crust.

To Pre-Bake the Pie Crust

For recipes such as no-bake cheesecakes, or a pudding pie.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line the pie crust with parchment paper, or buttered aluminum foil. Fill about 3/4 full with pie weights. (Dry beans or rice may be used).
Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven. Allow to cool a few minutes, then carefully remove pie weights.
Poke holes in the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and return to the oven (without the weights) and bake for another 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Cool completely before filling.

Notes:

*Make sure your water is ice-cold, and the butter is right out of the refrigerator cold. Add a couple cubes of ice to the water as your gathering your ingredients together, and once you cut the butter into pieces, place it back into the refrigerator to get cold again. I've even stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes to get it really cold.

*Don't over-process the dough! You want to pulse it in the food processor JUST until the dough holds together. Remember, we want those pieces of butter to be about the size of peas.

*This pie dough freezes great! Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use, remove it from the freezer a day or two before you plan it use it, and allow to defrost in the refrigerator.


What's your favorite type of pie?


Have you tried one of my recipes?


I’d love to see what you've made! Take a picture and use the hashtag #myhomesteadrecipe on Instagram or Facebook. I may feature it on social media!


8 comments:

  1. I have zero talent as a baker but I think I could follow these steps to make my own pie crust.

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    1. Trust me Susanne, if I can do it, ANY-one can! :)

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  2. I've never used the food processed for my pie crust. I always do make them like my Grandmother taught me but this looks so easy. I'm going to give it a try but don't tell anyone - my Dodie would turn over in her grave....

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    Replies
    1. Awww :) I understand how you feel about keeping traditions, but I'm all for making things easier on myself in the kitchen too!

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  3. My American grandmother was the queen of making pies (in my eyes anyway). I find myself to be a pie crust failure. I have luck and then I don't. I will have to give this recipe a try.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you'll give it a try. Using this method was the first time I ever had a pie crust turn out successful, and it hasn't failed me since.

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  4. I have never made my own pie crust! The whole process always seems to intimate me. Thanks for the tutorial! I am going to try it!

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    Replies
    1. I hear ya, it used to scare me too. But this method has been fail-proof for me so far. (5 years and counting!)

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