This is a basic lard-less pie crust recipe, this recipe makes 1 pie crust. If you plan on making a pie with both a top crust and a bottom crust, make sure you double the recipe.
- All Purpose Flour - 1 Heaping Cup
- Sugar - 2 Teaspoon
- Salt - 1 Teaspoon
- Butter - 1 Stick (8 Tablespoons)
- Ice Water - N/A
The key to making a great pie dough is not over working the dough and keeping the butter cold. You can easily make dough in a food processor, a lot of recipes say to use it, I don't know about you but, I for one hate cleaning the food processor, especially when it has flour in it. I find that the easiest way for me to do a basic pie dough is to put on some gloves and go to town with my hands, the gloves help keep your hands from heating the butter too!
Start off by adding the flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl. Take your chilled (frozen works too) butter and cut it into small pieces. Work the butter into the flour mixture by hand, rubbing it between your fingers, what you want is for the dough to feel like clumpy sand. Add just enough of the cold water to slightly bring it together, you still want the dough to look like clumpy stand, but when you grab a handful you want to be able to mash it together as if it were wet sand, it should keep fits form. (see pictures) The number one thing people seem to mess up on is they add to much water.
Once your dough is semi formed (it's still loose clumpy sand right?)
dump out your bowl onto a piece of plastic wrap. wrap up the dough and place it into the fridge so the butter once again hardens. This takes about 30 minutes.
The easiest way to roll out the dough is to flour a flat surface and your rolling pin, place the loose clumpy sand mixture onto the floured surface and roll it out into a round pie crust large enough to fit into your pie pan.
The problem with doing that is once again it makes a mess, not just any mess, but a floury mess. Cleaning up flour is not fun. It's like sand at the beach, it gets everywhere...
So... what I like to do is to take 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper, rub a very light coating of butter on the insides of each piece of paper, then lay them down on my rolling surface. Place your clumpy sand like dough ball between the two pieces of paper, from that point I take my pie pan and push straight down on top of the dough ball to get it started.
Then I use my rolling pin to roll the dough into a round pie crust large enough for my pan.
The trick with using the paper is making sure you go fast enough so the butter does not soften too much if the butter softens too much the dough will get really sticky, this makes for difficult if not near impossible paper removal. Once your pie crust is rolled out to the correct size, slowly remove one side of the paper, once the paper is removed, lay it back on the dough and flip the whole thing over. Now remove the other side of the paper, it's MUCH easier to remove on a flat surface rather than while in a pie pan. Do note, when removing the paper, you will see little pieces of dough left behind on the paper, that's fine, as long as you don't rip any holes in the pie crust.
Butter your pie pan up, (rub butter in the pan for future anti-stick insurance) once again remove one side of the paper, place the dough right next to your buttered pie pan and flip it over onto the pie pan,
get everything in place correctly then remove the other side of the paper. Lightly lift up the edges and make sure the dough is fully settled into the pan, sometimes you'll find that there can be gaps near the edge. Once your dough is settled into place, fold the extra dough over the edge of the pie pan and push it back into the edge,
this will end up cutting the extra dough off, you can also use a knife, but that's yet another item to clean. Now take any of those extra pieces of dough and use them to patch up any spots that might be broken. Using your index finger and thumb on one hand, push it together into your index figure of your other hand, use this on the edge of your dough to make it purdy.
Once done, using a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the pie crust, place the pie into your fridge until you are ready to use it, If pre-baking it, place it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, remove from fridge and put some parchment paper and beans (cheap pie weights) into the pie crust, you want to fill the pie crust up at least 1/2 way. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees then lower the temperature to 375 degrees, remove the paper/beans and place the pie crust (empty) back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until golden.