Reluctant Housewife: How to Make Pie Crust
I have spent most of my life shying away from making my own pie crust or any dough for that matter. It seemed daunting and complicated, temperamental even. Why bother with all of that when I could buy one from the famed Marie Callander's instead? Well, because they taste better that's why. Once I found myself in quarantine making pie dough didn't seem that daunting. Hell, I was happy for something to do! I'm happy to report it's actually not that hard and kind of fun to boot.
Watch as my mom and I hilariously make sugar crust pie dough from the esteemed www.sallysbakingaddiction.com blog. Watch the Reluctant Housewife episode here and grab the recipe below!
All Butter Pie Dough
2 and 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed (spoon & leveled)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (230g; 16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup (120ml) ice water, plus more as needed
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter on top.
Using a pastry cutter, food processor, or two forks (pastry cutter is ideal, see post above), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until all flour is coated. You’re looking for pea-sized bits of flour coated butter. A few larger bits of butter is OK.
Measure 1/2 cup (120ml) of water in a cup. Add ice. Stir it around. From that, measure 1/2 cup (120ml) of water since the ice has melted a bit. Drizzle the cold water in, 2 Tablespoons (30ml) at a time, and stir after each addition. Stop adding water when the dough comes together easily and begins to form large clumps. The dough will feel moist and a little sticky, but not feel overly wet. Do not add any more water than you need to. I always use about 1/2 cup (120ml) of ice water.
Place pie dough on a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball. Divide dough in half. Using your hands, flatten each half into a 1-inch thick disc.
Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days before using in a pie recipe.
When rolling out the chilled pie dough discs, use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands between rolls. Smooth out the edges if you notice cracks. (See video above.) Keeping your work surface, rolling pin, and hands lightly floured makes rolling out easier.
Proceed with the pie per your recipe’s instructions.
Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the pie dough through step 4 and freeze the discs for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using in your pie recipe.
Pie Crust Comparison: Let’s see how this all butter pie crust recipe compares to my favorite buttery flaky pie crust, which uses a mix of shortening and butter. Due to butter’s high water content, this all butter pie crust is lighter textured with more defined flakes. As the crust bakes, the butter’s water converts to steam, creating thousands of deliciously light flakes. It’s also so buttery! However, because of all this butter, I find that the shortening and butter pie crust is a little easier to work with. Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, so the crust holds its shape wonderfully. Both crusts are fantastic, but if you are looking to make intricate pie crust designs I highly recommend my buttery flaky pie crust.
Try This: Replacing 1 Tablespoon of ice water with cold apple cider vinegar creates an even flakier, more tender pie dough. It’s so tasty. Try it!