PERFECT PIE CRUST
Thanksgiving is all about pies. Pecan pies, sweet potato pies (not pumpkin pies in my family), chess pies and so many more are front and center on our holiday dessert table. The foundation of any incredible pie is the crust. You simply don’t have a great pie without a flaky, buttery, melt in your mouth crust. You need my perfect pie crust recipe to make the best pies you and all your holiday guests have ever tasted!
PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS
This is the perfect pie crust recipe to end all pie crusts, and it only has a few ingredients. It is all butter. For years, I went back and forth between all butter and a mix of butter and shortening. I still do waver occasionally however this one is all butter, and I really like the texture and flakiness of it. More than that, the flavor is undeniable.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT PIE CRUST
To make a perfect pie crust recipe, you must have super cold ingredients. Incredible pie dough requires cold everything. Cold butter, cold water, cold hands. This will ensure that your pie crust is very flaky. The air pockets that the cold crumbs of butter form in the flour are irresistible when it interacts with the heat of the oven. If you sense the butter is getting warm, it’s time to place that bowl in the fridge and let it cool back down. Because it can be warmer in our homes around this time of year due to weather changes (or in the summertime if you are making delicious pies then), be very cognizant of how your pie dough is doing. That’s why I always stick the pie dough in the fridge for a bit for it to relax and cool back down.
I know there are tons of recipes that call for a food processor but I love using my good ole pastry cutter or two forks. I like to have different sizes of butter throughout. The food processor can sometimes create butter pieces that are too small. Also you definitely feel like you are more in the pie making process when you get your hands a bit dirty. I can’t imagine what my big mama would think if I pulled out a food processor for pie dough. I love a little bit of hustle in the kitchen. It makes me feel like I am doing something.
WHY MAKE HOMEMADE PIE CRUST?
Lastly, I know that this time of year can mean that it makes more sense to short change and cut down on additional work in the kitchen. I get it! Refrigerated pie dough from the grocery store can be your best friend in a pinch. However making homemade pie crust isn’t difficult and isn’t as time consuming as one may think. And there is absolutely nothing like it when it comes to taste. So give this Perfect Pie Crust a chance. You can make it ahead and freeze it to save time and grab it from the freezer when you want to make your pie. Your Thanksgiving and summertime demands it.
USES FOR HOMEMADE PIE CRUST
- SOUTHERN SWEET POTATO PIE
- FRESH PEACH PIE
- BROWN SUGAR CHESS PIE
- PEPPERMINT FRENCH SILK PIE
- STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRUMBLE PIE
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes 2 sticks
- 1/2-2/3 cup very cold water
- In a medium sized bowl, add flour, sugar and salt and whisk together to combine.
- Next add your butter cubes to flour and using your pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until various sized crumbs appear.
- Slowly add the cold water into the flour until a ball of dough forms. Start with 1/2 cup and add more water if you need it. Knead the dough quickly to bring it together. Don't worry if there is any flour left in the bowl.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, cut into 3 or 4 sections and round into balls. Cover each ball tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes to rest. If you want to freeze the additional balls, this is a great time or you can roll out into pie plates and freeze.
- Remove dough from fridge and add a bit of flour to a working surface or clean counter and place dough on it. Using a rolling pin, quickly roll dough out to about 1/4-1/3 inch thickness and place in your pie plate. Decorate according to your preference, bake and fill with fillings of your choice.